follow us in feedly
Teach your kids how to use the phone with terrifying puppets
10.15.2014
10:59 am

Topics:
Amusing
History

Tags:
puppets
phones
educational films


 
Anyone who’s ever observed the rate at which a four-year-old figures out an iPhone is well aware of how quickly kids pick up on new technology. It’s a curious phenomenon (especially when it’s taken years to teach my grandmother how to text), but I suspect that it has something to do with openness—kids don’t have to “unlearn” old tech that may be counterintuitive to a new gadget, nor are they as easily intimidated by learning, since the whole world is new to them anyway.

However, not everyone trusts the potential of our youth! Take Adventure In Telezonia, a 1949 instructional video from the Bell Telephone System (now AT&T)—this is a generation of people who believe children are morons best taught by terrifying puppets. Our protagonist Bobby is whisked away (basically kidnapped) to the land of Telezonia by Handy (the murderous marionette), who teaches him phone etiquette and… how to dial. The only real benefit I see to the film is to remind kids that machines are expensive and breakable—something they never really seem to grasp until they drop something and destroy it.

Got that, kids? If you abuse your iPhone, Handy will come for you.
 

 
Via Network Awesome

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Meet the six-foot-tall George Harrison Marionette
04.18.2014
11:42 am

Topics:
Animation
Music

Tags:
George Harrison
puppets


 
This is a guest post written by Tabitha Vidaurri.

There exist a series of music videos of a life-sized, hand-made marionette of George Harrison. He sings songs like “Pisces Fish” and “Someplace Else” while strumming the guitar, banjo and ukulele. As a teen, I constructed a puppet of a blue cat wearing sunglasses and taped it singing “Land Down Under” by Men At Work, so when I laid eyes on this lovingly obsessive tribute to the Dark Horse himself, I immediately felt a kinship with whomever was responsible for its creation.

While I was not able to get in touch with the puppeteer, I did some digging and found that her name is Jenn, she has over 35 years of experience as a puppet builder and performer, and it took her six months to complete the George Harrison Marionette.

Jenn has also written about her project extensively on the Muppet and Steve Hoffman Music forums

Originally, ‘George’ was going to be much smaller…more the size of a traditional marionette (2 to 3 feet tall). Because of the complicated animations I had to build for the unique eyes, eyelids, and mouth, the size of ‘George’s’ head ended up being life size.


The puppet is is fully clothed in a store-bought two-piece suit, though Jenn notes she had some trouble finding non-leather, vegetarian-friendly men’s dress shoes. You Harrison fans will notice that the electric guitar used isn’t accurate, which is due to the fact that this was such a low-budget production. At $80, the tiny Dark Horse Records lapel pin on ‘George’s’ jacket was the single most expensive item used in the project.

A lot of love and nitpicky detailing went into this project to give ‘George’ a realistic appearance both in looks and movement.  His hands are completely pose-able thanks to an eternal ‘skeleton’ of stiff wires in his fingers. This enables him to mimic any playing position. His hands are also rich in detail, with knuckles, veins, and palm lines sculpted into them. The LP record cover of ‘Living in the Material World’ was used to insure his hands were correct to size.  I was adamant about having him be portrayed as himself, as a solo artist, instead of the far more common representation one sees of ‘Beatle George.’

The puppet is modeled off of late ‘80s/early ‘90s Harrison, a period when he was absent of facial hair and prone to wearing blazers. This era was chosen so ‘George’ would have the option to sing selections from the Traveling Wilburys catalog.

I admire Jenn’s devotion and peaceful attitude. She acknowledges that a 6-foot tall puppet—or puppets in general—may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but if it does happen to be your mug of Earl Grey, then this is just the tip of the iceberg:

‘George’ is wonderful company…a bit quiet though, and seems perpetually content. He is definitely a ‘presence’ in the room, which some might find disturbing (in a spooky sense) while others may find it charming. The few people who have been able to see him in person have noted this.


To learn more, visit the George Harrison Marionette Facebook Page.

The video for “My Sweet Lord” features a behind-the-scenes look at how the marionette works; ‘George’ is operated Thunderbirds-style, meaning there are no electronic elements used, and a total of fifteen strings control his movements:
 

 
Jenn also filmed a music video for “Life Itself” as a bigger production with multiple camera angles, even creating storyboards. The final product has candles and moody lighting, very much in the style of the early days of VH1:
 

 
This is a guest post written by Tabitha Vidaurri.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Horny marionette mimics Jamaican ‘daggering’ dance craze
08.29.2011
10:27 am

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Jamaica
puppets
Daggering
marionette


 
Well, at least I think this is ‘daggering.’ Things get pretty hot and heavy between the host of the TV show and the marionette around the 1:30 mark. Enjoy!
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The dance craze that can break your dick

(via BuzzFeed)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Satan makes cameo appearance on Christian puppet show
11.12.2010
01:37 pm

Topics:
Belief
Kooks

Tags:
Christianity
puppets
Stan

 
Not much else to say about it, really.

Via Everything is Terrible

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Jim Henson blows Middle America’s mind on Carson in 1974

image
 
Did Johnny Carson know what he was getting into when his producers asked Jim Henson to perform without Muppets on his show in February 1974?

By the time of the clip below, Henson and his Muppets Inc. crew were five years into what was becoming a hugely successful partnership with the Children’s Television Workshop on the show that would raise Generation X, Sesame Street.

What better time to do something like, say, adapt electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott’s highly trippy piece, “The Organized Mind” as a short live multimedia stage performance? (By the way, the film playing in the background is apparently Henson’s film adaptation of the same piece of music.)
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Cookie Monster helps train IBM sales staff (1967)
Jim Henson’s “Time Piece”

 
Bonus clip after the jump: “The Paperwork Explosion” another 1967 Henson/Scott collaborative film for IBM…
 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment