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Full-body costume puppets

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by ScottMonster, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. Treelo

    Treelo Member

    The SS Live heads are not made with minicell - they have an ABS plastic base. Minicell is used quite frequently, but fiberglass is also popular as it has a longer life and doesn't retain as much odor.

    What costumes did C&C build for you?
  2. fishbone

    fishbone Member

    sooo,like the body should be made of foam or just stuffing like that big blue puppetfrom the muppets? :confused:
  3. ScrapsFlippy

    ScrapsFlippy Member

    In college I made a full-body, hot pink and tan gorilla. I built the whole thing out of 3/4 inch sheet foam, using (actually, lucking into after some trial and error) the "wedge method" that Buck Beaver details in his wonderful puppet building tutorial on his website. I built gorilla feet using a pair of old sneakers as the base and some sculpted box foam. I used spray paint to give the whole suit a base "skin tone" (I don't remember what I used, but the paint didn't degrade the foam) and attached strips of tan and hot pink dyed burlap strips for "fur." (This was for a stage show, and was made with whatever was laying about, as we had no budget.) A talented artist in the theatre program named CJ sculpted the head out of sheet foam and a hard hat. Originally, we wanted the jaw to be practical (and it could have been easy - with a "Sweetums" like apparatus) but we ran out of time and materials.

    There is a photo of this creation on my alma mater's web site, I see if I can find it and post a link to it.

    --Scraps
  4. DPuppets

    DPuppets Member

    Kye,
    I think you are right...from knowing people who are in those costumes and talking to them..and also seeing there work first hand. I really believe they have taken building and designing to an all new level for sure.
  5. ScrapsFlippy

    ScrapsFlippy Member

    Does WDW have Bear in the Big Blue house "fuzzies" (The walk-about mascot-style full body costumes?)

    The BITBBH puppets we use in the live show at Disney's California Adventure are the real deal - Henson Creature Shop built, including bear himself. Since our show is modeled on the WDW show, I can only assume that their muppet puppets are the real deal as well.

    A company called Animax makes all the other puppets for our show (www.animaxdesigns.com .) They make full-body jobs as well. Their puppets are very well put together and look great. I find their eye mechanisms and practical mouths a bit stiff, but this isn't a problem once broken in. Their rod puppets are the bomb.

    --Scraps
  6. ScrapsFlippy

    ScrapsFlippy Member

    Another thought - in the book Jim Henson: The Works, there's a great picture of Richard Hunt standing around as puppet builders build the under structure of a full body puppet on him. If you take a look at it (I think it's in the Muppet Show chapter) it will give you a good idea how the pros go about building one of these jobs.

    --Scraps
  7. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Active Member

    There's some good mascot costume building info at Nick's Fursuit Pages. Have you checked out that site?
  8. Treelo

    Treelo Member

    The Henson Workshop deserves much of the credit for the Sesame Street Live costumes designs. Henson built ALL of the SSL costumes until the early 90's when they began turning the work over to VEE. The costumes that are currently built by VEE are all based on the Muppet Workshop designs, with a few slight modifications and changes.
  9. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Active Member

    I believe Henson has approval on all of the "outsourced" puppet/costume building work on all their projects, both in-house and licensed.
  10. Treelo

    Treelo Member

    Henson no longer has anything to do with the SSL costumes. VEE now works with Sesame Workshop's art department for character consultation. SW now calls all the shots.
  11. DPuppets

    DPuppets Member

    Not that they don't deserve some credit...I know for a fact looking at the original Bear costume and the one used for the travel show are much different. The one that travels in my opinion alot better.
  12. Treelo

    Treelo Member

    VEE's touring Bears were all built by Henson. Over the years, VEE has rebuilt parts and replaced the fur, but the design and structure is still Henson.

    I actually think the television Bear is much nicer than the touring versions. The TV Bear has many shades in his fur, while the tour version is just one flat color (to save on expenses). The touring Bear also lacks other special features, like the dark blue padded feet of the original.
  13. Muppetsdownunder

    Muppetsdownunder New Member

    I've been thinking and have come up with a few strange ideas in my head for a large puppet, like sweetums etc. I even had a dream once where I was inside one of the bear puppets from Muppets Take Manhattan, im quite small so would probably fit.

    I've just finished the first arm for my puppet which is more of a glove like fozzie bear etc, so it got me thinking about making a large full bodied puppet.
  14. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Active Member

    Typically a puppet (or costume) for a touring show is much more rugged and easier to maintain than the TV version for practical reasons.
  15. Jinx

    Jinx Member

    Let's not forget, too, that there are often differences in coloration because of how the camera "reads" the puppet.
  16. Treelo

    Treelo Member

    I work with the characters. Trust me. The television Bear has many shades of color in his fur. The tour Bear does not. It doesn't have anything to do with the cameras or lighting.
  17. Keeermit

    Keeermit Active Member

  18. fishbone

    fishbone Member

    your ernie & bert look great!!!!where did you find the material for their shirts?
  19. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Active Member

    Seriously, I'd like to know that! People have been looking for a good source for it for years!
  20. fragglerockr

    fragglerockr Member

    But what good is that particular fabric unless you are making a replica of Bert and Ernie, which so many people are against? I thought the point was to create your own puppets that look less like Henson's creations?

    I personally have no problems either way with it...


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