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How is Big Bird performed and how does the puppet work?

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by Dwo shwoom, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. Dwo shwoom

    Dwo shwoom Active Member

    now this is a question i've been wanting to ask, how does big bird work, I only know he is a costume puppet, and how does carrol spinney ( i think thats his name) see where he's going?
    if this is the wrong place to put this, please move it right away, i'm new here and i've only been here 2 days
  2. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    This has been explained in a lot of the Muppet books (anyone know web resources?) but basically the way it works is that Carroll or Matt Vogel operate Big Bird's head with one hand while their other arm performs one of Big Bird's arms. The arm (Big Bird's) that isn't animated is connected to the animated one by a piece of monofilament so it appears to move. Sometimes a second puppeteer will hide out of shot and perform Big Bird's second arm.

    Inside the costume/puppet, Big Bird's puppeteer wears a vest that holds a small TV monitor so they can see where they are going. For live appearances I believe they put a tie on the bird to disguise a small hole that the puppeteer sees through.
  3. practicecactus

    practicecactus Well-Known Member

    I always wondered how that beak moves so easily.
    I mean, it's pretty long, so I assume it's really light weight.

    It must be counter balanced on the other side right? Behind the hand.
  4. MeepBorkMeep

    MeepBorkMeep Well-Known Member

    Try reading that "The Wisdom of Big Bird" book. Not only is it rully cool, it talks a lot about how Big bird works, including some mishaps (i.e. a stage light crashing next to him and catching on fire, and a brave stagehand had to stomp the fire out cause Carroll wouldn't be able to get out fast enough.) Check it out. :)
  5. puppetise

    puppetise Well-Known Member

    i have some picks from a book ill email you them
  6. wes

    wes Well-Known Member

    Carroll's book is one of my favorite Puppetry Books Ever, A must read!!
    Very informative

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