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Should Puppetry Be a Genre?

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by D'Snowth, Aug 2, 2009.

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Should Puppetry be its own Genre?

Poll closed Sep 2, 2009.
  1. Yes, animation's its own genre, so should puppetry.

    10 vote(s)
    62.5%
  2. No, they're art forms, not entertainment genres.

    5 vote(s)
    31.3%
  3. I couldn't care less.

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%

  1. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    :confused: I'm reminded of how animators such as Brad Bird feel that animation isn't, or shouldn't be its own genre, but I got to thinking, if animation is given its own genre, could or should puppetry be an actual genre as well?

    :search: I notice quite often that a puppetry program is almost always listed under the fantasy genre, which is probably mostly due to the fact that a lot of puppet projects ARE fantasy oriented, but other than that, they seem to be listed under animation a bit itself (notice how Sesame Street is under the cartoon section of FanFiction.Net, or how these Krofft shows are refered to as "Saturday morning cartoons").

    :attitude: So again, what I'm asking is do you feel puppetry should be a genre itself? Personally, I can understand why animators wouldn't want animation to be its own genre, but my thinking is this - if animation has to be its own genre, then I believe puppetry should be too.
  2. Frogpuppeteer

    Frogpuppeteer Well-Known Member

    I've thought of this myself,
    back in college when i enterted award shows i was always put under the animation category and it kinda made me upset
    but thanks to me my school now has a better view of what puppets can actually do
  3. I'd say Puppetry isn't a genre because it combines too many aspects of performance and makes it hard to catagorize as it's own thing.
    Animation is what you see on screen and that's all you see on screen. If you're watching puppetry, you're seeing any number of crafts and talents that bring the puppet to life.

    Maybe puppetry's serious and ancient origins make it exempt from trivial catorgorization in mainstreme media.

    This reminds me of the video 'Chasing Arm-y' here.
  4. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hey guys... Poll's now attached, feel free to vote.
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I don;t think either should be a genre. And whoever made that cockamamie rule up had to have been the laziest, most ignorant categorizer in human history. :confused:

    Genre refers to what something is, dispite medium. Otherwise, Live action would be a genre, and you could lump Citizen Cane and Biodome together as something from the same Genre, as you'd do with Snow White, Akira, and that obscure (and for a good reason) toy commercial Stone Protectors. I think, among other things, that lumps things that shouldn't be together.

    Puppetry should be classified as a medium, much as animation should be.
  6. You summed that up brilliantly with your final sentence. Yes! A medium, not a genre. Gawd, that's what I was thinking but couldn't put it so sussinctly.
  7. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Thanks Eddo!
  8. Scurvy Dave

    Scurvy Dave New Member

    I know no one is really arguing about this...so this isn't a rebuttle, but I just had to voice my opinion about this. Animation, and puppetry are unequivocally, undoubtedly, unflappably, forever and ever in perpetuity... MEDIUMS. There is no question of should be or has to be or maybe it is maybe it isn't. It's a medium. You can call it a genre...but you'd be wrong. You can call a dog a cat too. It doesn't make it a cat. In both fields, if we even entertain the question then we validate the idea. And I don't think we should underestimate the harm that is done to us creatively when animation or puppetry is thought of as a genre. It is one of the most stifling things that the industry does, and it takes about 75% of life's experiences and makes them off limits, and leaves us to either do weird fantasy nerd stuff, or children's stuff...or vulgar adult stuff. Subtlety, art, intelligent discourse all go out the window. Calling animation or puppetry a genre is a way for the studios to pidgeon hole and control the mediums, and to let executives feel like they understand something of the two disciplines. If they admitted that it was a craft, a medium that they know little to nothing about...they would forfeit all of their power to the dreaded "creatives". We're the gelflings to their skeksis. Sorry for ranting...btw...this is my first post. love the boards! Hi all! :grouchy:
  9. MuppetMazz

    MuppetMazz Member

    I would like a 4th option to vote, neither should be a genre. I agree completely with Drtooth that it isn't a genre. You can have animated comedy, drama, action, etc the same way you can have puppetry in each of those actual genres.
  10. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Exactly, those kinds of shows and movies ARE billed as "animated comedy", "animated drama", "animated action"... at least on Comcast's program info anyway; you look them up on IMDb, and one of the first things you see listed in genre is "animation".

    Funnily enough, getting back to puppets being refered to cartoons, I remember an animated promo for H.R. Pufnstuf on TV Land with all of this talking food, and at one point a jar of mayonaise (who sounded a lot like Arnold Stang) talked about how he hated Krofft shows because of all the silly voices, and he added "How can us cartoons be taken seriously if this is how we're always depicted?" But again, they're not cartoon characters, they're puppet characters.
  11. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    Like animation, puppetry is a medium, not a genre.
  12. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Entertainment itself is a medium - TV, movies, music, etc.

    I don't know whose idea it was to classify animation as its own genre, but whenever that happened, puppetry must not have been really noticable in film and television, because otherwise, I think it probably might be considered a genre as well by now.
  13. Fluffets

    Fluffets New Member

    Of course it should, its an art in it's own beutiful right. I should know, i have experminented in it and many other arts! I also like doing stop-motions, I'm gonna do a lego comedy soon with a friend in the U.S:). It's unique as he sends the scripts by e-mail and the same will be done for his character's voices, I'm head in charge but he is what I think as 50% of the project.
  14. muppetfan89

    muppetfan89 Member

    Animation, Puppetry, Film and TV are all mediums of entertainment, but they're also art forms.

    Genre is something such as comedy, drama, action, etc. However, in film and TV when a genre is picked for it, if it's live action, then they just have to call it a comedy or drama. However, if it's animated, they would probably call it an "animated comedy/drama." If puppetry is involved, it's taken as a live action film, with no mention of puppetry.

    So, all in all, while they really are mediums and art forms. I do feel that since animation is considered to be a genre by many, puppetry should be included on that, but at the same time, make it known as an art form, which is what animation should do as well.

    At least, that's I hope happens. I plan to do that as a filmmaker.
  15. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Very insightful.
  16. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Here's an interesting thought from a friend of mine...

    Would you consider stop-motion animation to be a form of puppetry as well? I've noticed a lot of stop-motion animtors refer to the characters as "puppets".
  17. Fluffets

    Fluffets New Member

    Definately not, I guess it's kind of funny when you think of it that way but they're more like dolls, in-fact toys can be used for it and in my work, are, same goes for clay and lego for anyone who isn't aquainted with the art of stop-motion, it's just frame-by-frame pics put together so anything with articulation, even anyone heres's MR muppets replicas could be used in stop-motions. But to answer the thought no it wouldn't be considered puppetry.
  18. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I notice DVD Aficionado has puppetry listed as a genre as well, but they've categorized it with stop-motion under one genre called "Puppetry & Stop-Motion".
  19. Fluffets

    Fluffets New Member


    Hmm, weird.:confused:
  20. Whimsy

    Whimsy New Member

    Calling puppetry a genre would be like calling a musical instrument a genre. Puppetry is a medium for telling a story, just as a saxophone is an instrument for playing Jazz Music.

    As for classifying it as Stop Motion - I'd be more inclined to consider 3D animation and Cel Animation with Stop Motion before grouping it with puppetry. Puppets must be performed "live" even when taped, not animated frame-by-frame.

    edit: Heh, looks like muppetfan89 said much of what I said. Shows me for not reading the thread.


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