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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mr3urious, Dec 10, 2010.
I feel almost offended watching this:
This offends me as a puppeteer.
Awww Darnit! Now I have to go to YT and delete it from my history before I get nothing but Big Brother videos.
But it does suck.
Anyway.... I found this little "gem"
I watched like 2 minutes skipping around and I just said "GAW!!!" and gave up. Terrible.
Apparently, there's a rabbit that everyone but the teacher can see and that feels.... kinda creepy.
Those are some poorly constructed and poorly performed puppets right there. Only the bunny manages to look decent, as he kinda resembles Bean Bunny in build quality.
The real thing that made me go "BLEECCHHHH" was the poor construction of the kid puppets. The teacher, I'd admit, seems like it could have worked out better in the right hands, but those oversized heads with wrongly placed oversized noses just look all kinds of amateurish.
The concept just comes off cheap and clumsy. The part where they slowly rattle off names of colors for the sake of naming them at the beginning sets the tone of poorness for the rest of the project. It's almost religious puppet show levels of cheap and terrible.
I could have sworn I posted this already, but since I apparently didn't:
Try watching this with a straight face.
Drtooth is always complaining about the recommended videos he gets on YT that have little to nothing to do with videos he's actually watched, well, I got this after listening to some SST songs today, and, well . . .
Wow. Prototype Barney is insanely frightening. Insanely frightening.
Well, he's more dinosaur like, I'll give him that. Guess that's what happens when you have little to no budget. And ugh..the colors are puke purple and a nauseating green (that's at least nauseating in contrast to the purple). Not the more TV friendly pinkish magenta and complimentary green that we all know.
When it comes to Barney, I'm a life long detractor, especially on a Sesame Street fan level. And I'll agree looking back on it it's not so much bad as saccharine and cheap. This show did speak to people and I'll give it respect for that. Just don't like it personally. But, I have to admit one thing. Barney is a pretty good looking character design. He's cute and friendly looking, and perfectly huggable from a 3-5 year old's perspective. They certainly got that much right. But I agree, they didn't find that magic design that made him plush toy cute until nearer to the show's...well.. becoming a show instead of a series of DTV projects. Of course, I never liked season one Big Bird either. He's a lumbering goof, and it seems he should have antlers and pal around with squirrel that's smarter than him. Not the adorable overgrown six year old with a full head of feathers.
Here's a lion telling us some "good news" about Jesus. The head looks decent, but it's the constant flailing of the puppeteer's hand that makes it fit into this thread, not to mention the obvious looping of the dialogue in the studio due to the wind outside that would have been picked up by the mic. Even then, they couldn't be opted to use a pop filter or at least some pantyhose stretched over a wire hanger if they're that cheap because of all the popping sounds.
I actually think its pretty good,considering how cheaply made that whole show was.
I'm very programmed. I can't even read the words "Good News" without hearing Prof. Farnsworth in my head.
Anyway, yeah. This is one of those rare cases where they actually have a good puppet, but everything else is wrong. I really rather like the lion here in design terms. Sure, he's no Theo, but he's relatively cute and cartoonish enough to be professionally built. Than they just hand it to someone who seems to be doing a bad impersonation of Sarah G. Latto from Gumball who doesn't have strong enough puppet skills. Almost seems like the production company (hehe heh using the term loosely) bought some puppets at an auction or something and just threw it to whoever was willing to perform it.
It's a good build, but the colors are wrong and he's not (to quote a Garfield Barney parody) cute and non-threatening enough. Not a bad character design, but nothing that says lovable to a toddler. The dark purple just doesn't do well on screen as his lighter, pinker build he got once he hit television. Whatever I can say about Barney, someone knew that a brighter character would stick out, even in a brightly lit studio. The dark purple either blends in with a dark scene or it doesn't photograph very well on brighter ones. It probably looked great in person, but it seems like the TV show corrected the color theory these early ones lacked.
Now, to move onto another example, here's another clip from that show that has inconsistent puppetry.
This show puzzles me. There's just something to how inconsistent it is. The writing's inconsistent, the puppets are inconsistent, the puppetry is inconsistent. You either have puppets that look professional and well made, or ugly, amateurish things side by side. And as you can see in this sketch, the puppeteering is off. They can't even seem to look at each other, and they somehow feel they need to dart their heads back and forth from each other to the camera and everywhere in between. And the long headed puppet looks out of place with the humanoid ones. Like they're trying for a Muppet Show style of Scooter and other abstract looking characters being side by side with Wayne and Wanda and more cartoony looking humans and somehow still fitting together. But somehow it looks like they bought a box of puppets at a rummage sale and said "yeah, let's just use them."
The puppets here aren't bad looking (though the long headed one just doesn't work in any design sense), and sometimes the show seems like it could be entertaining genuinely. And unlike that purple thing that looks like it came out of a Cathy comic strip that's constantly shouting angrily about God and Jesus, it doesn't seem like this show is painfully trying to be preachy. It just seems to fall apart quickly.
Hey . . . isn't this Oogene's sister that's for sale?
Dagnabbit Size Small!!!!
To quote Timer, the Cheese Guy, "Look! A Wagon Wheel"
Why the heck do they both sound like Beary Nice? And the puppets made out of wooden spoons is inspired.
And some more moments with the...ugh... Size Small oven mitts.
That said, I was going to post this because the Youtuber that posted some other crappy grammar KidsKlassics video (the one about the invisible rabbit) but it doesn't feel that bad. A little Awkward, but here it is.
Now, what's really weird about this show is that the puppets here were originally made for the incredibly obscure 70's Puppet Show "Curiosity Shop" produced by animation legend Chuck Jones. Something I've only read about.
Say, here's something that actually has both decent puppetry and decent production values:
That was quite nice after seeing the other stuff on this thread,I wonder if any of these puppeteers joined any Henson productions in the UK.
This actually does remind me of a Jim Henson Company show. Shame that most of the quality puppet shows come from the same few people. Even "Between the Lions" and "It's a Big Big World" weren't Henson productions,but they still came from Henson people and the characters were played by Henson performers.
That's what I said before - BTL had so many Henson people involved I actually assumed it was a Henson production at first.
I love the dog's design, specifically his ears. If those guys were able to get ear-moving mechanisms on a dog puppet, you know they've got a good budget behind them.
Just did a bit of research: "Havakazoo" can't really find much info on the show itself but it aired on a programming block called "Milkshake!" on the UK channel "Channel 5". The block airs weekday mornings and afternoons. It's basically the british PBS Kids and has aired just about every single kid show for 2 - 8 year olds you can imagine. Shows that have aired on the block include- "Lazy Town" ,"Angelina Ballerina" , "Olivia" , "Dora the Explorer" ,"Bear in the Big Blue House" ,"Peppa Pig" ,"Barney and Friends" as well as Sesame Street segments such as "Elmo's World" and "Abby's Flying Fairy School" .
Speaking of bad puppets and bad puppetry, I saw this long headed blue puppet (plus an orange one) in some low budget kids' show once on my local station. I have no idea what it's called, but I wish I had taped it. I can tell you the exact station and what day it played, but when I searched the channel's archives, their programming block didn't go back that far. So the best I can do is describe it, plus other puppet shows I saw that day.
It was Christmas Day, 2008 and (of all days), I had a horrible 24 hr. stomach flu. I must have caught "the Bedrock Bug" from "A Flintstones Christmas Carol". Fortunately, our family was planning on having their Christmas the next day anyway, so I really wasn't missing anything. (We had to wait for all the relatives to be home at the same time).
So there I was, stuck in bed in the guest room. The cat had knocked the TV remote behind the bed/bookcase and I was too weak to reach it back there, let alone get up to change the channel. The TV was on and so I was subjected to all kinds of crappy "programming" the local TV station just threw on the air. "It's Christmas Day. Who's gonna watch TV?" must've been their attitude. They dug up all kinds of puppet shows, all of which were on par with Peppermint Park, except worse. They were filmed with someone's old VHS camcorder, most had puppet curtains usually used for live shows (even though they were performed as TV shows), and they either had no microphones or had people who said their lines in the microphones like Kenny McCormick working at a drive-thru. The "best" of the bunch they played that day was some old, fuzzy episodes of New Zoo Revue.
The puppets looked handmade and had that build seen in so many unprofessional, generic human puppets. You know the type: circular button nose, big, bright red mouth with no tongue, extra wrinkly fabric in the neck, yarn for hair and those "wiggle eyes" spaced too far apart on the head for an unfocused, dead expression. Yeah. Combine that with horrible manipulation, bad lip-synch, "After School Special" cheesy scripts and Stepford Wife human hosts and you got yourself one heck of a...a... let's just say, the Bedrock Bug I had was less painful to endure.
One program ripped off the plot from that Arthur episode where Arthur got chicken pox and then DW pretends to get chicken pox to get attention. One puppet had put blue dots on her face with a marker (um, isn't chicken pox red?) then she (surprise!) got chicken pox anyway and "learned a lesson about lying". "B-but the marker won't wash off and I have TWICE as many spots now!" complained the puppet. The human host basically told her "well, that's what you get for doing that".
Then there was another one about some greedy kid who wanted a whole list of things for Christmas, but was immediately shamed into not asking for anything for Christmas and as (punishment?) was made to go look for someone worse off than he was.
Kid: "I wanna new Nintendo and a bike and a scooter and a soccer ball and a football helmet and a..."
Mother: "Now, now, son..."
Kid: "Oh, all right, I won't ask for nothin'. Sorry."
Mother (sternly): "We have to remember those who have nothing on Christmas."
So, then the kid wanders down the "street" (puppet curtain) and meets the obligatory old lady who has nothing and no one to celebrate Christmas with. She lived in a cardboard box house...but then again, so did the greedy kid. (The whole town was made from cardboard, including cars, trees and even some of the static, background residents). You could tell that the little old lady was poorer because the door on her cardboard box house wobbled more when the (visible) prop person's hand opened it up and it bumped the mic. The kid invited her over for dinner, kid learns a lesson, etc., etc., etc.,
Now, here's the weirdest show they played of the bunch, which featured the blue and orange puppets, who are called Ralph and Elmer. You can buy them from this company:
The half hour show had NO plot whatsoever. I've seen strung-together blocks of random Pinwheel cartoons that made more of a coherent plot than this. Mostly, it was just unfunny parodies of Christmas songs with random words thrown in. The blue puppet with the horizontal head, (Elmer) was performed by someone who just kept flapping the head and jaw around randomly and screeching like Ebenezer T. Squint after a Starbucks binge:
"On the twelfth day of Christmas, polar bears gave to me: Twelve polar bears! Eleven polar bears! Eight polar bears! Six polar bears! Ten polar bears! FIVE POLAR BEARS! Nine polar bears! Three polar bears! Two polar bears and ONE polar bear in a polar bear tree!!! HA HAAAA!!!!" A cheap greenscreened shot of polar bear footage appeared behind him. "I love polar bears because they're so...COOL! OK, let's sing again! EIGHT polar bears! SIX polar bears! TEN polar bears!..."
Now, if you think that was er, interesting, the orange puppet (Ralph) starred in a "commercial" four times during the show. It was a "commercial" that was trying to get the creators' puppet show off the ground by advertising "free" coloring sheets of the characters. The puppet popped in and out of frame against a black background. "Call now! You can get coloring sheets featuring ME and all my friends! IT'S FREE! Just call us! IT'S FREE!!!" The puppet said "IT'S FREE!" at least six times during the ad, which, like I said was repeated four times (probably to pad out the airtime they had). The puppet sounded like Mr. Poodlepants being performed by the squeaky-voiced teenager on the Simpsons.
The whole irony of this situation was, even though the coloring sheets were "free", the call certainly wasn't to order them! I was in Eastern Iowa that day (where the network was broadcasting the show) and the puppet was telling kids to call numbers in Manitoba, Quebec and (I think) Ontario. Not once did I hear "get your parents' permission before you call" like they normally say in ads where kids can order something. Yeah, hey kids! Run up your parents' phone bills by calling long distance to Canada for coloring sheets featuring puppets from some show you'll never see on TV again! IT'S FREE!
Man, I wish I had a recording of this so I could post it and show all of you. If I find it, I promise I'll post it. It has to be seen to be believed.
Aaaaagh! The sentient record thing is scary! Also, if u want to see some REAL creepy low budget , ugly puppets look at these, if you dare...
Scared yet? We'll see...
This creepy puppet in overalls... Imagine him dancing on your bed at night (shudders)
Gnaaaaah! That human face phone IS scary! Imaine picking it up at night (shudders) BURN THAT PHONE! ANYONE WITH ME?
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