Puppet animation is a development from object animation where instead of using objects, puppets are used. Puppet animation is a development of stop-motion animation, rather than using objects in different frames puppets were introduced due to their human like quality’s so directors can move the puppet freely and more easily to show different movements. It works by taking pictures and moving the puppet in different frames.
The film ‘The Humpty Dumpty Circus’ (1908) created by J. Stuart Blackton and Albert smith receives credit as the first stop-motion animation film that features puppets.
The history of puppet animation then carries on with the pioneer puppet animator from Russia, Ladislas Starewitch who was a film maker who created ‘The Cameraman’s Revenge’ (1912) and later produced his feature length puppet animation ‘Le Roman de Renard’ (1929-1930) which translates as ‘The Tale of the Fox’. The story was based on the 11th century tale of ‘Reynard the fox’.
These days puppet animation is most commonly used in children’s cartoons and films. An example of puppet animation used in cinema is in the film King Kong (1933). The writer/director Tim Burton often uses puppet animation in his work for example, Corpse Bride (2005) which is a stop motion animated horror musical. The Nightmare before Christmas (1993) is an American stop motion musical fantasy horror film directed by Henry Selick. It used 227 puppets to represent the characters in the film and also 400 heads were used to allow the expression for every possible emotion.
The target audience for this type of puppet animation is mainly teenagers and adults because of the dark themes. I think these types of films are successful because of the use of puppet animation and the voice of famous actors. It would not be as successful if actors were used instead of puppet animation. Puppet animation is used as an advantage to show different character types and personalities.