What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question: With the world going digital, what is the future of puppets?

Brian Henson:  It’s a completely different thing that you’re trying to do with a puppet.  It’s, or at least usually in our company, usually a puppet is made of felt and its eyes are often, you know, white plastic and it’s stuffed with foam rubber or stuffing and that’s part of what it is, that’s what makes the puppet funny.  And when you’re doing the puppet, if you’re doing a puppet of a goat, well, it’s not actually a goat that’s playing the scene, what’s funny is it’s a goat that’s made out of yellow felt and foam rubber and ping pong ball eyes, and that’s part of what the entertainment is.  If you were to rip the arm off the goat, there would be cotton wool that comes out, not blood.

And that’s not something you can copy with 3D digital animation. That’s specific to puppetry.  So I don’t think, I think there will always be a place for puppetry.  3D animation, I think people were asking the same question when we were doing animatronics through the ‘80’s and ‘90’s when we were doing animatronic characters.  Well, we were building puppet characters, but you were meant to believe if you cut them, they would bleed, with “Dark Crystal” and “Labyrinth” and more recently, “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy,” or “Where The Wild Things Are,” those are characters that are meant to be closer to the illusion of living, breathing characters.  And I think animatronics has been largely replaced, and certainly enhanced by 3D digital animation.

But I think the place for puppetry, the simplicity of what you’re doing with puppetry... well, you can’t beat the simplicity of a puppet and a camera and there you are and you’re done.  So I don’t think puppetry is going anywhere fast.  I think it’s one of the oldest art forms in the world and I think it will still be going strong.

Recorded on April 8, 2010

More from the Big Idea for Monday, May 03 2010

 

Is There a Future for Puppets?

Newsletter: Share: