Friday, November 28, 2008


Here's (above) the sculpture over the door of the National Puppet Theatre in Prague. Nifty, huh?

And a wider view of the entrance. They're playing a puppet version of Don Giovanni! Maybe this shouldn't surprise me since several of the great composers wrote for the puppet theatre, and at one time puppet theatre was more popular than "legitimate" theatre.

I've read that Prague is overflowing with marionette shops. I wouldn't mind visiting these! Of course I want to see the marionette shows even more, but I can't help wanting to see some well-done puppets close up, so I can see how they work.

A window display (above) in one of the stores.

I've heard marionette stores (above) are all over Central Europe, especially the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria.

Here's (above) a water-powered mechanical puppet theatre in Salzburg.

Another window display (above).

Here's (above) a marionette museum.

Another view (above).

Inside (above) there's a workshop where kids get to make marionettes.

More interesting shop displays (above). Puppets look great when they're all bunched together.

No, unfortunately you can't have this puppet (above)!

A window display (above) in one of the high-end stores.

Some of the store marionettes (above) are close to what you'd see on the stage.

Nice stuff (above), especially when seen together like this!

Some finger puppets (above).

And a kazillion tiny marionettes (above)! Something for every budget!


Mattieshoe said...

I've always found marionettes beautifully creepy.

I'd love to see more puppet posts. these are great!

Stephen Worth said...

Speaking of puppets, we received a present at the ASIFA Archive from the crew of animators making the puppet film Coraline. They have the most brilliant viral marketing strategy I've ever heard about. Check it out...

deniseletter said...

The subject of marionettes bring questions.The mechanism of how to move the marionettes intrigue me too, if you also know of some Could you show sometime in other post?.Which great composers made music to marionettes? Although being pretty Why they give the sensation of creepiness? Why those countries in particular make them?

Anonymous said...

Puppets creep me right out, this film has kept me up many a night:

Shawn Dickinson said...

Wow! Those pictures are great! Too bad Americans have A.D.D. and can't be amused by great puppets anymore.

Imagine being locked in one of those shops by accident and having to sleep there overnight. Spooooky!

P.S. The post below this one is even creepier!

Austin Papageorge said...

That Barbie puppet is creepy.

Michael Sporn said...

For a while I made a trip annually to Paris where I always aimed directly for a wonderful bookshop near the Luxembourg Gardens. The shop had hand-carved marionettes and hand puppets strewn around the books, and each year I bought one of them. Expensive back then, now the price seems cheap. They're all beautiful, and I love them all. Unfortunately, they live, for the time being, in storage.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Michael: I hope I get to see that shop sometime! A bookstore sounds like a great place to display this sort of thing!

Oppo, Shawn, Just, Mattie: Creepy!? Well, I guess they are, but I still like to have things like that around. What it represents to me, beyond being a great symbol for theater, is potential: potential life and energy in a man-made creation.

Unknown said...

Oh wow! I adore puupets.. great pictures!

Ignacio Ochoa said...

Hi Uncle Eddie!!
This puppets are amazing.

Recently, I posted on my blog, the first part of an analysis about Muppets Manha-Manha that i am writing.

I think that maybe it will be of your interest.

Julian said...

This movie is actually stop-motion animation, but it has a lot in common with shadow puppetry

Elliot Cowan said...

And here's a marionette who's also a cartoonist, kind of.

The second and third clips are just lovely.

Norman Hetherington, the cartoonist responsible for all this, is unknown outside of Australia.
The fellow spent 45 years inspiring thousands and thousands of Australian kids to draw.