Hand puppet

A hand puppet is a type of puppet that is controlled by the hand or hands that occupies the interior of the puppet.[1] Glove puppets are a variation of hand puppets. Rod puppets require one of the puppeteer's hands inside the puppet glove holding a rod which controls the head, and the puppet's body then hangs over most or all of the forearm of the puppeteer, and possibly extends further. Other parts of the puppet may be controlled by different means, e.g., by rods operated by the puppeteer's free hand, or strings or levers pulled the head or body. A smaller variety, simple hand puppets often have no significant manipulable parts at all. Finger puppets are not hand puppets as they are used only on a finger.

Simple hand puppets

Simple hand puppet
A simple toy dog hand puppet.

The simplest hand puppets are those with few or no moving parts. They can be stiff, made from e.g. a hard plastic, but are more often flexible, made from fabric, possibly with some stuffing and attached decorations for eyes, nose, and so on. The mouth may be a mere decoration that does not open and close, or the thumb may enter a separate pocket from the rest of the fabric and so simulate a mandible, allowing the puppet to talk.

Simple hand puppets are usually not much larger than the hand itself. A sock puppet is a particularly simple type of hand puppet made from a sock. A glove puppet is slightly more complex, with an internal division for fingers allowing independent manipulation of a character's arms. The unconsumed hand of the puppeteer is usually concealed from the audience to maintain the illusion of the puppet.

Simple hand puppets, especially popular licensed characters, are sometimes distributed as children toys or party favors. Children usually like to experiment in play with a puppet creating voices and movements and in many cases staging a strictly private performance.

Rod puppets

A rod puppet with typical rods to control the arms.

A rod puppet is made out of wood wire and string and is manipulated with wooden or wire rods.[2] Rod puppets can sometimes have a complete working hinged mouth but many do not. A rod puppet can have a fixed facial expression. Arms are usually a requirement as rods are attached to them. A fish rod puppet could have a rod attached to the tail to manipulate this section of the puppet. Sometimes special variants exist with additional manipulable parts: (e.g., eyelids that open and close). Many rod puppets depict only the upper half of the character, from the waist up, with the stage covering the missing remainder, but variations sometimes have legs. The legs usually just dangle, but in special cases the legs may be controlled either from behind the stage using rods from below. These are mostly used at carnivals or fairs. A very common example of rod puppets are those of The Muppets and Sesame Street.


Basic positioning

Júlia i Gilbert - À Punt (2)
Hand puppet in a Chroma for television. (Júlia i Gilbert)

As with any stage performer, the puppet should generally face the audience; but may turn to one side or the other. There are times when a puppet does turn its back to an audience just like an actor. Puppets generally should look out towards an audience and not up at the ceiling unless they wish an audience to follow their line of vision. Generally a hand or glove puppet should talk a lot.[1]

Body movement

Puppet Bleeckie sliding
Bleeckie, a rod puppet from a series of web videos, ready to slide

One of the most important techniques in puppetry is continuous motion. A puppet that remains still has a dull, lifeless appearance and is said to be dead. Motion should shift from one portion of the puppet to another, so that one moment the puppet is moving its head and the next moment shifting its torso or repositioning an arm. The puppet may shift from side to side, look around, lean or straighten, fidget (with part of the stage, its own clothing or hair, or any available object), cross or uncross its arms, sigh, tilt its head, or make any number of other small motions, in order to continue to appear lifelike.

Depending on the type of puppet, more or less complex motion may be possible. Unrealistic motion patterns can sometimes be useful for special effect purposes. As put into words by Oscar Wilde, puppets "are admirably docile" and "recognize the presiding intellect of the dramatist".[3]

A puppet should not move when another puppet is speaking. To do so confuses an audience as to which particular puppet is speaking at any given time. Maintaining clear focus for an audience in a puppet performance is extremely important.

See also


  1. ^ a b Sinclair, A, The Puppetry Handbook, p.15
  2. ^ Sinclair, A, The Puppetry Handbook, p.15
  3. ^ Scott Cutler Shershow "Puppets and popular culture"

Books and articles

  • Baird, Bil (1966). The Art of the Puppet. Plays. ISBN 0-8238-0067-9.
  • Beaton, Mabel; Les Beaton (1948). Marionettes: A Hobby for Everyone. New York.
  • Bell, John (2000). Shadows: A Modern Puppet History. Detroit, USA: Detroit Institute of Art. ISBN 0-89558-156-6.
  • Binyon, Helen (1966). Puppetry Today. London: Studio Vista Limited.
  • Choe, Sang-su (1961). A Study of the Korean Puppet Play. The Korean Books Publishing Company Ltd.
  • Currell, David (1992). An Introduction to Puppets and Puppetmaking. London: New Burlington Books, Quintet Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-85348-389-3.
  • Dubska, Alice; Jan Novak; Nina Malikova; Marie Zdenkova (2006). Czech Puppet Theatre. Prague: Theatre Institute. ISBN 80-7008-199-6.
  • Dugan, E.A. (1990). Emotions in Motion. Montreal, Canada: Galerie Amrad. ISBN 0-9693081-5-9.
  • Feeney, John (1999). Puppet. Saudi Aramco World.
  • Funni, Arthur (2000). The Radio Years of Bergen and McCarthy (Thesis). The Margaret Herrick Library.
  • Hayali, Mustafa Mutlu. Tradition Folk The Site. Ankara, Turkey: Theatre Department, Ankara University Faculty of Language, History and Geography.
  • Latshaw, George (2000). The Complete Book of Puppetry. London: Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-40952-8.
  • Lindsay, Hilaire (1976). The First Puppet Book. Leichhardt, NSW, Australia: Ansay Pty Ltd. ISBN 0-909245-06-1.
  • Morton, Brenda, Brenda (1978). Sleeve Puppets. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-11145-9.
  • Robinson, Stuart; Patricia Robertson (1967). Exploring Puppetry. London: Mills & Boon Limited.
  • Sinclair, Anita (1995). The Puppetry Handbook. Richmond, Victoria, Australia: Richard Lee Publishing. ISBN 0-646-39063-5.
  • Suib, Leonard; Muriel Broadman (1975). Marionettes Onstage!. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers. ISBN 0-06-014166-2.

External links

  • PuppetryLab – Advanced puppetry theory and practice tools
  • 101 Hand Puppets – A guide for puppeteers of all ages
  • Puppetools – An Online Workshop for Educators Focused on Play Language
  • Hand Puppet A puppet theatre dedicated to education through puppetry and the use of hand puppets.
  • Uncle Johns Puppets - A puppeteer who utilizes hand puppets instead of traditional marionettes.
Andrew Weldon

Andrew Weldon is a Melbourne-based cartoonist. His cartoons have appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian, The Big Issue, Tango, The New Yorker, The Spectator, Private Eye, and on greeting cards. He has written and illustrated children's books including The Kid With The Amazing Head (Penguin 1998) and Clever Trevor's Stupendous Inventions (Penguin 1999). Collections of his gag cartoons, I'm sorry little man, I thought you were a hand puppet and If you weren't a hedgehog... If I weren't a haemophilliac, were published by Allen & Unwin. He has also illustrated in the "Don't Look Now-Series".


Charlemane, a mangy-maned lion, was a hand puppet created and operated by Bil Baird for the CBS's Morning show during the 1950s.


Conky may refer to:

Conky (software), a computer software used for system monitoring

Conky, a hand puppet used by Bubbles on Trailer Park Boys

"Conky", an episode of Trailer Park Boys

Cousin Skeeter

Cousin Skeeter is an American children's sitcom, which ran on Nickelodeon from 1998 to 2001. It starred Robert Ri'chard as Bobby, a young boy whose life changed when his strange cousin Skeeter came to live with his family. With Skeeter's help, Bobby learns life lessons and tackles the ups and downs of growing up. The show also included Meagan Good as Bobby's friend Nina, Rondell Sheridan as Bobby's father Andre, and Angela Means as Bobby's mother Vanessa. Skeeter is portrayed by a hand puppet with Bill Bellamy providing his voice, and Drew Massey performing the puppetry, assisted by Alice Dinnean. Within the show, Skeeter is treated like a regular human and no mention of him being a puppet is made. Although the series was shot in a single-camera format, the show used a laugh track.

The show's theme song is an alternate version of 702's 1996 hit "Steelo", written by Missy Elliott.


Glycon (Ancient Greek: Γλύκων Glýkon, gen: Γλύκωνος Glýkonos), also spelled Glykon, was an ancient snake god. Having a large and influential cult within the Roman Empire in the 2nd century, Glycon had been mentioned earlier by Horace. However contemporary satirist Lucian provides the primary literary reference to the deity. Lucian claimed Glycon was created in the mid-2nd century by the Greek prophet Alexander of Abonoteichos. Lucian was ill-disposed toward the cult, calling Alexander a false prophet and accusing the whole enterprise of being a hoax: Glycon himself was supposedly a hand puppet.

Li Tien-lu

Li Tien-lu (2 December 1910 – 13 August 1998) was a Taiwanese puppeteer. He is best known to the international audience for playing principal characters in several Taiwanese films directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien.

Born in Japanese Taiwan in 1910, Li Tien-lu had been trained in glove puppetry by his father since the age of eight. He founded the puppet theatre troupe Almost Like Life in 1932, aged 22. The group ended performances in 1937, soon after the Second Sino-Japanese War began and Japanese authorities censored Taiwanese Hokkien entertainment. Almost Like Life returned to the stage in 1941. Li's troupe premiered one of its most famous performances, 300 Years of Qing Dynasty — Keng Yao, in 1948. They became even more well-known under the Kuomintang government. In 1962, Li's puppet troupe became the first to be featured in a television show. Li considered retirement in the 1970s, as the popularity of glove puppetry lessened. However, both Jacques Pimpaneau and Jean-Luc Penso visited Li from France, and Penso remained in Taiwan to learn the art of glove puppetry. Penso established the Theatre du Petit Miroir troupe in Paris in 1975. Penso later recalled Li's intense and challenging teaching style, and stated that Li refused tuition payments, as he had taught his children glove puppetry for free. Other students of Li included his sons Chen Hsi-hsiang and Li Chuan-tsan, as well as Huang Wu-shan, Madeleine Beresford, and Margaret Moody.Li also performed Peking opera, Taiwanese opera, and Hakka opera. He received Taiwan's National Heritage Award in 1985, and the National Cultural Award in 1991, which was bestowed with the title of "living national treasure." In 1995, the government of France named Li a knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. The Li Tien-lu Hand Puppet Historical Museum is named after Li and opened to the public in 1996. He died at the age of 87 on 13 August 1998.

Li Tien-lu Hand Puppet Historical Museum

The Li Tien-lu Hand Puppet Historical Museum (Chinese: 李天祿布袋戲文物館; pinyin: Litiānlù Bùdài Xì Wénwùguǎn) is a museum in Sanzhi District, New Taipei, Taiwan.

List of Mattel toys

This list includes all toys produced by the American toy company Mattel.

List of museums in Taiwan

This is a list of museums in Taiwan, including cultural centers and arts centres.

Montenegrin Mountain Hound

The Montenegrin Mountain Hound is a rare dog breed from the mountain regions across the Balkans. Black and tan, with a smooth coat, the Montenegrin Mountain Hound was called Black Hound in the past. The breed is of the same origin as the other Balkan hounds. He stands 18 to 22 inches (46 to 56 cm) high and weighs 44 to 55 pounds (20 to 25 kg). The breed is used to hunt fox, hare, and small game, occasionally hunting larger animals such as deer or even wild boar.

The breed was formerly known as the Yugoslavian Mountain Hound; the FCI changed the name on July 15, 1997. The first standard dates back to 1924. The breed bears strong resemblance to the Austrian Black and Tan Hound. The breed was first officially recognized on May 8, 1969 in Warsaw. American Rare Breed Association considers the breed endangered.

Perhaps the most memorable popular depiction of the Montenegrin Mountain Hound (then called Yugoslavian Mountain Hound) had been as the hand puppet "Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog", regularly appearing on the NBC television show Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Although the puppet displays physical characteristics of the breed, and was identified as such during many appearances, the caption identifying Triumph as a Yugoslavian Mountain Hound was promptly removed after NATO military attack ensued against FR Yugoslavia.


Pooky or Pookie may refer to:

Fictional characters

Pooky (Garfield character), the teddy bear belonging to Garfield in the comic strip and cartoon

Pooky, a large, snake-like creature in Stephen King's 2012 novel The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole

Angela Montenegro, real name Pookie Gibbons, in the TV series Bones

Pookie the Lion, a hand puppet on the Soupy Sales television show

Pookie, in the movie New Jack City

Pookie, Arnold's grandmother in Hey Arnold!, a Nickelodeon animated television series

Pookie, a rabbit with wings in a series of children's books by Ivy Wallace

Pookie Jones, in the comic strip PopeyeOther uses:

Mr. Pookie, rapper

Pookie (vehicle), a Rhodesian mine-detecting vehicle

Pooky Quesnel (born 1964), English actress, screenwriter and singer

The Sterile Cuckoo, a 1969 film released in the UK as Pookie

Pooky, in the documentary TV series Meerkat Manor - see List of Meerkat Manor meerkats

Pooky, an open source project on Sourceforge building multi-touch software


A puppet is an object, often resembling a human, animal or mythical figure, that is animated or manipulated by a person called a puppeteer. The puppeteer uses movements of their hands, arms, or control devices such as rods or strings to move the body, head, limbs, and in some cases the mouth and eyes of the puppet. The puppeteer often speaks in the voice of the character of the puppet, and then synchronizes the movements of the puppet's mouth with this spoken part. The actions, gestures and spoken parts acted out by the puppeteer with the puppet are typically used in storytelling. Puppetry is a very ancient form of theatre which dates back to the 5th century BC in Ancient Greece. There are many different varieties of puppets, and they are made from a wide range of materials, depending on their form and intended use. They range from very simple in construction and operation to very complex.

Two simple types of puppets are the finger puppet, which is a tiny puppet that fits onto a single finger, and the sock puppet, which is formed and operated by inserting one's hand inside a sock, with the opening and closing of the hand simulating the movement of the puppet's "mouth." The sock puppet is a type of hand puppet, which is controlled using one hand that occupies the interior of the puppet and moves the puppet around. A "live-hand puppet" is similar to a hand puppet but is larger and requires two puppeteers for each puppet. A Marionette is a much more complicated type of puppet that is suspended and controlled by a number of strings connected to the head, back and limbs, plus sometimes a central rod attached to a control bar held from above by the puppeteer.

A rod puppet is constructed around a central rod secured to the head. A shadow puppet is a cut-out figure held between a source of light and a translucent screen. Bunraku puppets are a type of Japanese wood-carved puppet. A ventriloquist's dummy is a human-shaped puppet operated by a ventriloquist performer's hand; the performer produces the puppets voice with little or no movement of her mouth, which creates the illusion that the puppet is alive. Carnival puppets are large puppets, typically bigger than a human, designed to be part of a large spectacle or parade.


Puppetry is a form of theatre or performance that involves the manipulation of puppets – inanimate objects, often resembling some type of human or animal figure, that are animated or manipulated by a human called a puppeteer. Such a performance is also known as a puppet play. The puppeteer uses movements of her hands, arms, or control devices such as rods or strings to move the body, head, limbs, and in some cases the mouth and eyes of the puppet. The puppeteer often speaks in the voice of the character of the puppet, and then synchronizes the movements of the puppet's mouth with this spoken part. The actions, gestures and spoken parts acted out by the puppets are typically used in storytelling.

There are many different varieties of puppets, and they are made of a wide range of materials, depending on their form and intended use. They can be extremely complex or very simple in their construction. The simplest puppets are finger puppets, which are tiny puppets that fit onto a single finger, and sock puppets, which are formed from a sock and operated by inserting one's hand inside the sock, with the opening and closing of the hand simulating the movement of the puppet's "mouth". A hand puppet is controlled by one hand which occupies the interior of the puppet and moves the puppet around (Punch and Judy puppets are familiar examples of hand puppets). A "live-hand puppet" is similar to a hand puppet but is larger and requires two puppeteers for each puppet. Marionettes are suspended and controlled by a number of strings, plus sometimes a central rod attached to a control bar held from above by the puppeteer.

Puppetry is a very ancient form of theatre which was first recorded in the 5th century BC in Ancient Greece. Some forms of puppetry may have originated as long ago as 3000 years BC. Puppetry takes many forms, but they all share the process of animating inanimate performing objects to tell a story. Puppetry occurs in almost all human societies where puppets are used for the purpose of entertainment through performance, as sacred objects in rituals, as symbolic effigies in celebrations such as carnivals, and as a catalyst for social and psychological change in transformative arts.


Ratty may refer to:

Ratty (railway), a heritage railway in Cumbria, England

Ratty (water vole), a character in the novel The Wind in the Willows

Ratty Puppet, a groundhog hand puppet in the television show X-Play

Ratty, a pseudonym of some members of Scooter, best known for the single "Sunrise (Here I Am)"

Ratty, Mole's good friend from the story The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

Ratty, a Disney character from the Donald Duck universe

Ratty (film), a 1986 Swedish animated feature film

Sockpuppet (Internet)

A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. The term, a reference to the manipulation of a simple hand puppet made from a sock, originally referred to a false identity assumed by a member of an Internet community who spoke to, or about, themselves while pretending to be another person.The term now includes other misleading uses of online identities, such as those created to praise, defend or support a person or organization, to manipulate public opinion, or to circumvent a suspension or ban from a website. A significant difference between the use of a pseudonym and the creation of a sockpuppet is that the sockpuppet poses as an independent third-party unaffiliated with the puppeteer. Sockpuppets are unwelcome in many online communities and may be blocked.

Summer Sucks

"Summer Sucks" is the eighth episode of the second season of the American animated television series South Park. The 21st episode of the series overall, it originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on June 24, 1998. The episode was written by series co-creator Trey Parker, along with Nancy M. Pimental, and directed by Parker. Jonathan Katz makes a guest appearance as himself. In the episode, Summer arrives and the town of South Park celebrate Independence Day by building and lighting a giant snake firework, since regular fireworks are illegal. Jimbo and Ned travel to Mexico to obtain fireworks, while the giant snake threatens to destroy the country. Meanwhile, Mr. Garrison struggles to cope with the loss of his hand puppet, Mr. Hat.

The Beaver (film)

The Beaver is a 2011 comedy-drama film directed by Jodie Foster and written by Kyle Killen. A co-production of United States and United Arab Emirates, it stars Mel Gibson, Foster, Anton Yelchin, and Jennifer Lawrence. Marking Gibson and Foster's second collaboration since 1994's Maverick, it follows Walter Black, a depressed executive, who hits rock-bottom when his wife kicks him out of the house. At his lowest point, he begins to use a beaver hand puppet to communicate with people and overcome his issues.

The Beaver premiered at the SXSW Film Festival on March 16, 2011 and was released in the United States on May 6, 2011 by Summit Entertainment. The film received generally positive reviews from critics who praised Foster's direction and performances of the cast but found the premise absurd. Released around the alleged downfall of Gibson, who had been surrounded with high controversies and criticisms regarding his statements and battery case, the film's business was heavily affected, as a result becoming a box office bomb grossing just $6.4 million against its $21 million budget.

Yunlin Hand Puppet Museum

The Yunlin Hand Puppet Museum (Chinese: 雲林布袋戲館; pinyin: Yúnlín Bùdài Xìguǎn) is a museum about hand puppets in Huwei Township, Yunlin County, Taiwan.

Ziltoid the Omniscient

Ziltoid the Omniscient is the tenth studio album by Canadian metal musician Devin Townsend, released on his own label HevyDevy Records in May 2007, and distributed in America and Europe by InsideOut Music.

The album is a concept album about an extraterrestrial being named Ziltoid from the planet Ziltoidia 9. Ziltoid travels to Earth in search of "your universe's ultimate cup of coffee". A cup of coffee is delivered to him and he is promptly appalled by its taste, declaring it "fetid", and summons the Ziltoidian warlords to attack Earth, facing the full might of Earth's army. Townsend describes the album as a mix between Strapping Young Lad and The Devin Townsend Band, with a storyline like that of Punky Brüster's Cooked on Phonics.The album is a solo album, with all music written, mixed, produced and performed by Townsend. All drum tracks were produced with EZdrummer, a software drum machine, using the Drumkit from Hell expansion.Townsend played a world exclusive ZTO concert in Tuska Open Air Metal Festival in Helsinki on July 2, 2010, where the whole Ziltoid album was played, with a regular Devin Townsend Project set the next day. Townsend plans to begin a series of online videos, a series titled ZTV, in which a Ziltoid hand puppet conducts interviews with various bands.In 2014, Townsend announced the recording of Z², a sequel to the original rock opera. The recording of Z² started in May 2014, and the album was released on October 27, 2014.

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