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NZ Puppetry & Puppet Animation 1931 - 2010

NZ Puppetry & Puppet Animation 1931 - 2010

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  • Sun 4 Oct ’15, 10:30pm – 11:45pm


Empire Cinema, The Parade, Island Bay, Wellington


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General admission: $16.00
  • Concession: $12.00

Presented as part of the Out of the Suitcase Puppet Festival.

A wonderful compilation of films outlining the history of puppetry and puppet animation by New Zealanders.

Kinetic sculptor and filmmaker Len Lye used puppets in his films as early as the 1930s. "The Birth of a Robot" (1936) combines complex colour processes, and animated puppets, while "Experimental Animation" (195- ) features an extraordinary monkey puppet that sings and jives to the popular jazz song "Peanut Vendor."

Work of New Zealand puppeteers Raymond and Gerry Boyce, founders of The Puppet Theatre in 1957, is also shown. The Boyces, both puppeteers and production workers for the company, are shown touring and putting on puppet shows.

Filmmaker Fred O’Neill, used plasticine puppets and stop-motion animation in a series of well known educational films during the 1950s and 1960s. Others of his films are less well known, including "Phanplastic" (1963), featuring a plasticine man born in the stars who falls into Hell and is confronted by the Devil.

Amateur filmmaker Nancy Cameron used both animation and puppets in her film "Bill Meets Bertie" (1953). Bill was Nancy’s young son and Bertie was Bertie Germ. Parents of the 1950s and 1960s terrified small children into cleaning their teeth by claiming that if they didn’t, Bertie Germ would get them.

New Zealand Television’s first puppet show "Judy-Anne and Fergie Fang" (1962) makes an appearance. Judy-Anne introduces her snake puppets, and afterwards Fergie and Judy-Anne sing the alphabet song.

More contemporary films include:

Sally Rodwell’s "Shoes" (1996), “a funny but ultimately tragic story featuring pairs of shoes on their life's journey from dance hall to war zone.”
Carlos Wedde’s short films: "rADz (Radical Ads) Guiginol" (1999), "Go Wild" (2001), and "Fatcat and Fishface" (2005)

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