War Horse: I love puppets.

Ever since I was very young, I have loved puppetry.  If I hit the lottery tonight, I would quit my job to study the art of puppet construction and performance.  While puppetry was only part of the show and not the whole thing, they used it very successfully as a tool to allow full-sized horses to be present on the stage with actors.  I thought it was so great to illustrate to the American theater-going audiences how puppets can contribute in a beautiful and important way to adult theater performance.  As a nation, we seem to think that puppetry is for children or a lesser theater art form than human acting.  Fortunately, some cultures and countries are more open-minded and understand the amazing and entertaining applications of puppetry and have organizations to promote adult puppet theater.

So often in films, I am disappointed by the sort of “liquid” and plastic-looking CGI.  I would prefer that many creature effects were done with puppets and animatronics instead.  If you’d like to widen your horizons and see an wonderful film that makes excellent use of the art of marionetting, watch Strings, an international film (English and Swedish, I believe) made in 2004 whose story is an allegory for the war on terror.  It is voice-acted beautifully by actors including Derek Jacobi, James McAvoy, and Catherine McCormack.

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