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Q&A: How digital effects gave 'The Muppets' new freedom

Tim Moynihan | Nov. 30, 2011
Rest assured, Muppet purists: You won't see any computer-generated Kermits, Gonzos, or Fozzies in The Muppets, which opened in theaters last week. Every time the Muppets appear on screen in the movie, they're the real deal: fuzz, felt, and fur creatures given their voices, movements, and expressions by human puppeteers.

After living with it for almost a year and being on the set, you sort of realize that puppeteering is, in a big way, the original cinema. I think shadow puppets on the cave wall were the first form of projection [laughs]. Shadow puppets in China go back thousands of years. This is the modern form of it, but it's so close to that original art form that's been around for thousands of years. And these are almost like the original visual-effects guys. So there was something really cool about working on [the movie] and being able to do it the way we did it. I'm proud of the way they handled it on the production side, and I feel lucky to have been a major component of the whole thing. This is one of those things I'm going to tell my kids about in five years, and I'll be wishing that I had taken that photograph with Kermit.



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