Watch this frighteningly realistic tiger puppet from Life of Pi

Originally published at: Watch this frighteningly realistic tiger puppet from Life of Pi | Boing Boing


it’s very cool. while the tiger’s physical body doesn’t to me look realistic – and you can see the people there along with the puppet – its movements feel real. and when it sauntered around, it seemed as unpredictable and fierce as a tiger might be.

( the person puppetering the head looked for all the world like they were leading a tiger by a leash rather than like they were making the tiger’s head move. )


I hope the people who made this amazing puppet fare better than the company which did the Oscar-winning visual effects for the film version.

TL;DR: Because of the absolutely bonkers way that contracts between VFX companies and studios are written this company was obligated to start over from scratch on the tiger animation because the director changed his mind about how he wanted the tiger to look very late in the production process. Worse, Rhythm & Hues had to eat the cost of doing so themselves, which caused the company to go bankrupt shortly before they won that Academy Award for their work.

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I can tell that Julie Taymor was in no way involved with this production since it employs a puppet tiger rather than a real tiger.

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… I’ll admit, I was waiting for a chuff* from the tiger in the video. That was incredible. standing ovation for the puppeteers on that.

(* This video, about 30 seconds in for many examples.)

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Reminds me of another famous on-screen puppet with three puppeteers, including a guy who just does the tail. Yay teamwork!

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