Realistic dinosaur puppet scares and delights schoolchildren


60 Responses to “Realistic dinosaur puppet scares and delights schoolchildren”

  1. NoctilucentStudios says:

    It would have totally completed the illusion to wear pants that matched the skin tone of the dino. That would have completely rendered them invisible.

  2. Chang says:

    Oh, shit I want one. THen I’m going to teach all my yoga classes in that thing. Fuck yeah!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Even better if you play the Montenegro national anthem while you watch the dinosaur video. Epic!

  4. urbanhick says:

    Oh man, this is SO COOL!! I’d love for something like this to come to my daughter’s school – she’s absolutely crazy for dinosaurs.
    It reminds me of when I was a kid, and on rainy days our vice-principal would gather us in the music room, turn off the lights and tell spooky stories to his own accompaniment on the piano. Real timeless, classic stuff like “The Tell-tale Heart” – I can still see and hear him, thundering away on the bass keys imitating the thumping of the heart, while all these terrified/delighted kids clutched each other and hid their eyes.

    • n3black says:

      Was the music room a room without windows? Did you grow up in a region with lots of tornadoes? If the answer to both of those is yes, then the vice principal was more likely more interested in protecting your life than in rainy day activities.

      • urbanhick says:

        Nah, it just rains a lot here in the Fall & Spring. And we had a really cool vice-principal – an expat Englishman with musical theatre training, and a vast collection of adapted-for-kids stories he’d perfected by practising on his own kids. I mean, it’s not like this happened EVERY rain day – just as a special treat once in a while. Believe me, we also spent plenty of long, grey lunch hours playing “matho”!

    • Mister44 says:

      Your vice principle was fucking awesome.

  5. KatoKitty says:

    That was great. Those kids had an awesome time.

  6. rsplatpc says:

    You really want to scare them put a big Michael Jackson head on it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    well done, – reminds me of a play we took the kids to recently Darwin and the dinosaur. Puppet outfits with special lighting..

    the kids loved it and screamed as well..

  8. Anonymous says:

    Open the door. Get on the floor.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The most enjoyable part of this is the children’s reactions. If the dino were walking around in an empty room or a crowd of slightly engaged adults it wouldn’t be any fun. Adults aren’t easily frightened into abandon or ecstatic states. Maybe a scary movie or a haunted house or a good prank, but man these kids are going nuts and it’s so fun to watch.

  10. Rose says:

    The same puppet came to greet a group of kids at a contest my station was hosting in conjunction with the Walking with Dinosaurs show (also very cool).

    Coming out of the room and into the staging area, the t-rex ran right at me before turning into the room…. and I’ll admit, I had a rush of adrenaline. The noises and breathing are great… very loud.

    The costume is really heavy, so additional kudos to the outstanding performer inside the costume.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If you watch this with the sound off and Montenegro’s national anthem instead, it’s amazing.

  12. Anonymous says:

    GLORIOUS! Great design, wonderfully skilled operation. Partly because the movement of the head is so sinous and lifelike, it captures your attention and you don’t really notice the puppeteer’s legs.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Those dinos run amok all over the Melbourne museum during the school holidays occasionally, and believe me the grownups run away too!

  14. lava says:


  15. sean says:

    There’s gonna be at least one kid in there who’ll never forget this and will wind up working as a paleontologist.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Squeee indeed! Is this from the Handspring Puppet Company? They did an amazing presentation at TED about the horse they made.

  17. William George says:

    Sheesh. All I got as a kid was Kermit the Frog.

  18. Robert says:

    There’s gonna be at least one kid in there who’ll never forget this and will wind up working as a paleontologist.

    Or in therapy :D

  19. Anonymous says:

    Here is one running amuck outside Denver’s MNS

    this one tries to eat the kids :)

  20. triscuit says:

    If puppets were this awesome when I was a kid, I wouldn’t still be having Mr. Roger’s nightmares. I wonder if they can fix clowns, too…

  21. Shai-Hulud says:

    Would be interesting to see how a herd of livestock reacts to it.

  22. bruckelsprout says:

    I want to go to there…

  23. Scurra says:

    Great piece of performance work there – and real, which makes all the difference. (I still remember meeting Gonzo once but I can barely recall what Dave Goelz actually looked like. even though he was one of my heroes.)

  24. CSMcDonald says:

    I was so concentrating on the head and such of the dino I actually missed the human legs walking it around – amazing performance.

  25. Anonymous says:

    This is a DINO from BBC’s Live Walking With Dinosaurs show (see — FLASH intro warning)

    As a show, it’s pretty spectacular. It’s definitely aimed at kids, but adults would appreciate the mechanics and artistry of a full size T-Rex and a Stegosaurus battle.

    Even if you can see the legs and the cars driving around, the puppeteers manage to make these HUGE robots behave with, dare I say, “personality?”

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hilarious… even the adults were looking nervous and backing away.

  27. meanderingwolf says:

    Part of the Walking with Dinosaurs tour if I’m not mistaken (though at this hour I easily could be). Saw the show in Portland last year with my ex and her son. Kid had been obsessed with dinosaurs going into it but the moment that t-rex roared it ratcheted up to an entirely new level. An extremely reluctant reader was suddenly tackling the word ‘Pachycephelasaurus’ without batting an eye. Awesome show, well worth the money if you get a chance to see it.

  28. entheo says:

    In the Australian Museum up in Sydney, on Tuesday nights they have Jurassic Lounge, a bar-cum-performance space and disco amongst the displays, including museum staff who puppeteer a less scary dinosaur

    and have staff with live snakes circulating in the crowd

  29. kmoser says:

    Er, someone did explain to the kids in advance that this wasn’t a real dinosaur, right?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these kids end up being injured by a horse, cow, bull, or other animal when they try to pet and play with it.

    • pffft says:

      i was about to post about how someone in the US would figure out how to file a lawsuit because of this but you inadvertently beat me to the punch… *sigh*

    • Anonymous says:

      my god is there NOTHING you dullards can’t concern-troll on boingboing? What is wrong with you people?

      Anyway… the possibilities of this sort of thing but with chroma green tights, motion tracking and shoot some background plates has got me thinking! :)

    • Mister44 says:

      I assume this is sarcasm. Kids aren’t that stupid to think it was real.

  30. msl87 says:

    They should have had someone dressed like Jesus riding it.

    • bklynchris says:


      On another note, wouldn’t it have been kind of cool to watch it, like, eat a kid. C’mon you all know you wanted to see that.

    • wigg1es says:

      And mounted with laser beams.

    • unit_1421 says:

      Yes, with no saddle and cave man rider, how can they understand that dinosaurs and man existed at the same time, you know, like The Flintstones….

  31. Maurice Reeves says:

    The first time I saw this on the news I missed the legs completely and thought “Oh my God John Hammond’s finally done it!”

  32. Lester says:

    This is why we pack an extra pair of underwear in the kids’ bags.

  33. Lester says:

    I bet everyone here watched that video and thought “wow, that looks so real” as if we really know how these guys acted. Erm…the dino, not the kids. I’m pretty sure they’re real.

    I mean, I’m sure paleontologists are doing their best to reconstruct behavior based on modern animals, but it is largely guesswork. I have a feeling that our expectations, like those of these kids, are more informed by what Spielberg’s FX guys thought was more cinematic than what the paleontologists believe.

    • Niklas says:

      Well, we will likely never know 100% how they acted, but piecing together things like bones and footprints and modelling muscles from that we can get a very good approximation on how they walked, turned, stood up and so on. Behaviour is much harder though, but considering that they are relatives to the birds and lizards of today we can make an educated guess adjusted for things like diet and size.

    • Anonymous says:

      Very true. But of course both the film makers and our experiences are informed by the behavior of existing animals that we see in nature films. While we will never know as much as we’d like about the behaviors of long extinct species, this puppeteer has managed to make the dino move in ways that emulate living creatures very well. So calling his movements “lifelike” is not a stretch, and those movements certainly add verisimilitude.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Geez, at the school where I work, our kids got visited by a dentist.

  35. petecarr says:

    Its not just kids it scares. It also scares traffic wardens –

  36. Nash Rambler says:

    Mere words fail to express the joy I get watching a dinosaur terrorize scores of screaming children. Seriously, big ole’ smile plastered on my face right now.

    • SamSam says:

      Mere words fail to express the joy I get watching a dinosaur terrorize scores of screaming children. Seriously, big ole’ smile plastered on my face right now.

      I just imagined that I was reading a blog for evil masterminds, and everything suddenly made sense today.

  37. Dirac says:

    How am I supposed to ignore national stereotypes if even the frickin’ preschoolers are wearing Aussie hats – only thing missing was the corks… bloody beaut’ mate

  38. Anonymous says:

    I have yet to see any animal roaring around with it’s mouth open like that. This ( and Spielberg) is how neither chickens nor lizards act.
    Animals are either eating, breeding, sleeping or ( males mostly) defending almost all of the time.
    This is not how an animal, any animal, stalks it’s prey.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Oh my god, I would have nightmares for DECADES…
    and loved the show forever.
    That thing is awesome, and all those kids screaming and going on? exactly what a dinosaur show should be doing.

  40. Mister44 says:

    That’s cool. Sort of like the horse puppet posted awhile ago.

    Notice why the kids thought it was real. The puppeteer wore camo pants, becoming near invisible, completing the illusion.

  41. Anonymous says:

    funniest bit: at 0:30, when the playground monitor walks in blowing his whistle. because when he sees kids screaming with fear and delight he is simply compelled to control. good luck, buddy.

  42. Mister44 says:

    Surprised no one else posted this in response yet.

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