Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, July 07, 2008

Pop Culture Puppet Show

What is it about puppets that enchants us so,even as adults? Sure,the youngest member of any audience for the modern equivalent of a Punch and Judy show knows that those creatures are made of cloth and stuffing,with a hidden human speaking it's lines and yanking those thin metal wires(and not so thin ones)to move around,but still those artificial characters seem just as real as any actor on stage. Perhaps even more talented at times.

Probably because puppets are first introduced to us as children,it's the reason that they are perfect props for adult humor(which offends quite a few folk,making the jokes all the funnier for it). The latest venue for grown up puppet shows has been the Internet(mainly YouTube),showcasing plenty of creativity and possibly introducing the world to the next Jim Henson. A bold statement,perhaps,but take a look at some of these video clips and see for yourself the future of felt creations:

Most people are familiar with Potter Puppet Pals,those rowdy versions of J. K. Rowling's beloved wizard school alumni. Like the books,the PPP videos have been steadily developing an interesting dark side with songs to boot. Here's a fun example of the rivalry between Harry and Ron in "The Vortex":

An amusing look at bad language and who knows the best use of it can be found in "Wizard Swears"(warning,it does have a PG-13 rating):

Sock Tube Presents has a small resume of movie parodies but watch just one and you'll be clamoring for more. Yes,they have spoilers galore but they also have tons of spot on gags and pointed satire of cinematic cliches. Here's the STP version of "Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull" and while I didn't see the movie,I'm sure this one is just as good:

While It's Just Some Random Guy is best known for his "I'm a DC and I'm a Marvel" parody clips,that's not all that he does. Random Guy also has a series called "After Hours" which matches up the DC and Marvel characters in clever story lines that reflect a store of strong comic book fan knowledge with a tongue in cheek approach:

Random Guy also spoofs video blogging by giving Spiderman's main nemesis his very own channel for "Goblin Bloggin":

Random Guy works with Random Gal and Season Two of After Hours(called "Happy Hour")is under way as we speak. Technically,this is more of a Mr. Bill style than a real old school puppet theater but whatever you call it,this is good stuff:

Over the weekend,I was introduced to GGuider's array of videos featuring puppets singing pop music hits from the likes of Oasis,Madonna,Coolio and ELO,for starters. The sweet simplicity of these clips,plus the novelty of hearing songs like "Gangsta's Paradise" out of a puppet's mouth,make Puppets In Motion one to watch:



Well,as long as there are socks,dolls and other means of making inanimate objects entertain the masses,puppet shows will always be with us. It does seem like the art form will evolve and grow out of it's "just for kids" niche,which is a good thing,and also proves the point that the internet is not only a place to purchase more mature adult content:

1 comment:

Ladytink_534 said...

I've always loved puppets. I'm more into the whole Disney thing now but I was a huge Sesame Street fan when I was a kid.

I've only watched one or two of the PPP's. They're okay but I'm surprised Rowling hasn't tried to figure out a way to sue them.