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10 greatest movie puppets of all time

By Matthew Ponsford, for CNN
updated 5:45 AM EDT, Mon July 8, 2013
Originally fashioned from a green ladies coat that Jim Henson found in a bin (plus a pair of ping pong balls for eyes), <strong>Kermit the Frog</strong> has gone on to be one of the world's few internationally recognized puppets -- or, rather, Muppets. He can already count seven hit films, a recording contract, a bestselling autobiography and countless TV appearances among his achievements --and he's set to appear on the big screen again next year in "Muppets Most Wanted." Originally fashioned from a green ladies coat that Jim Henson found in a bin (plus a pair of ping pong balls for eyes), Kermit the Frog has gone on to be one of the world's few internationally recognized puppets -- or, rather, Muppets. He can already count seven hit films, a recording contract, a bestselling autobiography and countless TV appearances among his achievements --and he's set to appear on the big screen again next year in "Muppets Most Wanted."
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Kermit the Frog
Yoda
E.T.
Gizmo
Pinocchio
Chucky
Ludo
The Red Balloon
Alien
Kim Jong Il
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Summer blockbusters are heavy on CGI, but can they compete with pre-digital movies?
  • Some of film's most impressive creations have been realized using puppetry
  • We take a look at some of the best puppets in cinema history

(CNN) -- Another year, another summer movie schedule overflowing with big-budget CGI blockbusters.

Moviegoers' cravings for fantastical spectacle are being fulfilled by giant robot warriors in "Pacific Rim," comic book superheroics from "The Wolverine" and "Man Of Steel," and explosive action in "White House Down."

But in the days before CGI, special effects virtuosos had already sculpted far-flung worlds and incredible creatures using only miniature models, optical illusions -- and good old-fashioned puppetry.

Even today, the big screen's puppet stars -- from E.T. to Kermit the Frog -- can claim to have made an emotional connection with audiences that CGI still aspires to emulate.

To celebrate the achievements of the special effects pioneers from cinema's past, we take a look back at film's most impressive and moving puppet heroes. Check out the gallery above.

Did we miss out your favorite puppet movie stars? Let us know in the comments section below.

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