Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

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."
HIDE CAPTION
Kermit the Frog
Yoda
E.T.
Gizmo
Pinocchio
Chucky
Ludo
The Red Balloon
Alien
Kim Jong Il
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
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.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 3:38 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Jason Hullinger, a computer security architect in Los Angeles, went to Joshua Tree National Park in December to catch the Geminid meteor shower.
For thousands of years, man has looked to the stars in search of answers. Who are we? Why are we here? Are we alone?
updated 1:00 PM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
Greek technical diver Alexandros Sotiriou discovers an intact
Armed with the most advanced marine technology available, archaeologists have recovered new treasures from the ancient shipwreck.
updated 12:02 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Immortal Jellyfish lifecycle
Does the secret to eternal life exist already and live in the sea?
What bots have you made in your backyard? Share your homemade robots and you could get featured on CNN.
updated 3:38 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Aki Hoshide took this breathtaking selfie during Expedition 32 on September 5, 2012.
He may be best known for his part in the historic Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, but did you know Buzz Aldrin snapped the "first space selfie?"
updated 5:06 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Man has been making images of the moon for millennia. Explore our gallery of some of the most eye-catching creations.
updated 9:52 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin with the first lunar rover.
Google shoots for stars with competition asking innovators to send a robot back to the moon by December 31, 2015. Will any one be able to do it?
updated 5:38 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
For half a century, "Alvin" has quietly traveled through the seven seas, uncovering the ocean's mysteries.
updated 8:39 AM EDT, Sat August 2, 2014
A NASA image of one of the Voyager space probes. Voyager 1 and its identical sister craft Voyager 2 were launched in 1977 to study the outer Solar System and eventually interstellar space.
Voyager 1 continues to reveal the mysteries of the solar system to a captivated Earthbound audience 37 years after launch.
updated 3:43 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
solar flare july 2014
From Earth, the sun appears as a constant circle of light, but when viewed in space a brilliant display of motion is revealed.
ADVERTISEMENT