The cast of "Community" will be re-imagined as puppets in an episode set to air this spring.
justin lubin/nbc
The cast of "Community" will be re-imagined as puppets in an episode set to air this spring.

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"Community" will air a puppet-themed episode this spring

The puppet versions of the cast were previewed at PaleyFest on Tuesday

This isn't the first time the cast has been in another form for the bulk of the episode

(EW) —  

The study group is about to become felt and foam.

NBC will air an episode of “Community” this spring in which Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) and his friends are re-imagined as puppets, it was announced at a PaleyFest panel for the show on Tuesday night.

PaleyFest 2013: ‘Community’ cast talks paintball, puppets and graduation

In the installment, the gang embark on a balloon ride, crash in the woods and encounter an amiable mountain man (guest star Jason Alexander).

Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) winds up getting the gang to discuss their adventures in the wild and work through their issues through the use of hand puppets; and in flashbacks, we see larger versions of the puppets.

This isn’t the first time that the comedy has transformed its cast into another form for the bulk of an episode: Jeff and co. were seen as stop-motion animation creations in season two′s “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas,” and as 8-bit video game characters in season three′s “Digital Estate Planning.” (Also, this briefly happened in the season 4 premiere.)

’Community’: James Brolin on playing Jeff Winger’s dad

The puppets — which were previewed at the panel — are designed and operated by Scott Johnson and Drew Massey, who gave similar treatment to David Boreanaz in an episode of “Angel.”

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