KANGAROO CHARACTER - Animatronic Costume.
5'10" animatronic walkaround suit.
Foam latex, four way stretch fur, electrostatic flocking, soft foam, fabric. plastic, plastic eyes and mechanisms.
General body and hands, three axis head, eyes, eyelids, brows, nose, lips, mouth, smile and ear movement.
Our animatronic Kangaroo character costume was created to advertise SAMSUNG's new SENS laptop and the storyboards called for it to be very versatile- it needed to run, fall over, sit (with that big tail), as well as lip synch talk. Solving these issues was a much bigger challenge than you might think, especially the main challenge of fitting a person inside the shape of a kangaroo. It is ironic that when most special effects are done really well, you don't even notice that there are any effects being used. I am really proud of this costume and all the solutions we came up with. In this costume, we succeeded in creating a seamless, graceful effect- a complete, appealing kangaroo character, without any of the distractions that failing to resolve the tough issues could easily have caused. The first issue was the long neck- how can you create a creature with a neck that is ten inches long, when actors have necks that are only and inch or two long? We solved it the only good way we could, by having the actor's head fit inside the kangaroo neck, and have the kangaroo head sit on top of the actor's head. This solution brought new problems along with it. We resolved the actor's need to see (remember, he had to run, so we couldn't just blow this issue off), by making the fur in the kangaroo neck in from of the actor's eyes thin enough to see through. The toughest challenge of this whole suit was how to support the kangaroo head -with all its animatronics- on top of the actor's head, in a way that could move freely and gracefully, but without harming the actor? To solve this, we created a backpack that loosely held two curved rods in a way that they could sing freely form side to side, yet support the weight of the animatronic kangaroo over the actor's head. inspectors.
Kangaroo anatomy is very different from human anatomy and this job required us to get especially creative to resolve these differences. We began by creating a number of exploratory sketches. Then by sculpting a model of the kangaroo over a small articulating doll form we were able to find the best way to fit our performer into a kangaroo's shape.
We life cast the suit performer in the pose she would assume in the costume, and that gave us a very accurate foundation to create our kangaroo on. We sculpted and fabricated parts of the kangaroo on the body cast, and we assembled the final parts together on the suit to ensure that they all fit properly and worked well.
For this SAMSUNG spot, we got to travel to Korea, and we had a wonderful time there. We are extremely fortunate that our work has allowed us to travel all over the world, and we love traveling. We have created most all of our costumes in puppets in ways that they can be safely boxed and brought onboard airlines with us as baggage. This greatly reduces the danger of things getting lost, and can also be very helpful in getting questionable things like very realistic animal parts past curious customs officers.
KANGAROO CHARACTER - Credits