Craig Crane is a British puppeteer who worked on The Muppet Christmas Carol and other projects. In recent years, Crane has vocally criticized the Jim Henson Company's sale of the Muppets to Disney, and shifted his energies to computer animation.

Craig is currently working in Soho for a leading post production facility, working on projects such as Harry Potter, Stardust and 10,000bc as an animator.

Craig was first interested in working for the Jim Henson Company from a very early age. Inspired by the creative spirit of Jim and Frank, he pursued a career at Henson.

Although his puppeteering career started in 1990, it wasn't until after working on Christmas Carol in 1992 that he was offered the chance to be trained by Kevin Clash at the London Workshop.

With only a handful of performers chosen to do the workshop, Kevin was able to dedicate a lot of his time to individual performers.

From there, Craig took his puppeteering abilities to Nickelodeon UK in 1994, where he not only performed puppet characters, but was also the first person to perform a CGI character in real time on live TV, before the advent of the Henson Digital Performance System.

Balancing the real-time characters with the puppet characters proved relatively easy, allowing Craig to perform not only on shows like Rainbow, Rainbow Days, Spitting Image and Noel's House Party, but also perform diverse CG characters for films such as The Adventures of Pinocchio.

However, throughout all this time, he felt that the true Golden Age of television and film puppeteering had long since passed and he was just riding its last furtive murmurs. He felt that the quality of work wasn't the same as it had been with shows such as Fraggle Rock and The StoryTeller. He was increasingly aware that the industry had become very diluted due to the sudden expansion of cable and satellite companies. The "bargain bucket" nature of kids' TV in the UK soon became a major source of disdain for Craig, where storytelling had to take a back seat so that Phone-ins and text based competitions could take over.

Craig's introduction to the realms of CG animation started to develop, to the point where in 2003 he decided to forego the puppets and concentrate on digital character creation and animation.

External links