Muppet Wiki
Muppet Wiki


I was kinda dissapointed to hear that Walter was not made by the Muppet Workshop. It seems strange to me that they used another company to build and design the puppet. Even if Disney owns The Muppets now, they still should be made by the Henson Puppet Workshop. What do you think? --User:Muppetsrock 16:39, November 30, 2011

Since Henson sold the characters, the Muppets have been built and maintained by Puppet Heap. β€”Scott (message me) 21:47, November 30, 2011 (UTC)
Strange. Other than Walter, I've seen nothing on Muppet wiki about that. I'm suprised that isn't noted more clearly somewhere. --User:Muppetsrock 20:29, November 30, 2011
Frankly, I'm surprised that we don't have a Puppet Heap article either. β€”Scott (message me) 01:45, December 1, 2011 (UTC)

We don't have an article yet, I think in part because we weren't sure how to handle it, but it is mentioned in passing on Paul Andrejco's page, on Creature Shop productions, and A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa. Basically this is not just due to the Disney sale but the characters lying fallow, so the Muppet Workshop as we know it doesn't really exist. The NY workshop continues to do work for Sesame Street but they basically renamed it and folded it into the Creature Shop, even when it's not actual Creature Stuff, which is why in the The Muppets credits, you see folks like Polly Smith credited for Creature Shop, for costumes and possibly some other work.

And if you look at who Puppet Heap is, it was started by Paul Andrejco (who built Bear and more) and includes people like Lauren Attinello, Jim Kroupa, Paul Hartis, Danielle Obinger, all Muppet Workshop vets (in many cases, both Sesame and Muppet Show groupings), and more (plus of course, newer folks and interns we're not as familiar with). And there's still a "Muppet Workshop" credit, but now it's usually used more as in "Muppet Workshop for this project" rather than referring to a single continuous department (Creature Shop and Puppet Heap are those), but the credits for those are familiar: Jane Gootnick as on-set supervisor, veteran builders like Peter Mackennan and Stephen Rotondaro as "puppet specialists," Tom Newby for mechanical effects, and so on. So really, Walter was built by Muppet Workshop people, they just wound up scattered a little and working at different places. The only new character not built by any Henson/Muppet veterans or division is '80s Robot, who was completely outsourced to Legacy Effects.

I'll make that all clearer later when I add credits, since the current list is short and a little confusing (it implies the Creature Shop did all costumes, including humans, when the main costume designer was Rahel Afiley, and omits vitals like Bill Barretta as puppet captain, as well as getting an associate producer credit; I think we just haven't really updated that since the full credits came out, since our main focus was on clearing up the human cast and adding all the puppeteers). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 02:03, December 1, 2011 (UTC)

When I first heard that Puppet Heap built and maintained the characters, I was a little taken aback. But now I'm fine with it. Its like Andrew said, many of the Muppet Workshop vets are a part of the company, and as I remember reading, the Henson workshop was a client of Puppet Heap in the past. So, again, its still mostly the same people.--Gonzofan 03:19, December 1, 2011 (UTC)
That's all great info! Andrew, I nominate you to start the Puppet Heap article ;) β€”Scott (message me) 03:20, December 1, 2011 (UTC)

I just added a page for Puppet Heap. While I know little about it, hopefully someone can add some information so it's not just a blank page. I did find a picture though.