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I had a blast puppeteering Donatello for TMNT 3. Donnie's animatronic head was particularly expressive, and the suit performer, Jim Raposa (a very talented actor, dancer, and black belt), and I had a great time working together. I'm really proud of my work in this film, and I'd love to puppeteer Don again - but if they ever make another film, you can bet they'll all be computer animations.
Below, a photo of me operating the animatronic controller. It's very complicated, and learning to puppeteer with it is like learning to play some sort of alien musical instrument. As a puppeteer, you have to program the controller to make the servos in the head move the way you want them to. Also below is a photo of Donnie's head on a stand during an early rehearsal in the All Effects workroom.
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All Photos from private collection of Rick Lyon
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