The main difference between muppets and puppets is that puppets are movable models of people or animals animated or manipulated by people while muppets are a special type of puppets.
A puppet is an object that often resembles a human or animal, controlled by strings, rods, or hands. Furthermore, puppetry is an ancient form of theatre, and there are different varieties of puppets. Muppets are a special type of puppets introduced by Jim Henson.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Puppets
– Definition, Features
2. What are Muppets
– Definition, Features
3. Relationship Between Muppets and Puppets
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Muppets and Puppets
– Comparison of Key Differences
Muppets, Puppets, Puppeteers
What are Puppets
Puppets are movable models of people, animals, or mythical figures. They are animated or manipulated by people. Moreover, a person who controls puppets is known as a puppeteer. Puppeteers use movements of their arms, hands, or control devices like strings or rods to move the body, limbs, and head. Sometimes, they also control the eyes and mouth of puppets. They also speak in the voice of the character of puppets, synchronizing the movement of puppets’ mouth.
Puppetry is an ancient form of theatre. In fact, there are different varieties of puppets, each having its own individual characteristics. Some of these are as follows:
Finger puppet – a small puppet that fits onto a single finger
Hand puppet – also known as a glove puppet, controlled by one hand, which is inside of the puppet
Rod puppet – a puppet form around a central rod attached to the head
Shadow puppet – a cut-out figure you hold between a source of light and a translucent screen
Bunraku puppet – a type of Japanese wood-carved puppet
Sock puppet – a puppet that functions by a hand inside a sock, while the opening and closing of the hand simulate the movement mouth of the puppet
Marionette – also known as string puppet, these are suspended and controlled by several strings
Furthermore, ventriloquists’ dummies are also puppets. These often have a human shape, and the ventriloquist uses his hand to operate the dummy. Moreover, the ventriloquist produces the puppet’s voice without moving his/her mouth, creating the illusion that the puppet is alive.
What are Muppets
Muppets are a special type of puppets introduced by Jim Henson. Henson claimed that the term muppet is a combination of the words, puppet and marionette. TV programs The Muppet Show and Sesame Street popularized these muppets. These were generally operated with one hand of the puppeteer inside the head and a glove or rod to move one arm of the puppet.
Characters like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Pepe the King Prawn, The Great Gonzo, and Scooter are some examples of muppets. We can also describe muppets as an “absurd burlesque and humorous style of variety-sketch comedy”. Furthermore, the Walt Disney Company owns the trademark of ‘muppet’.
Relationship Between Muppets and Puppets
- In fact, muppets are a special type of puppets.
- Both muppets and puppets are controlled by strings, rods, or hands.
Difference Between Muppets and Puppets
Puppets are movable models of people or animals animated or manipulated by people while muppets are a special type of puppets.
Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Pepe the King Prawn, and the Great Gonzo are some examples of muppets whereas ventriloquists’ dummies, sock puppets, finger puppets, etc. are examples of puppets.
The use of puppets can be traced back to ancient history, while muppets were introduced in the 20th century.
In brief, puppets are movable models of people or animals animated or manipulated by people. Muppets, on the other hand, are a special type of puppets. Thus, this is the main difference between muppets and puppets.
“Puppet.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 3 Feb. 2021, Available here.
1. “Close-Up Puppets 3” By Noralanning (talk) (Uploads) – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Kermit the Frog” By Source (Fair use) via Commons Wikimedia
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