The equine puppets of War Horse are impressive … but how do they work? Check out this behind the scenes look!
The feat of engineering required to design and create these life-size equine puppets is amazing, to say the least — but truly bringing them to life takes teamwork and an innate understand of how horses move and behave. Though the metal framework is clearly just a beautifully-executed and elaborate prop, it’s also inexplicably alive, thanks to the talents of the three actors required to play Joey, the title character.
Of course, having believable “equine” actors is critical to a play centered around horses, so it makes sense that these actors have the movements and sounds of a horse down pat. But as any horse lover knows, it’s the little movements that show a horse’s personality — and the actors have figured that out as well. So well, in fact, that several real horses have been duped, at least temporarily, by Joey.
The full story on how the puppets were developed can be found in the documentary Making War Horse, which HN reviewed in 2012.
Ever seen War Horse live on stage? What did you think of the experience?