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How Movies Like ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Revived Animatronics

How Movies Like ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Revived Animatronics

Call it the J.J. Effect. Animatronics — along with similar techniques like puppetry, makeup effects and miniatures — is making a comeback.

The work was long responsible for some of the most iconic characters and scenes in cinema history, then shunted aside in the 1990s as CGI became cheaper and delivered ever more realistic results. But J.J. Abrams, a director who’d grown up in the effects heyday of the ’70s and ’80s, followed his love of those arts and the cinematic language of “Star Wars” when he included a wide range of animatronics in 2015’s “The Force Awakens.” Now, Hollywood is rediscovering its love of puppets controlled by motors, gears and cables, whether via the expansion of the “Star Wars” universe or in movies like Netflix’s “Dark Crystal” reboot, “Age of Resistance.”

Film fans of a certain age (which include many of today’s directors) never fell out of love with so-called practical effects.

See full article on Variety