Dr Bunsen Honeydew Muppet Mobile Lab Testing

Walt Disney Imagineering’s autonomous puppetry units are getting better and better. The lastest entry is the Muppet Mobile Labs featuring Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker. The show is currently testing at California Adventure and a video of one such test recently hit YouTube. Keep an ear our for a few vocal glitches and one big technical difficulty at the end. The tests continue through March 4th.

My congrats to the team that put this together, the puppeteer and the voice artist. Great job I can’t wait to see this in person sometime. Hopefully out here in Orlando?

See also these publicity photos on LaughingPlace.com. (Thanks to Jason for the lead)

7 thoughts on “Dr Bunsen Honeydew Muppet Mobile Lab Testing”

  1. Actually the primary “voice artist” is Bunsen’s original puppeteer Dave Golez, who has been consulting on the project. I believe he was at the park recently with the team supervising the tests.

    No word on who did Beaker. They have passed that character around a bit since Richard Hunt died and several people have performed him.

  2. Very cool. I remember reading someone talking about being hired to do the job. So you’re suggesting the whole show is pre-recorded. Interesting. I also just read that the whole show could be run from a booth miles away. I suppose the cast member escorts carry e-stop buttons for emergencies though.

  3. I’m pretty amazed at how natural the movements of Dr. Honeydew look. Even the Pirates of the Carribean move in a bit or a jerky motion and repeat the same exact motion every 5 seconds, (so like 5 or 6 times per individual viewing) that they give the impression of being unnatural.

    But the way Dr. Honeydew looks around doesn’t seem to be repeating a set pattern. He seems to be scanning the crowd and even attempting to look back at Beaker. Dr. Honeydew’s hands seem to be glued to the spot, and while it doesn’t stand out as a limitation (or seem unnatural) I would like to see some animatronics in the future with active hands.

    I cannot believe from the reactions of Dr. Honeydew that the whole thing is prerecorded. In another video, he fielded a question about Beakers age, which I don’t think was planned for. But in the future, they may rely on prerecorded dialogue, which, while necessary, may detract from the natural feel of this ‘attraction’.

    The error seemed really odd, because if it was live, the speaker could have just continued. And the way he was looking around made it seem like he was checking to see if anyone was still watching, perhaps checking for crowd reaction and whether it was necessary for him to go on. But it did seem like he was reading a press release for Disney Parks, so perhaps it is better that he stopped when he did.

  4. The whole persona of Dr Honeydew is superb.The book by Peter Teiman on puppetry may help to elucidate the magic of Disney.
    Peter Teiman

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