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An ’80s Dream Come True: How Jim Henson’s Digital Puppeteers Are Boosting Their Creative Output

Jim Henson had a vision of digital puppetry in the 1980s that is finally coming to fruition.

When you sit your kids down in front of Netflix to watch Word Party, an animated series debuting in 2017, the last thing they’re going be thinking about is the intricacies of how it was made. And that’s good: That means that the team of puppeteers, artists, and producers behind the scenes are doing their jobs. In fact, even the most perceptive of grown-ups wouldn’t guess that many of the characters are actually digital puppets controlled by real live people—or just how dramatically this unique approach to animation has changed in recent years.

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