Behind-The-Scenes Filming Of 'Small Soldiers' Will Change How You See The Movie

A behind-the-scenes clip of the movie Small Soldiers has resurfaced online and it's pretty bloody cool.

The film's creators originally used a mixture of bluescreen and CGI as well as puppets to bring the toy characters to life. I bet there's not many films doing this anymore, eh?

In a blog post by the Stan Winston Studio, which created the puppets, it explains the process of rehearsing and creating a scene using the fully-articulated puppets. The post goes on to say that the puppets were favoured by director Joe Dante, as they gave the real-life actors something to play off.

The rare clip shows puppets from the Stan Winston Studio being made to do battle as the Commando Elite soldiers and Gorgonites.


In the incredible footage a team of puppeteers can be seen controlling head of the Gorgonites, Archer, as he comes face-to-face with Commando Elite boss Chip Hazard.

Artist Jim Charmatz who worked on the puppets said: "It's always fun for us to go to the set and spark up the radios and start puppeteering in front of the actors and the cameras.

"That was particularly true in this case, because these characters were so much fun. I distinctly remember Phil Hartman [who played Phil Fimple] sticking his head in to watch the characters going through their moves, and really enjoying it. Watching his reactions to these puppets remains one of my best memories from that show."

Joey Orosco, who created Archer, added: "Our puppets were the stars of this movie. They had to perform like real actors, with gesture and emotion. They had to really act. I look at that movie now, and I'm amazed at how successful we were in doing that."

Credit: Dreamworks
Credit: Dreamworks

In an interview with the Chicago Reader, Dante spoke about the film's special effects, saying: "We were planning to use a lot of Stan Winston's puppets-he had made some very elaborate puppets that could do a lot of things.

"But in practice, we found it was much simpler and cheaper to let the CGI people do the work after we'd shot the scenes.

"So, I would say, it's one-third puppetry and the rest CGI in Small Soldiers, even though the original idea was to do mostly puppetry."

Anyone else really want to go and re-watch this now?

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Featured Image Credit: Stan Winston Studio

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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