“Bumble” – Animatronic Characters

Mechanical Interactives / SPFX / Animatronics / Large Scale Props and Models
CLIENT

TVNZ

AGENCY

Whitebait productions

BRIEF

Big Kahuna Imagineering set their sights on the world of Kiwifruit Valley in Salty Sea Paradise to create an updated and new improved version of the star of the show: Bumble’ and two of his mouse friends, Peek and Boo, as well as assorted props. TVNZ/Whitebait Productions asked BKI to create an animatronically-augmented character suits that the actors could wear comfortably.

BKI integrated lefthand grip telemetry in both ‘Peek’ and ‘Boo’ as well as mouth and neck movements via right-hand glove puppet. The characters included Ni-Cad charge packs for servomotor actuated mouth, gimbaled blinking eyes, dual expression antennae – all radio-controlled via a proprietry, easy to use, differential radio control transmitter. A Pro-flow ventilation system ensured the actor received healthy air delivery, whilst the ’roomier’ character head was designed as an easy on off item – made from carbon fibre, and harnessed via a comfort-fitting bike helmet with inbuilt fans for head cooling. The series recorded 105 episodes over two seasons, record- ing just two servomotor breakdowns over the duration.

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