Animatronics isn’t new. We’ve seen it in theme parks around the world ever since the technology become commercially available, and it has delighted children and adults alike ever since. Able to bring fantastical creatures to life and move them at will, animatronics fills us with a certain sense of joy and wonder that you can’t replicate with digital media.
Before you settle in and watch a dazzling display like the Sentosa light show, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with how animatronics works and other things that you do not know about it.
Animatronics has spread across the world, but do you know that it only started gaining traction after Walt Disney had it commissioned for his exhibits in the first World’s Fair displays. It was meant to be a sign of how far technology had come and how it could be used for entertainment.
Since the World Fair was also a place where international organizations versed in film and media came to gather, animatronics was used as a portfolio of some kind, giving producers and investors an idea of the possibilities that could be attained by using technology in entertainment.
Animatronics on the silver screen
Of course, Hollywood never passed up a chance to introduce something new and novel for movie-goers to see and quickly introduced the animatronics to movies and television. This led to the birth of some of the most iconic characters in film and media around that time like King Kong, E.T., and Jurassic Park. It became an ideal way of showing monster films with more realism and flexibility than just showing people in costumes.
It also gave producers more license to create more fantastical beasts that they could draw on the big screen, and soon enough, film studios everywhere sought to top one another in terms of the spectacle that they could deploy using animatronics.
This also meant that they were starting to breach into mainstream media and entertainment, and it wasn’t long before you could find animatronics almost anywhere. It was a common sight in many bazaars, fairs, and museums around the world, and it continues to be used today.
Even with the advent of CGI and other digital effects, there’s still certain magic that can only be acquired by the combination of intelligent engineering and beautiful craftsmanship to put on a show like no other. This has been the principle behind mind-bending shows like the Sentosa light show or any other carnival theatre attraction around the world.
Animatronics has a permanent home in many entertainment centers around the world, either as curiosities or novelties that children and adults alike can partake in. While it’s certainly not in its heyday anymore, animatronics has effects that are difficult to replicate anywhere else.
What’s next for the field of animatronics? With innovations continually cropping up to support bigger and better spectacles, it’s proven itself as a reliable way to delight and dazzle people. With hard work, intelligent engineering, and a story to tell, animatronics will always have a spot in people’s hearts.