YODA USES THE FORCE TO BE NAMED BEST-LOVED PUPPET
Star Wars veteran Yoda has topped the list of the nation’s favourite puppets with 23 per cent of film fans voting for the mind trick Jedi Master as the best-loved puppet of all time.
To mark the release of Mel Gibson’s return to the big screen in The Beaver, where his character communicates solely through a hand puppet, LOVEFiLM – Europe’s largest subscription service streaming movies and TV episodes over the Internet and sending DVDs by post – asked 1,000 film fans to name their favourite on-screen puppet and the George Lucas character came out on top, closely followed by a North Korean dictator and bright green amphibian.
“Oh, herro”. Team America’s Kim Jong Il will no longer be “so ronery” as he makes an entrance at number two with 18 per cent of the votes. This over the top tyrant is followed by family-favourite Kermit the Frog (14 per cent). The Muppet Show star, better known as Miss Piggy’s love interest, first graced our screens in 1955 voiced by Jim Henson himself and walked on to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002.
With seven per cent of the votes respectively, Rainbow’s Zippy and 1984 American horror comedy Gremlins’ Spike came in at joint number four. The former, a popular wide-mouthed cheeky chappy, was voiced by actor Roy Skelton who died last week amidst a flurry of childhood tributes for the long-running TV show.
A children’s classic and cult classic both make their way on to the list at number six (with six per cent of the votes each). Furry red monster Elmo first appeared in 1972 as ‘baby monster’ in the American hit children’s series Sesame Street while long-whiskered fox Sir Didymus of fantasy film Labyrinth (starring David Bowie) charged on to our screens as a chivalrous knight atop an old English sheepdog in 1986.
In eighth place with five per cent of the votes is popular British hand puppet Sooty, from self-titled long running TV series The Sooty Show. Rumour has it our yellow childhood friend celebrates his 64th birthday next month. He doesn’t look a day over 18.
Our final two stars of the screen are childhood favourites – with strings, and no strings attached. Top agent Captain Scarlet (four per cent), of Captain Scarlet TV show fame, fought martians in futuristic 2068 and was voiced based on a young Cary Grant. Number ten is hat-wearing rodent Roland Rat who first rose to fame in 1983 with three per cent of the votes.
The nation’s top ten on-screen puppets are:
1. Yoda – Star Wars (23 per cent)
2. Kim Jong Il – Team America (18 per cent)
3. Kermit the Frog – The Muppet Show (14 per cent)
4. Zippy – Rainbow (seven per cent)
=4. Spike – Gremlins (seven per cent)
6. Elmo – Sesame Street (six per cent)
=6. Sir Didymus – Labyrinth (six per cent)
8. Sooty – The Sooty Show (five per cent)
9. Captain Scarlet – Captain Scarlet (four per cent)
10. Roland Rat – Roland Rat (three per cent)
Other (seven per cent)
Helen Cowley, Editor of LOVEFiLM, commented:
“It is clear we have a love of puppets whether on the small or big screen and it seems our favourites will never get old. What’s as interesting as the nation’s top ten is those classic characters that haven’t made the final list – the likes of Pinocchio and Thunderbirds.
“Puppet fans or those who love a little nostalgia can enjoy the likes of Team America and Captain Scarlet through LOVEFiLM’s Watch Online catalogue, making TV and film favourites just a click away.”