It’s a cold and windy Halloween
night. A few young trick-or-treaters are making their way up the front stairs of an immense, foreboding old haunted house
. As they reach the front door, a ghoulish figure to their right, hidden by the shadows, abruptly comes to life. His eyes, surrounded by a skeletal, decomposing face, produce an unnatural white light, and his mouth opens wide. The children jump back and let out screams of terror, only to realize—a moment later—that the creature standing before them isn’t flesh and blood, but an animatronic
They notice the bowl he holds is chock-full of Halloween
candy, and, after each taking a handful, they erupt in laughter, realizing how silly they were to believe this mechanical monster was something real. As they skip down the street together to the next house, Skeeves the Butler
remains once again hidden in the dark, awaiting his next victims.
Skeeves the Butler Animated Prop, candy giver of the living dead, who will surely be scaring many trick-or-treaters this Halloween season—in all his animatronic awesomeness.Halloween animatronics
like Skeeves the Butler Animated Prop
have been scaring people—both young and old—for years. But the technology first became known via an unlikely, family friendly icon. Animatronics were developed by none other than Walt Disney in the early 1960s, as he prepared to open his soon-to-be world famous amusement park, Disneyland. Classic rides like the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean
and Jungle Cruise could never have been possible without the pioneering technology of animatronics.
It was the 1964 New York World’s Fair where Disney
first tested out what he termed Audio-Animatronics, in which a combination of electromechanical actuators and computers control the movement of lifelike robots in order to act out scenes. Disney designed and created four shows for the fair, which included early prototypes of such Disney classics as It’s a Small World, Carousel of Progress and, most impressively, an incredibly lifelike Abraham Lincoln
, who wowed audiences as he delivered the historic Gettysburg address (the Lincoln
figure was later expanded into the Disney staple, Hall of Presidents, featuring animatronic figures of all 43 U.S. presidents).
and his talented team of technical wizards were perfecting the art of animatronics, a less sophisticated—but far scarier—variation on the mechanical process was popping up in carnivals and amusement parks around the country. When first built for dark rides (in which people in guided vehicles travel through terrifying scenes) and haunted attractions (like the historic Spook-A-Rama in Coney Island), horror animatronics were made out of papier-mâché and plywood cutouts. Today, though, haunted house animatronics
have significantly improved, with most dark ride stunts using pneumatics and air cylinders, and animatronic figures created via metal frames with latex. For a look at old-school, dark ride animatronics, check out Tobe Hooper’s underrated 1981 chiller, The Funhouse, in which some teenagers decide to spend the night in a dingy carnival’s
dark ride attraction—a decision they’ll soon regret.
Over the years, as the technology became more advanced and sophisticated, filmmakers also began taking advantage of the amazing effects of animated props
. Puppetry was fused with the technology to surprisingly realistic results in such films as the Steven Spielberg classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Gremlins, The Neverending Story and Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Meanwhile, horror filmmakers harnessed the power of animatronics for darker purposes, resulting in such memorable monsters as John Carpenter’s The Thing, John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London and David Cronenberg’s The Fly. Horror animatronics were also put to terrifying use in William Friedkin’s 1973 classic, The Exorcist, in which poor, possessed Regan spins her head completely around—that’s gotta hurt!
A Trendy Halloween exclusive—a creepily realistic Regan from The Exorcist, complete with spinning head!
Animatronics is usually defined as the creation of machines which seem animate, rather than robotic, and that was truly the case with the animatronic creatures displayed in the movies above. These fantastical figures—each with their own distinct personalities—are about as far from emotionless robots as possible.
More recently, animatronics
have been combining with CGI (computer-generated imagery) to create ever more eye-popping visual effects. The most famous example is Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking Jurassic Park, in which—utilizing computer technology in conjunction with life-sized animatronic dinosaurs
—the filmmakers were able to bring to life legendary beasties like velociraptors and a T.Rex, which had never before looked so realistic—and terrifying!—on the big-screen. Not surprisingly, the film won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
For the at-home market, Halloween animatronics have never been more popular or exciting. Halloween-obsessed homeowners around the world line up every year to buy the most terrifying and technologically advanced animated prop monsters
they can find, transforming their front porches and lawns into unforgettable displays of haunted house decorations
. And their goal is a simple one: to scare the pants off anyone in sight.
A macabre little girl freshly risen from the grave.
Affordably priced and highly detailed, the life-sized animated prop figures offered by Trendy Halloween (all found here
) will have you marveling at their impressive effects, while simultaneously cowering in fear from their sheer scariness. If you’re looking for terrifyingly original Halloween decorations, animatronics and props, Trendy Halloween has you covered. Just take a look at our latest featured horror animatronics, which can all be purchased on the Trendy Halloween
website. They include:
A pumpkin-headed corn stalker come to life
An evil, spell-casting witch
A terrifying zombie clown—because, let’s face it, zombies and clowns weren’t terrifying enough by themselves, right?
An eerie angel of death
A mummified mommy holding her unsettling baby
A bald, decomposing creepy-looking dude with a bad attitude
Life-Sized Skeeves Animated Prop via TrendyHalloween.com
Haunted Mansion via Theme Park Insider
Animatronic Lincoln via Theme Park Insider
The Funhouse via Blogspot
Trendy Halloween Regan via TrendyHalloween.com
The Neverending Story
Trendy Halloween Graveyard Dolly via TrendyHalloween.com
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