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A marionette is a type of puppet that utilizes strings or rods for movement. This type of puppet is particularly famous in puppet shows that are shown in large stages: in box theaters, curtain theaters or black light theaters. The actors in the puppet productions are marionettes portraying both people, animals and even out of this world creatures. The puppeteers operate the puppets from the rafters of the theater. This mode of entertainment has a wide acceptance from audience of both adults and children alike.

Marionettes originated from France and have made its way across the globe. The term marionette is derived from the French word ‘Marion.’ Back then, puppet shows were played on donkey carts. These carts were painted with scenes for the show.

In Sicily, puppet shows were held in traditional puppet theaters called Opira di pupi. Sicily’s traditional puppet shows are called cantastori which means sing stories, because the shows were portrayed as musicals. The show dates back to the 13th century when the Roman emperor Frederick II reigned of Sicily.

Traditional marionettes are purely operated with strings or rods. In the 1960s, a TV producer by the name of Gerry Anderson started using electronic components installed in the puppet to portray facial expressions. These components are usually operated through a remote control. These mechanical marionettes are called supermarionation. This method gave birth to the hit TV series called the Thuderbirds. Nowadays, you can find some marionettes that have mechanical arms that allows elaborate the puppet to grasp objects.

Probably the most famous of all marionettes is from Italian children’s novel Le Avventure di Pinocchio, or The Adventures of Pinocchio which was published in 1881 and later spawned an animated counterpart in 1940. A film that won the Best Picture of the Year in 1965 called the Sound of Music showed an elaborate scene with several marionettes and a working stage.

Puppets provides detailed information on Puppets, Puppet Masters, Hand Puppets, Marionette Puppets and more. Puppets is affiliated with Jigsaw Puzzles.