Peter Jackson’s Original King Kong Stop-Motion Armature

When Adam Savage visited Peter Jackson’s collection of film props, costumes, and artifacts, they examined the original stop-motion armature from the original 1933 film. Adam and Peter talk about this prized prop and its role in Hollywood special effects history.

Shot and edited by Joey Fameli
Music by Jinglepunks

Comments (16)

16 thoughts on “Peter Jackson’s Original King Kong Stop-Motion Armature

  1. Okay, please tell me there’s at least 500 more hours of footage from your time with Peter, and his immense and amazing prop/memorabilia collection?

  2. I got over excited about the pair of Compy puppets from Jurassic Park 2 in the background. Not a great film, but search for ‘Compy Puppet Test’ on youtube to see the original screen test for them (Stan Winston School channel). They were unbelievably lifelike. I can’t imagine how much more stuff there is hiding in his museum.

  3. He makes an interesting and good point about how stiff the ankle joints had to be. Especially if you imagine that during animation Kong may be walking where all of his weight needs to be held by a single ankle!

    I have never played with foam latex (which is what I believe was used to cover the armatures) but it would seem even the neck or fingers, for example, would require at least enough stiffness in the armature to oppose the foam wanting to resist being bunched/bent.

    Interesting his comment too about tightening the armature after the fact. His comment was left sort of un-exlained but I gather the animator could shove a screw-driver through the foam latex into the armature to tighten it. That would of course leave a wound in the latex skin. Perhaps you could patch it up though with a little liquid latex and a dab of paint?

  4. Looking at those delicate fingers of the armature, one wonders how they cast with the armature inside the foam latex mold without having a bit of armature poking out here or there….

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