Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Table Manners, a cardboard puppet short by Rebecca Manley

Spoiler alert: Not everyone survives this beautifully-made cardboard puppet short by Rebecca Manley. Created for Channel 4, Table Manners (2013) follows three companions—a squirrel, a pig, and a bear—as they forage the forest in search of a meal. And, unfortunately, someone doesn’t have the ‘table manners’ required for the expedition.

squirrel, pig, and bear sit down for a meal
The live-action puppet short was included in BAM’s 2014 Puppets on Film Festival, presented with The Jim Henson Foundation. More spoilers: In addition to Charlie Chaplin’s cabin scenes in The Gold Rush (1942), Manley was inspired by an old cartoon gag. She explains its dark but probably delicious ending:

I was chatting to a friend about the film… I don’t know how we got onto the subject but we were talking about the device in old cartoons like Tom & Jerry, where Tom sees Jerry as a chicken drumstick or in a swiss cheese sandwich etc. And I realized that this would be a really funny image to incorporate…

Apart from the visual gag itself, what appealed to me about the twist (the idea of Bear eating Pig) was that when the going gets tough Bear reverts to type, back to his true nature. Friendship goes out of the window – and who hasn’t born the brunt of that sort of behaviour at one time or another?

pig as a pork chop
bear confronts his imagination
Don’t miss her tightly staged storyboard, a step in the production that helps plan and refine the eventual filming. Manley also praises the material she used, an inspiration for puppet makers and cardboard crafters:

Cardboard is actually very versatile, too, and you can create lots of different textures by squashing, tearing or bending it. For this film, the fact that I was taking a material that originates from trees to the woods (and bringing it back to life) appealed to me too.

puppeteers for Table Manners
Next, watch these cardboard and puppet videos on TKSST:
How to make puppets with Jim Henson (1969)
• How to make a giant ‘robotic’ cardboard hand
• The Handrils, a hand puppet piece by Sarah Nolen
How do war horse puppeteers make their War Horse real?
• Laika’s Head of Puppetry explains how stop motion puppets are made
• A tumbling, glowing, furry puppet creature by Barnaby Dixon

Bonus: The bear who never breaks the rules.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

The makers of the SAVE plug-in are no longer supporting it. For site speed and security, I've chosen to discontinue its use. If you have saved videos, please back them up with browser bookmarks, Pinterest, or another page saving tool, before they disappear in May 2021. Thank you.
 
This video was posted 5 months ago.

Watch more videos about...

 

 

🌈 Watch these videos next...

True or Poo? A trivia game show with Tumble Science

Rion Nakaya

Een Beer naar de Dierentuin (A Bear to the Zoo) – Sesamstraat

Rion Nakaya

Orange Cat is Fascinating at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater

Rion Nakaya

A hungry bear pilfers a woodpecker’s acorn stash

Rion Nakaya

What’s it like to film a baby sun bear?

Rion Nakaya

Visiting a bear’s winter den with bear scientist Rae Wynn-Grant

Rion Nakaya

The Handrils, a hand puppet piece by Sarah Nolen

Rion Nakaya

“The Lonely Goatherd” marionette scene from The Sound Of Music (1965)

Rion Nakaya

Please Please the Bees read by Rashida Jones

Rion Nakaya