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Captain Pugwash | by BFI Online
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Captain Pugwash

This figure of Captain Pugwash was made for the episode The Birthday Party, from John Ryan's 1974 BBC TV series. Pugwash has just been woken up by Tom the cabin boy and is perched on the edge of his bunk in his best pyjamas. "It's my birthday!” he cries, excitedly kicking his legs. "Presents, parties, whoopee!"

 

To make Pugwash's mouth move in time to the voice-over, gently pull the left-hand cardboard lever (pivoted behind with a split pin). His legs kick when the other lever is pulled. John Ryan's unique method was a charming, inexpensive and less time-consuming alternative to stop-frame animation.

 

– Isabel Ryan

 

The work of Captain Pugwash creator John Ryan is exhibited at Rye Art Gallery in East Sussex until 12 February 2012.

 

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Taken on December 16, 2011