Variations of innovative British puppeteer Barnaby Dixon’s “Dabchek” puppet have been taking the internet by storm for a few years now. Barnaby first developed Dabchek after working in stop motion animation and turned to puppetry while exploring more efficient ways to produce videos for YouTube.
Dabchek first debuted back in 2015 in a stop motion/puppetry video called Shell We Dance?:
Barnaby has continued to explore this unique style of puppetry, which is reminiscent of the wrist puppetry of Russian roboticist and puppeteer Vladimir Zakharov. Much like how Vladimir loved testing and developing new approaches to puppet manipulation and mechanics, Barnaby is continually experimenting too. One of his most interesting characters is a “Human Face” puppet that utilizes a smartphone and GoPro camera to put his face onto a puppet:
Barnaby’s innovative work has been noticed around the world. In addition to winning season 2 of the German puppetry competition Die Puppenstars, he’s seemingly popped up everywhere online, from the Puppet Tears podcast to Adam Savage’s Tested:
Barnaby’s work even attracted the attention of the Jim Henson Company, which crafted a special sequence in the Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance around his unique style:
If you want to see more of Barnaby’s work, be sure to check out his YouTube Channel, where he posts new videos every week. You can also support him on Patreon, and gain access to exclusive videos, behind-the-scenes material, outtakes and more.