Marionette Motion

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"Time for your daily pipe bath!"


This is when a robot, Clockwork Creature, golem, undead, mind controlled or other human-sized and -shaped entity moves as if it were a puppet on a string. In the process, it defies the laws of anatomy and gravity by bending in unnatural ways and floating... all without strings. Alternately, it might move like a broken animatronic robot, as if its insides had less articulation than a 3-inch G.I. Joe figure. As the picture shows, it's usually used for Horror stories because it is just (un)naturally creepy. To accentuate the eerie motion, camera tricks like jitters, Slow Motion and speeding up may be used.

Compare Limp and Livid. Contrast Zombie Gait, which while similar is actually more fluid.

Examples of Marionette Motion include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]


Films -- Animation[edit | hide]


Films -- Live-Action[edit | hide]

  • Among other tricks such as choreography, in the film adaptation of Silent Hill the eerie, jittery movements of the nurses were done by the actresses walking backward. The footage was later reversed.
  • In Mirror Mask, the Uncanny Valley box mannequins have this. So very much. And to the tune of "Close to You", no less.
  • When the... thing in Sliver controls bodies, this is how they move.
  • The Boss Battle in Stardust features a very well-done duel with a magically animated dead swordsman who moves this way.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The dead astronauts in Doctor Who episode "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead".
  • The Humongous Mecha in older Super Sentai seasons sometimes slipped into this during wirework stunts.


Music Videos[edit | hide]

  • Rhianna's Disturbia music video.
  • The "evil clowns" in Pink's music video for "Funhouse".
  • In the Talking Heads music video "Once in a Lifetime", David Byrne's dance is about halfway between a marionette and an epileptic fit.
  • This style of dancing is used by a lot of k-pop artists, but a particularly memorable example can be seen in 2PM's music video for "Heartbeat" in which the members utilize the style of broken-body dancing to show how their hearts are being controlled by a scornful girl and how they are helpless to stop it. At a few points in the dance, they are even shown as being controlled by one of their own.
    • Also, B.A.P's debut single "Warrior" has the members move this way when they are being controlled by Zelo. At the end of the video, they even surround him in Marionette Motion and shoot him dead.


Video Games[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]