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Supermarionation is a technique developed in the 1960s where marionette heads had Solenoid motors that moved the lower lip to give the impression of speaking. The technique was first used in the 1960s British series Supercar, produced by Gerry Anderson, who would later become famous for series such as Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons, that also used the technique. As the technique simply cannot portray walking convincingly, most of the action is futuristic vehicle oriented to compensate. In fact, Anderson's company proved so skilled in model shots of vehicles that it could easily create spectacular scenes in a day that other companies tried for weeks to create before delegating to these experts.
After 1969, Supermarionation disappeared, but not completely. There were many imitators, each one with different kinds of puppetry, many not even using marionettes, including Gerry himself.
Supermarionation was seen in:
- Fireball XL 5
- Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, whose CGI-animated Continuity Reboot was described as being filmed in "Hypermarionation".
- Joe 90
- The Secret Service (hybrid, also featuring live-action)
- Interster: a South-African imitation of the series of Gerry Anderson made when they could not air Thunderbirds in their country.
- Terrahawks: made by Gerry Anderson in the 1980s with "Supermacromation, AKA creepily humanlike hand puppets (similar to Jim Henson's puppets).
- Team America: World Police: a tribute to Thunderbirds made in "Supercrappymation", which parodies the silliness of marionettes.
- In the same vein, the British WW 2 satire Jackboots on Whitehall.
- Star Fleet: What happens when the Japanese decide to make what would normally be a cel animated show and do it this way.
- The 200th episode of Stargate SG-1 featured a segment done in this style.