other film work

Toby's other film work

Toby Philpott contributed to six films as an animatronic puppeteer - during the 1980s

I was lucky enough to take the skills and fitness acquired through several years work as an acrobat, juggler and magician, and re-apply them to a new and exciting field.

Animatronics were still being done the hard way (often several puppeteers would operate a single creature).

Technical advance means that a lot of this work can now be done by one (computer assisted) operator, or can even be done purely as cgi.

They don't need me any more - how long before the live actors get simulated, too? After all, the stuntmen are already being done (but I still prefer Buster Keaton and Jackie Chan).

All the films I worked on were experimenting with what were state-of-the-art methods at the time.

To hear how I got into film work, go to Habidabad's Dark Crystal website and read an extended interview, mainly about The Dark Crystal, but also touching on my later film work.

Also, here are some other online interviews focused on Jabba.

The Dark Crystal (1982)

(The Alchemist, but also a Garthim, and the right-hand for several of Jim Henson's characters - Jen, the Ritual Master, etc. Also various background characters and effects).

Return of the Jedi (1983)

(Jabba the Hutt - left hand, tongue, head and body)

go here (or to the interviews) for more details of the work involved, and my current activities springing from those fifteen minutes of infamy.

The Company of Wolves (1984)

(Animatronic wolf and transformations)

Labyrinth (1986)

(Legs and body for Firey 1, one of many Helping Hands, Junk Woman's eyes - Karen Prell's assistant - and background characters)

if it matters to you, you can find an obsessively accurate cast list at this posting

(leaves and tendrils for Audrey II)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Puppet Crew

Ian Tregonning; TobyPhilpott; Christopher Leith (bottom row) Geoff Felix, David Barclay, Mike Quinn

I have not been able to attribute copyright to every photo I found on the web, but I welcome any corrections: Dark Crystal and Labyrinth were copyright Henson Associates, Inc; Roger Rabbit and all related items are copyright of The Walt Disney Company and Amblin Pictures; Return of the Jedi ©1983, 2000 Lucasfilm Ltd

Email me about any of my film stuff at

and I'll get back to you as soon as I can

(Unless I'm in a REALLY bad mood...ho ho ho)

HOME Contact toby through jabbahutt@gmail.com