Remember Small Soldiers? It was a movie where action figures were enhanced with military technology to make them more interactive, but ultimately resulted in them coming to life. Even though it cast both Spinal Tap and actors from The Dirty Dozen as voice talent, the film was remarkably forgettable. To the point where watching this test footage of the film’s special effects would have been a more enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.
Since CG was still in its expensive infancy, Stan Winston Studios was called upon to create puppet versions of the sentient action figures in the film. Controlled by rods and cables that would later be digitally removed in post production, the characters required carefully choreographed performances from the studio’s puppeteers to create lifelike motions. And, while the movie itself was a flop, it’s nice to see that at least what went into its special effects was impressive.