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Genres You Will Love
Kids/Family: General Children's Music Urban/R&B: Funk Moods: Mood: Quirky

By Location
United States - United States

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Mike Quinn

Childhood performing included a professional magic act at the age of 8 and a live pup-
pet show at age 9 that ended in a custard pie fight. He spent many a day backstage
exploring the workings of live shows as his older sister performed in Pantomimes such
as Babes In The Wood at the famous London Palladium. After becoming fascinated by
The Muppet Show, he knew that was the future for puppetry. He first met Jim Henson
and his puppeteers as a fan in 1977, later becoming a regular visitor to the set of The
Muppet Show bringing along home made Muppet style puppets and learning and re-
ceiving much encouragement from Jim Henson and his co-workers.
Upon leaving school he directly landed his first job as a Muppeteer in 1980 being per-
sonally chosen by Jim Henson to work on The Great Muppet Caper filling in on crowd
scenes and doubling up for main characters. This directly led to building Podlings and
Slaves for The Dark Crystal and then actually performing the Slavemaster Skeksis for
the film.
Many Muppet projects followed as Mike became a master mimic doubling for the fa-
mous Muppet characters.
He brought to life many animatronic creatures including the fan favorite alien Millen-
nium Falcon copilot Nien Nunb on Return of the Jedi and assisting Frank Oz with the
evergreen lovable Yoda.
Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, whilst continuing with his puppeteering career,
he joined forces with fellow puppet master David Barclay to create Ultimate Animates,
a production company created to experiment and develop new building and performing
techniques for many of their own internal as well as external puppet productions. This
led to Mike directing and producing many productions.
A natural progression for Mike was to explore the use of computer graphic technologies
to assist and to open up the performing and acting possibilities for his characters. By
early 1997 he moved to San Francisco to become a character animator for Pixar after
being impressed by their character work in Toy Story. Although he animated on A Bug's
Life, his finest moment at Pixar was most definitely developing and animating on the
1950s style TV puppet show Woody's Round Up on Toy Story 2.
His desire to go full circle took him next to George Lucas's ILM, first animating the
famed dinosaurs in Jurassic Park 3, then moving on to animate on Yoda along with
many other creatures in Star Wars Episode 2.
Mike spent the last three years working in the game industry as Lead Animator, the
only other entertainment medium he had yet to conquer.
His next mission is to pull three decades of knowledge and experience into his new
production company QuinnZone Studios and already has several film, television and
game projects in development.

Lesser known fun facts about Mike Quinn
-He is related to Maureen O’Sullivan and her daughter Mia Farrow. His Irish Grand
mother and Maureen were first cousins
-He is a founding member of a ghost hunting group in Texas called Gulf Ghost
-He and Martina McBride sang on the same CD
-He has one degree of Kevin Bacon
-He loves Art Deco
-He can Roller Blade
-He does not want to fly in space
-His sister Hazel as a child briefly appeared in the film Bugsy Malone

Mike began making puppets in the Muppet style at the age of 14. He would take them to
the set of The Muppet Show as Jim Henson and his team would try them on and encour-
age Mike to keep building. When Mike began puppeteering on The Great Muppet Caper,
Bobby Payne, one of Jim’s original Muppet builders taught him puppet building to assist
creating podlings and slaves for The Dark Crystal.
On Return Of The Jedi Mike solved the problem of a mask costume character needing to
speak in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon by turning it into a hand puppet and convinc-
ing George Lucas to go with an animatronic puppet during a screen test.
In 1988 Mike formed a puppet making company in the UK with David Barclay called Ulti-
mate Animates. Over that ten year period his specialty became fabrication using foams,
furs and fabrics and even painting skins and eyes. Creatures, characters and costumes
were built for film, TV, commercials and even early versions of HD in the 1990s. Ground-
breaking techniques were established still yet to be surpassed in the puppet industry..
They were the first to bring to life a popular 40 year old comic character in 3D puppet form
for television (Dennis The Menace, UK version). They eventually created and produced
their own puppet television series The Great Bong. They also ran a successful interna-
tional puppet making course, enabling the students to graduate and create popular televi-
sion series of their own.
Mike has built puppets, costumes and animatronics for the Jim Henson, BBC, MTV, ITV,
The Children’s Channel, Cheflive, RTE, Perform FX, PBS and many many more.