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Topic: Basic Spring Critter methods
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Sep 12, 2004 12:19PM)
Where can I find, buy, borrow, look at on the web...whatever...the basic Spring animal moves..I don't need real elaborate routines just the ABCs and some bits of biz METHODS not just a performance.... any DVDs or vids that are good?

I hope this isn't one of those 'asked a million times Qs' but if it is, appologies.

Thanks Doug
Message: Posted by: Chuck Lyons (Sep 12, 2004 02:04PM)
Doug I use a routine given to me by Ear Mr Clown Chaney. I took an old rocky cut off the tail. This leaves a small hole in his bottom. I cut a small hole where his mouth would be. I have a child make his finger lie a pistol. ( This may not be political correct today) Place a roll up paper in mouth. This makes rocky shake his head no to not except it. Then I have the child "shoot" reminding them the pink things are my fingers. When he shoots I laugh Hysterickly because they missed the paper. In the mean time the racoons tail has fell off unbeknownst to me and this gets the kids laughing. The joke ends up on me and I pick up the tail and put rocky away saying I will take him to the retail shop.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Sep 12, 2004 02:13PM)
What I mean Chuck is the BASIC moves to make Rocky or a Skunk in this case look 'alive'.

I've fooled around with one of these props years ago and it looked like anything BUT alive...just like me squeezing a spring with a toy on it.

BUT I did finally get the search function to accept my key words and I did see a recommendation for Dave Williamson's first DVD (or tape). I'll check that out.

I don't need a routine really as I just plan for the skunk to do a fast appearence a move or two and then be gone. So I would just like to know the basics that make him look so funny in the 'right hands'.



Actually I just checked David's site and I don't have the 40 bucks to devote to a brief 20 second spring animal appearance...so I'll just get the $8 animal and play with it till I figure it out.
More fun that way anyway!

Yes I know...David's vids are worth the price...no doubt...I just don't do close up and cards and stuff or the other effects on the vid.

Doug (again)
Message: Posted by: Regan (Sep 13, 2004 06:58AM)

The animals with real rabbit fur look much more realistic. They are more expensive, but worth it, for me anyway. I use the skunk like you describe, just a brief appearance and then I get rid of him.

To make them look "alive" you just hold the animal behind the neck with palm up and make him turn his head in any direction by applying pressure with the thumb or index finger. You can make him wiggle his tail by putting it between the fingers of the other hand and moving the fingers back and forth in a sideways type fashion. If you want the animal to run up your chest or to your shoulder, just hold the animal lightly with the left hand and pat under his rear as you move up your body to your shoulders.

It's kind of hard for me to describe these moves but I hope that gives you a general idea. You can make them look like they are eating or drinking by holding out food or drink in your left hand, and by qiuckly pulling with the index finger under the animal's neck, although you may not need this for your particular application. It would take a brave magician to really feed a skunk. By the way, I am right handed so a lefty might need to use the opposite hands.

Hope this helps.

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Sep 13, 2004 10:07AM)
Thanks Regan! Just what I needed....it's been a long time since I saw one of these...I believe it was at a convention in New York in the late 60's!!!

I didn't care for it at the time so paid no attention to them...

As to the 'fur' and realism...I wan't this one to look as fake as it can look (but come to 'life' for just a brief moment), because of the situation I'm putting the skunk in, the aud can't think it is real. I might even take an eye and put it on a spring so it kind of hangs out there a bit and looks more cartoony.

Anyway...thanks for the descrip...when I get the thing in the mail I'll have some fun. Maybe I'll like it so much I'll buy an expensive one and give it a prominent spot!

Message: Posted by: Regan (Sep 13, 2004 11:27AM)
Glad I could help out Doug. It is especially good to be able to help out someone like you. I have noticed how willing you are to share and help others. Keep up the good work.

Message: Posted by: constantine (Oct 14, 2004 08:13PM)
Maybe this will help:
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Oct 16, 2004 07:10PM)
Thanks constantine!

Looks like a fun vid. No buy links or price there though...I'll find it.

Message: Posted by: constantine (Oct 17, 2004 10:40AM)
Here's so more.One of the links doen't work thou..
Message: Posted by: muzicman (Nov 11, 2004 04:57PM)
I have a Rocky spring animal and although I could get it to come to life..it looked like a stuffed animal. Then I got a deluxe Rocky with the Rabbit fur. It is SO MUCH BETTER! Don't waste your time with a stuffed animal looking critter. I did run into 2 problems that can be corrected with the deluxe model though.

1.) The spring was encased in a thin plastic. This prevented the spring from opening quickly. I "operated" on Rocky and removed the palstic.

2.) When I first got him, he SHED LIKE CRAZY! 30 minutes of pounding him outside got rid of all the loose fur. Some may shed more than others. Nothing worse than getting rabbit fur all over your clothes, your props, your house, your food, your carpet, your....
Message: Posted by: Pizzazz (Feb 2, 2005 09:04AM)
I have been thinking of adding one to my show when I go back on the road this spring. Just reading what you guys have said here has helped me make up my mind. I will order me one soon. THANKS!
Message: Posted by: Mr. Muggle (Feb 2, 2005 09:17PM)
Forget the spring animal video- it doesn't come close to what you will find on David Willaimson's DVD's. If you really want the best info out there on Rocky, get yourself a copy of his work at http://www.williamsonmagic.com/DVDs/

Besides the great instruction regarding Rocky, you will also get some top notch magic (I still wish he wouldn't have re-released the material!)

Message: Posted by: markmagic (Feb 9, 2005 08:55PM)
Been doing the raccoon and rabbit for years, The slower you move them, the better they look!