While in Houston, Texas this past holiday season...at the invitation of an associate in the entertainment industry...I went to see the Houston Grand Opera's production of "Hansel & Gretel." They wanted me to "see something really cool."
And cool it was. It was a huge 15ft tall Witch character. A mix of animatronics and puppeteering created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop specifically for this production.
The opera singer is up there in the head...but their face is augmented by casings and prosthetics. The singer operates the arms (which are twice as long as regular arms. Puppeteers in the skirt operate the hands and other animatronics and hydraulic walking system.
I think it's really, really neat. The video I have uploaded doesn't do it justice. The way it "walks" and pivots with very realistic movements is rather cool.
Now in this video...the "kids" you see are really full grown adults...so keep that in mind for scale. It really made the Witch look gigantic!
The first shot of the Witch shows rather slow movement. But at the tail end of the clip is another short shot of her pivoting around much faster that will give you a better idea of the abilities of this figure.
I think Disney could incorporate something like this into some of its stage shows, or even parades. Would make a great Ursula, for example.
Anyway, here's the clip. The audio is a tad out-of-sync. Sorry 'bout that. That happens sometimes when I rip from a DVD.
Suggest you watch the figure closely a second time, ignoring the audio. You'll pick up lots of neat nuances in the figure. Wish I had more to show you. As I said, the video doesn't do it justice and it's really something to see in person.