Beetlejuice Sandworm Puppet Movie Prop Display

A themed display for an original stop motion Beetlejuice sandworm puppet.

Here at TSD some of our favorite movie prop displays to create are the themed ones where get to recreate a scene from the movie. We all love the Tim Burton classic and we had a blast creating this display for an original Beetlejuice sandworm puppet used in stop motion work for the movie.  Standing over two feet tall, this prop was massive and fully armatured, with the signature “head within a head” and classic stripes seen in the film.

Our client requested a base with a relatively small footprint, but a bit of theming to look like a moment taken from the film.  The metal stop motion armature inside the sandworm prop gave the piece stability and allowed it to be held in the pose you see in the photos.  The production left the piece mounted to a board and the client asked us to maintain that bit of history.  We created a themed shroud to go around the board, and there seemed no better choice than to incorporate the sandworm’s natural habitat into its display.  We’d grab the moment where it burst from the dunes with a two-headed attack!

We made the carved foam display base into 2 halves which could slide in snuggly around the body (allowing the stop motion prop to be removed in the future at any time).  By making the front half wrap around the back half, when the display is viewed from the front it looks like one single piece. Once the pieces were caved out of EPS foam, we hard coated them for durability and texture. We gave them a base coat of a sand colored paint. To add texture we coated the foam with a clear adhesive and covered it in real sand.

In addition to creating the themed display base, we also performed some light conservation work to the prop, to help the fragile foam latex better endure the test of time.  This large stop motion puppet is a true piece of Hollywood history!

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