Baby Grinch Puppet Restoration and Display

A restoration and custom display of a baby Grinch puppet “mask” skin from How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Since we put so much time and care into each piece we work on, we develop a connection with each of them, but with this baby Grinch puppet we developed a particularly unique relationship. He was first worked on by our artists in preparation for Prop Store’s Rick Baker Monster Maker auction. The baby Grinch was then purchased by one of our clients who wanted to turn the puppet’s head skin, which was a bit like a mask for an animatronic puppet, into a more more full display.

This foam latex prop was a perfect example of the differences between conservation and restoration. Before the auction our goal was to conserve the piece. We reinforced the cracks and tears from the inside of the head skin, and added archival padding and a custom head support to help the fragile foam latex keep its shape.  After the auction, at our client’s request, we focused on more restoration style work on the puppet.  We patched the cracks on the mask’s face and then subtly painted the patches (keeping all original paint from the movie’s production intact) for a virtually seamless finish.

Due to the large size of the baby Grinch’s eyes we created a custom pair to match the innocent look from the film. We mounted those inside the head and modified the head support so that he could “lay down” in a wicker basket that matched the style used in the Ron Howard movie. We fabricated a foam carved body form and then swaddled him up in a yellow terrycloth blanket, again mimicking the materials used in the original movie props, to maintain an authentic look. For the finishing touch we restored the piece with his signature Grinch spit-curl hairstyle!  Best of all, he’s arrived on our site just in time to steal Christmas… and our hearts!

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Have an original movie or television prop in need of restoration or conservation? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!

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