Dramatic restoration - Nightmare Before Christmas Cat Puppet

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TomSpinaDesigns

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Often called "Sally's cat", this poor fella came to us without a name!

It's an original stop motion puppet from Tim Burton's classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The original condition when it arrived in our NY studio was incredibly poor, and the hopeful owner simply asked us to do our best. Mike Thomas, a big fan of the film, was chosen to be the lead artist on this restoration and his work was simply incredible.

The before and after pictures are below...

I have to admit, initially, I wasn't sure that a full restoration was the correct choice, and gave the client a few more moderate alternatives. That said, I'm actually really glad he pushed us in the direction he did.

The interesting thing is this, in both shots the piece is exactly the same percentage of original, screen used material. However, the refurbished piece displays considerably better and (due to our preservation work on that original material) is now much better positioned to withstand the test of time.

A big part of this is because we are extremely respectful of these original pieces and work hard to preserve anything original. In this case (and in nearly all others), we did not repaint the whole cat... we only spot painted our sculpted areas to match the aged paint of the original parts.

I hope you enjoy the dramatic before and after...

More pics can be found on our site: Original Movie Prop Stop Motion Animation Figure and Puppet Restoration

best,
Tom


Nightmare-Before-Christmas-Tim-Burton-Puppet-Cat-2a_1.jpg Nightmare-Before-Christmas-Tim-Burton-Puppet-Cat-1_1.jpg
 
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IndyFanChuck

Sr Member
Tom, that's amazing. They used the same design for the cat for Coraline, and my daughter simply LOVES LOVES LOVES that cat.

Great work. Let me ask you this, is it something you can actually move? Or is it static at this point?

Either way, that is simply amazing. I am always astounded at the INSANE quality of your work. Now if I could only afford that Han in Carbonite coffee table!!!!!!!!!!!!!:cry :lol




----Chuck
 

G17RDY

Sr Member
Fantastic Tom, it looks like it was a mammoth task to begin with to keep the original material and faithfully recreate the huge chunks that has dis-integrated!

Not a lot of people in the world that could of pulled this off, you guys are sheer talent!!
 

OldKen

Master Member
It should be illegal for any other company other than TSD to even touch this kind of restoration project.

I know if I ever own a prized SU piece I have 2 options...

1. Leave it as is

2. Send it to Tom

Period.

Cheers on another successful save of a piece of cinematic history!!!
 

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Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
It should be illegal for any other company other than TSD to even touch this kind of restoration project.

I know if I ever own a prized SU piece I have 2 options...

1. Leave it as is

2. Send it to Tom

Period.

You said it. There are several other people out there who claim to be restoration 'experts' and I have seen some of their work... Let's just say you are on the right track that Tom and Co. are the ONLY people who should be doing restoration projects given the results I have seen from their competitors.
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
I keep getting amazed whenever I see a new restoration. The skill and craftsmanship involved is awe inspiring.

Love how it turned out.

No offense to other restorers... but this is the best I've witnessed in terms of quality and overall presentation and the effort put into preserving as much of the original piece as possible.
 

TomSpinaDesigns

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thank you all so much!

Mike Thomas worked exceptionally hard to bring this puppet back to life.

I really pushed him to nail the finer textures and the paint match, and he stepped up every step of the way...

He's my right hand man at the studio and I'm extremely proud of the work he did on this project!

thanks again all!
Tom
 

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Yodajammies

Sr Member
Poor kitteh!

Fantastic work on this restoration. If I didn't see the "before" shot, I don't think I could tell what was original and what was rebuilt.
 

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