To promote Wednesday, a reboot of The Addams Family, Netflix commissioned an animatronic version of Thing—the sentient hand. This animatronic hand appeared in a weird promotional video, where it trotted around New York spreading joy and fear. And now, Props to History has a behind-the-scenes look at its creation.
The animatronic Thing is fairly complex. It can walk on its fingers, lean to the side, and twist its wrist to “look” at people. It’s remote controlled, kind of like a horrifying RC car, and it contains several types of silicone to mimic the look of human flesh. (Interestingly, the fingers use a dense silicone to reduce wear and tear.)
But the animatronic hand wasn’t designed in-house. Instead, Netflix reached out to Raptor House Effects (RHFX) and commissioned the robot. The above video, by Props to History, includes an interview with RHFX’s Jesse Velez, who shows several prototypes for the animatronic Thing and explains how it works.
To be clear, Netflix doesn’t use the animatronic Thing in its Wednesday series. It simply uses an actor, whose y body is digitally removed from scenes. I’m not sure why Netflix commissioned an animatronic just for a promotional video, but the video is funny, so I’m not complaining.
The new Wednesday series is now available on Netflix. As the title implies, it centers around Wednesday Addams, rather than the whole Addams family (though they do get some screen time in this show).
Source: Props to History via Make Magazine