Mackinnon & Saunders: Origins

Mackinnon & Saunders: Origins takes a behind the scenes look inside the workshops of the Altrincham-based puppet makers entrusted with bringing some of animation’s most beloved characters into being.

Ian Mackinnon and Peter Saunders began working together at Manchester’s Cosgrove Hall in the 1980s and established their own company in the early 1990s. Since then, Mackinnon & Saunders has created an incredible range of characters. The team has crafted puppets for many popular children’s TV shows including Bob the BuilderPostman PatThe Twirlywoos and The Clangers and has collaborated with Tim Burton on Mars Attacks!Frankenweenie and Corpse Bride and with Wes Anderson on Fantastic Mr. Fox.

In stop motion animation, art and engineering come together to create tangible worlds and characters. Creating practical, aesthetically pleasing puppets, props and costumes is a team effort – a complex process that incorporates aspects of design, manufacturing, manual dexterity, digital technology and traditional craft skills.

Featuring images from some of the studio’s most memorable projects and exploring the many-layered workshop processes that turn dreams into reality, this unique exhibition celebrates the extraordinary work of Mackinnon & Saunders – from children’s favourites and epic fantasies to spine-tingling horror and thrilling adventures!

Curated by Manchester Animation Festival.