I must say that this was one of the most amazing things I've ever witnessed. People got very involved in the story to the point where they interpreted what the Little Giant was feeling based on what she was doing and how she acted. They talked about her as a person, not a contraption. At one point we asked someone where she was and they told us that she decided to go out for a walk after her shower. In the evening people were saying that she was riding the elephant because she was sleepy. I didn't see it, but I was told that on Sunday morning, the Little Giant had to pee -- and when she did, all of the handlers turned their backs and looked away so as not to embarrass her.
It's that kind of little detail, that kind of gesture, that allowed it to transcend mere puppetry. It's hard to believe without actually being there, but just watching her sleep fills you with emotion.
On the technical side, the Royal de Luxe has pulled off other amazing feats, including a fully articulated giraffe with her baby, and several sizes and kinds of giants. They've also made a piano catapult, a life-sized pop-up book, stadium lights made out of car headlights, snow guns, and more. If you want to see this in person, it's traveling to other European cities this year and next:
- Amiens (France) Thursday 16, Friday 17, Saturday 18, and Sunday 19 of June.
- London (UK) the 8, 9, 10 and 11 of September.
- In 2006: Bilbao (Spain), Antwerp (Belgium), Calais (France).
Apparently this was to commemorate Jules Verne, who was born in Nantes. He died 100 years ago (1905).