[[quoteright:345:[[Series/{{Thunderbirds}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Supermarionation_932.jpg]]]]


[[folder: Filmed in '''VIDECOLOR'''... ]]


[[folder: and '''''[++SUPERMARIONATION++]''''' ]]

Supermarionation is a technique developed in the 1960s where marionette heads had Solenoid motors that moved the lower lip to give the impression of speaking. The technique was first used in the 1960s British series ''Four Feather Falls'', produced by Gerry Anderson. A western with fantasy elements, FFF was soon followed by the sci-fi action series ''Series/{{Supercar}}'', which was syndicated around the world. Anderson wasn't the only producer who utilized articulated marionettes, but his Supermarionation shows were the most popular, including ''Series/{{Thunderbirds}}'' and ''Series/CaptainScarletAndTheMysterons''. As the technique simply cannot portray walking convincingly, most of the action is futuristic-vehicles-oriented to compensate. In fact, Anderson's company proved so skilled in model shots of vehicles that it could easily create spectacular scenes in a day that other companies tried for weeks to create before delegating to these experts.

From ''Series/{{Stingray|1964}}'' onwards, these were produced in colour despite this not being really available in the UK at the time -- this was to make things easier for foreign sale.

After 1969, Supermarionation disappeared, but not completely. There were many imitators, each one with different kinds of puppetry, many not even using marionettes, including Gerry himself.

The semi-realistic worlds presented in Supermarionation often have a lot of buildings, vehicles and other StuffBlowingUp in the form of models. This is as [[RuleOfCool good a reason to watch it]] as any.

Though it's an understandable mistake, it's [[TheProblemWithPenIsland not]] [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant the]] prequel to ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld''. It isn't [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQO2VtV1PNg this]] either.

!!Supermarionation was seen in these TV shows:
* ''Series/{{Four Feather Falls}}''
* ''Series/{{Supercar}}''
* ''Series/FireballXL5''
* ''Series/{{Stingray 1964}}''
* ''Series/{{Thunderbirds}}'' (whose [[WesternAnimation/ThunderbirdsAreGo CGI-animated]] ContinuityReboot was described as being filmed in "Hypermarionation".)
* ''Series/CaptainScarletAndTheMysterons'' (whose [[WesternAnimation/GerryAndersonsNewCaptainScarlet CGI-animated]] ContinuityReboot was described as being filmed in "Hypermarionation".)
* ''Series/{{Joe 90}}''
* ''Series/{{The Secret Service}}'' (hybrid, also featuring live-action)
* ''Series/{{The Investigator}}'' (hybrid, also featuring live-action, never got a full series)

!!Gerry Anderson also created these non-Supermarionation TV shows:
* ''Series/{{UFO}}''
* ''Series/{{The Protectors}}''
* ''Series/Space1999''
* ''Series/{{Terrahawks}}'' (filmed in "Supermacromation", a.k.a. hand puppets similar to Creator/JimHenson's puppets)
* ''Series/{{Space Police}}'' (hybrid, also featuring Supermacromation, never got a full series)
* ''WesternAnimation/DickSpannerPI''
* ''Series/{{Space Precinct}}'' (hybrid, also featuring Supermacromation)
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Lavender Castle}}'' (hybrid, also featuring CGI)
* ''Anime/{{Firestorm}}'' (hybrid, also featuring CGI)

!!Examples of imitations:
* ''Interster'': a South-African imitation of the series of Gerry Anderson made when they could not air ''Series/{{Thunderbirds}}'' in their country.
* Also from South Africa, childrens' show ''Series/DieLieweHeksie'', dealing with the adventures of a CuteWitch in an idyllic fairyland, was filmed with marionettes. Many of the camera and animation tricks and production techniques are instantly recognisable as being copied from Supermarionation productions.
* ''Film/TeamAmericaWorldPolice'': a tribute to ''Series/{{Thunderbirds}}'' made in "Supercrappymation", which includes a lot of AffectionateParody of the silliness of marionettes. Ever wonder why there were never any martial arts in ''Captain Scarlet''? Creator/TreyParkerAndMattStone were apparently inspired to make it when they found out the ''Film/{{Thunderbirds}}'' movie would not be using puppets and were disappointed. Many ''Thunderbirds'' fans consider it a rather better film than the officially licensed one as well. Some accounts suggest Gerry Anderson felt the same.
* In the same vein, the British [=WW2=] satire ''Film/JackbootsOnWhitehall''.
* ''Series/StarFleet'': What happens when the Japanese decide to make what would normally be a cel-animated show and do it this way.
* The 200th episode of ''Series/StargateSG1'' features a segment done in this style, thanks to the ''Team America'' puppeteers.
* ''Series/{{Space Patrol|UK}}'': early 1960s UK series (not to be confused with the 1950s US series) produced by a former Anderson colleague.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'', before the switch to CGI, used simplistic yet highly-advanced electric model trains that could let off steam and move their eyes. It helped that the series was overseen by ''Thunderbirds'' veteran David Mitton.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Tugs}}'', which David Mitton co-created, was essentially a DarkerAndEdgier ''Thomas...'' [-[[RecycledInSpace WITH BOATS!]]-] As it was filmed in a water tank, the models were not as sophisticated.
* ''Series/ActionLeagueNow'' had "Chuckimation", referring to how the action figures would be thrown around constantly (and receiving a ton of AmusingInjuries).