Dinosaurs Invade Fresno's Save Mart Center

Fresno, CA, USA A few fans got an early preview of the creatures that will roam the save mart center over the next few days.

Try to imagine being inside of the Save Mart Center and being transported back 65 million years ago and being eye to eye with an 18-foot t-rex. When you're "Walking with the Dinosaurs" anything can happen.

Mankind and dinosaurs never shared the planet, until now. From this close, the momma brachiosaurus towers 35 feet tall, the baby close to 20 feet. They are big. But what you don't see, behind the scenes is no less astonishing, even to the human beings who control them.

"Unless you know someone who owns a time machine, it's as close as you're going to get," said Mat McCoy, Head of Puppetry.

McCoy heads up the unseen crew whose skills at animatronics 'puppetry' have reached the extreme level. Each of the 10 large dinosaurs has 3 people working in concert to control them. And every one has more than 30 unique movements along with individualized sounds. "This isn't a random series of grunts and bellows, it's actually a score unto itself," said McCoy.

In a performance there are two puppeteers for each dinosaur operating from in this place. They call it "the voodoo lounge." A third operator drives these giants from a cockpit underneath them. "You have the eye blinks, the eye blinks here. The mouth and all the sounds and there's a palette of sounds for each dinosaur."

The result is a choreographed production spanning the 2-hundred million years when dinosaurs really did walk the earth.

'Walking with the Dinosaurs: The Live Experience' opens Wednesday night at Fresno's Save Mart Center and runs through Sunday.

Scroll to the bottom of this page for a link to show information and tickets.


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