Singapore Resort Now Home to The World’s Largest Animatronic Creatures

Posted by Brendan Brehm on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Crance Dance at Worlds Resort Sentosa

If you thought animatronics were a thing of the past, you’ll definitely be rethinking your position on this matter after you check out the Crane Dance at Resorts World Sentosa. Located on the island of Sentosa, just off the southern coast of Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa is an integrated resort featuring casinos, hotels, a water park, a marine life park, a Universal Studios theme park, and much more. The resort is also home to a number of permanent shows, including Voyage de la Vie, a rock musical created by Mark Fisher (The Wall, The Million Dollar Piano), and Asia’s largest mixed martial arts championship. Of all the shows in production at Sentosa, it is Crane Dance, designed by Emmy Award-winning entertainment designer, Jeremy Railton, that has got us the most excited.

Crance Dance at Worlds Resort Sentosa

Crane Dance is a spectacular display of animatronics, digital imagery, and water projection, designed to entertain, as well as capture the spirit of the resort. The show features the world’s largest animatronic creatures: two 90-foot cranes, which together weigh 160 tons. What makes this show so intriguing is the way in which the mechanical cranes are able to move in such a realistic manner. According to Railton’s Company, Entertainment Design Corporation (EDC), this is exactly the effect that they were going for. They based the cranes’ blend of mechanical and biological characteristics on “an archetypal myth: the power of love to infuse life into inanimate form.” (EDC) The gigantic animatronic cranes recreate the elaborate dances that actual cranes perform in order to undergo a transformation into the real thing.

The sheer size of the cranes is an amazing sight to behold, but there are many other elements besides their size that contributes to their lifelike quality. The chest of each crane is a 26 x 26-foot screen on which video of the cranes’ inner mechanical workings are displayed. Each screen helps to tell the story of the growing love between the two cranes as they perform their dance. The cranes are also equipped with 6-foot diameter digital eyes. These specially designed digital eyes play a huge role in expressing the two cranes’ changing emotions as they interact with one another. They are capable of blinking, squinting, and reacting to the other’s movements. Finally, the cranes’ wings are shaped by thousands of gallons of seawater that are sprayed into 40-foot arcs. These magnificent water wings shooting out of the mechanical cranes add another layer to the show’s narrative concerned with the relationship between nature and machine.

crane dance at Worlds Resort Sentosa

As you can imagine, the technical apparatus that supports this show is mind blowing in its own right. It takes 1,500 horsepower, the output of a small diesel locomotive, to set the cranes into action. Their movements are then controlled by a motion control system so sophisticated and precise that it can bring the two screens together to form one continuous screen.  For Crane Dance’s groundbreaking work in both technology and storytelling, Worlds Resort Sentosa has been awarded the Themed Entertainment Association’s Award of Outstanding Achievement.

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