William Todd-Jones (sometimes known as William Todd Jones) is a Welsh puppet designer, performer, director, movement consultant and writer, for film, television and theatre in the UK and abroad.
He grew up in Nantyglo and attended Nantyglo Comprehensive School where he was known as Toddy. He studied at the prestigious Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff.
Since early 2012, he has been the Master Puppeteer and principal performer of Manny in the Stage Entertainment touring arena show Ice Age Live.
He worked on the recent Pixar movie, John Carter of Mars, directed by Andrew Stanton, for which he taught stilt-walking and was the in-camera reference for Carter's loveable 'best friend' Woola. He has also worked with the renowned Aardman on various projects as both a performer and creature consultant... on one occasion being the 'plasticine puppet' in a stop motion world record.
Todd-Jones, resides in Chagford and has performed creatures & puppets on numerous feature films including; The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Harry Potter V, Jim Henson's Labyrinth, the various Muppet movies, The Neverending Story, Judge Dredd, Batman, Pinocchio, Lost in Space, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 101 Dalmatians and Fierce Creatures.
In recent years he has specialised in bridging the disciplines of live performance and computer graphic animation, developing techniques in optical motion capture, performance animation and digital puppetry. He was integral to the development and production of the pre-school TV series, "What's Your News?", broadcast on Nick Jr, which was entered for the “Japan Prize”, an international competition for educational shows, organised by NHK (Japan’s equivalent of the BBC) in Tokyo. They had over 360 shows entered from 65 countries and “What’s Your News” not only won “Best Pre-School Show” but also the overall “Grand Prix Prize”.
He has worked as a consultant for the Bristol Robotics Lab, advising as to how people might best interact with robots.
For TV he performed in Aslan the lion and played Glenstorm the centaur, in the BBC's rendition of C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia; he played the starring role of Mopatop in the BAFTA Award-nominated children's television series Mopatop's Shop; and has performed creatures as diverse as a troll, a dancing mouse, and a three-toed sloth.
His performance of a full-bodied rhinoceros costume for the Sir Peter Hall/ Gerald Scarfe stage production led to his involvement in the London-based charity Save the Rhino, for whom he became a patron. He has raised money for the charity by running marathons as a rhinoceros, appearing at fund-raising events, and by walking across Africa (from sea level to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro) in the rhino costume, alongside author Douglas Adams.
In 1997, Todd-Jones created an outdoor theatre spectacle, Spirit of the Rhino Drum, for the rhino charity. He wrote, designed, and directed this extravaganza on the theme of wildlife conservation, which was performed at major festivals across the UK, by African musicians, puppeteers, dancers, aerialists and acrobats. Todd-Jones also designed puppets and full-body costumes for River of Kings, a puppetry festival in Bangkok, Thailand, performed in front of the Thai Royal Palace in January 2003.