Sonny Tilders is an Australian animatronics artist, known for his work as creative director of the Creature Technology Company.


Tilders led the team that designed and built the animatronics for Walking with Dinosaurs - The Arena Spectacular, which premiered in 2007. He was also the creature-maker for the 2012 arena production of How To Train Your Dragon, produced by CTC's parent company, Global Creatures Group, and Hollywood studio DreamWorks.[1] In 2013, he created the on-stage puppet of the title character for the musical production of King Kong, which premiered at Melbourne's Regent Theatre, at the time reportedly the largest animatronic puppet ever created for a theatrical production.[2]


In 2019, Tilders was awarded a Special Tony Award for his work on title character/puppet King Kong.[3]


Tilders grew up in Frankston, a southern suburb of Melbourne, with his mother and stepfather, who were both school teachers. His biological father was the Australian blues singer and guitarist Dutch Tilders, although Dutch was not present for most of Sonny's childhood.[4]


  1. ^ Sonny Tilders makes King Kong come alive
  2. ^ "Bringing King Kong to life". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  3. ^ McPhee, Ryan. "Marin Mazzie, Jason Michael Webb, and King Kong Designer Sonny Tilders to Receive 2019 Special Tony Awards" Playbill, April 29, 2019
  4. ^ Sonny Tilders makes King Kong come alive