"Nobody's looking for a puppeteer in today's wintry economic climate," complained the unemployed Craig Schwartz, the character portrayed by John Cusack in "Being John Malkovich."
He wasn't wrong. Puppetry is an ancient art form, with archaeological evidence from the early Egyptian civilization and before, but the heyday of puppetry has passed and today it struggles to stay alive in most parts of the world.
Not all news is grim news in the puppet world, and puppetry is still thriving and even growing in popularity in certain puppet hot spots. If you want the world on a string, we've pulled together 10 top picks amongst the puppets from Lonely Planet staff and authors - and they're not just for kids.
Text adapted from LonelyPlanet.com's list of the "Top Places To See Puppets Around The World." Text and captions courtesy of Lonely Planet. --Andy Murdock