Baby Yoda has been the highlight of the year when it comes to Star Wars fans. Which says a lot about what’s been going on in the Star Wars fandom, but also says that we all can connect over the cuteness of the child. And that’s pretty wholesome and completely necessary to bridge the gap that was the Last Jedi. But how exactly do they make him so darn cute? Well puppetry is a big part of it, and so are those adorable sounds he makes.
The sounds were made by Dave Accord and a kinkajou and a bat eared fox. They were able to record their noises thanks to a company called Wild Wonders which is a conservation education center located in Bonsall, California. There you can interact with their ambassador animals, some of which were used for Baby Yoda’s cute cooing noises and other ones sprinkled throughout The Mandalorian. I was able to interview the Director Jackie Navarro and ask a little more about what went into the production of these sounds.
What were the animals recorded for the sounds of “Baby Yoda”?
“Kim’s our kinkajou and Acacia our bat eared fox but we attempted vocalizations in many of our ambassador animals such as our owl, Binturong, fennec foxes and more!”
What kind of equipment was used? I’m assuming they don’t just walk into a recording booth. And what kinds of sounds did you record?
“The sound team came to our wildlife center and used very sophisticated, sensitive equipment to pick up the sounds – Since our animals are all ambassadors and well socialized, most of their vocalizations are greeting their caregivers. Some, like our Kookaburra do a call which is saying “I’m here!” hence the name the bush mans clock in Australia!”
Were there any challenges recording?
“The challenges were we are in a flight path for local airports that can be challenging and also competing noises from other animals!”
Did you know what you were recording for? Have your animals been featured on any other shows?
“We knew in advance what this was for and they were a joy to work with- very laid back. We have had some sound crews in the past record sounds for documentaries etc but none as fun as this!”
Wild Wonders’ mission is to promote wildlife conservation through education, both locally and internationally. They provide a permanent and loving home for non-releasable wildlife and confiscated exotic pets and give them an important role as animal-ambassadors for their wild cousins. If you would like to learn more about them please do so by following the link here.