There are several different ways to control animatronics. It can be PC based or stand alone controllers. I personally use PC based control and have recently gotten into Basic stamps. Here is a brief list of products I have had experience with that may get you started. Hope this helps. If you browse the individual websites you'll find many more products.
PC control software
http://www.electronickits.com/kit/co...lec/ck1601.htm (also known as the kit 74)
Stand alone basic stamp components