I created this quick rig to help out the 2nd years for a trailer they are making for animate Exeter. I was supplyed with the model and two tongue shapes, and given the instructions that the eyes needed to move and the tongue needed to roll back into the mouth and the mouth needs to close.
Although I was given two tongue shapes to use as blend shapes, it didnt seem to work well and kept retracting through the tongue rather than curling, to overcome this i just created a joint chain and added loads of set driven keys until it reacted how i wanted from one slider. My next task was to animate the mouth, I found this awkward as the mouth was set in a very extreme position rather than closed, initially i tried to rig it using curves and cluster points, and although it technically worked there was to much detail to play around with just for the simple mouth closing action. I decided to go the blend shape route which wasnt to hard.
I then set up the curl of the tongue and the mouth closing so that it would happen at the sametime seamlessly. This can all be animated from one slider.
I added a quick eye set up and global control to finish it all off.
Here is a test of it in action.