Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Uncanny in Films: Research #1


Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg hoped that the film would be a smash hit that would set the bench mark in progress for CG Animated films to come to date. The reality was that many viewers and critiques found that the film fell into the Uncanny valley, as New York magazine put it: "Tintin looks simultaneously too human and not human at all, his face weirdly fetal, his eyes glassy and vacant instead of bursting with animated life." The film did set out to conquer this barrier that films such as The Polar Express, Beowulf and Mars Needs Moms however it seems they could not quite make it.

The Uncanny Wall?

We've come up with the notion of the 'uncanny wall'," she says. "It suggests a viewer's discernment for detecting imperfections will keep pace with technology. As the human likeness increases, so the viewer becomes ever more discerning of little flaws. So when a new, more "realistic" character like Tintin comes along, they won't be rated as more humanlike – previous humanlike characters will actually sink lower into the valley. It's cognitive dissonance; we refuse to be tricked by technology."

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