CG Stands For Cinema Gold

Eric Cunningham

Eric Cunningham is the editor-in-chief of Elections Daily. He is a lifelong resident of western North Carolina and graduated from Appalachian State University. You can follow him on Twitter at @decunningham2. @decunningham2.

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16 Responses

  1. Murali says:

    I’ll put this in the most neutral way I know: Critics are not representative of movie audiences. There are factors which make critics’ tastes differ from audiences. A critic’s opinion is more informative vis a vis the question of whether you will enjoy a given movie the more you share a background with said critic.Report

  2. Saul Degraw says:

    Who is this we?Report

  3. Oscar Gordon says:

    Compare all that with Into the Spiderverse, a CG movie with a hand drawn style.Report

    • Morat20 in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      The real problem with CG is when producers push it right back into the uncanny valley.

      “We can do ray-tracing for individual hairs in his beard! HOW COOL IS THAT. LET”S DO IT”.

      And we’re back to every face in the movie triggering subconscious discomfort in the audience, because we’re really good at recognizing living faces, and when a face doesn’t look quite we associate it with illness or death — things to be wary of.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to Morat20 says:

        Up to this point Pixar and Disney seemed to have mostly avoided that. Eg, in Moana the characters are obviously animated, just with great hair and sometimes embedded in photorealistic ocean sets.

        OTOH, at least a couple of critics have complained that the CG animals in the new Lion King are so good that when they abruptly speak in human voices it’s at least grating, and one of them was completely weirded out by it.Report

  4. Michael Cain says:

    During the last few weeks I had occasion to have my copies of both The Little Mermaid and Moana out. Watch them both and it’s obvious why CG animation is winning at the box office. For example, both have a throw-away shot of a ship under sail cresting a wave and the bow dropping. In Moana, the lighting is bright and clear, the water has depth and surface texture, the splash from the drop has detail, and the physics of the sails and hull drop are spot on. In Mermaid, none of that stuff. I’ve always been a big fan of the old Disney animation, in the sense of them doing a remarkable job to support the story-telling within the limits of time, money, and hand-drawn animation. But CG rendering offers so much more in terms of please-your-eye lighting and clarity. All that stuff adds up.

    Geek that I am, I occasionally watch parts of Moana without the sound just so I can admire what accomplishments her hair and the water are. Disney spent a small fortune coding up new software packages for modeling/rendering hair and water for the movie. Some of the new code was just to handle the problem of “big”: some of the water simulations involve tracking the interacting movements of over 100 million in-frame objects.Report

  5. George Turner says:

    I never saw the first Lion King. I Loved Beauty and the Beast, though. ^_^

    I somewhat related news, a writer at The Washington Post said the new Lion King was vehicle for fascism and white supremacy, so perhaps we’re reaching peak stupid.

    “With the lions standing in for the ruling class and the “good” herbivores embodying society’s decent, law-abiding citizens, the hyenas transparently represent the black, brown and disabled bodies that are forcefully excluded from this fascist society. Noticeably marked by their ethnically coded “street” accents, the hyenas blatantly symbolize racist and anti-Semitic stereotypes of “verminous” groups that form an inherent threat to society.”


    Adding insult to injury, the social outcasts’ rebellion against Mufasa’s autocratic regime is explicitly associated with the imagery of goose-stepping Nazis. But as so often in Hollywood films, the explicit Nazi iconography serves primarily to distract us from the heroes’ own fascism.

    I used to love reading “Maoist Movie Reviews” because they were just as politically serious and bug-eyed crazy as this WaPo writer, and topped anything The Onion was putting out. But it does make you wonder if our elite universities are offering classes called “Writing Essays Like an Outraged Sixth Grader”.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to George Turner says:

      TLK spun off a next-gen show called The Lion Guard, following Simba’s son Kyon and a crew of friends tasked with protecting the pride lands, primarily from hyenas.

      Only… hyenas are primarily scavengers. Most of what they eat is dead by other causes. But multiple members of the Guard — including Kyon himself — are carnivores. They undoubtedly have more blood on their paws than the “bad guys”.

      Next up… I rant about Ursula catching a bad rap simply for being a believer in contract law.Report

      • George Turner in reply to Kazzy says:

        Hyenas are heinous because they’re matriarchal!!!

        They’re actually pretty cool critters once they get to know you. Youtube has some interesting videos on that, including hyenas and lions that hang out together because they were raised together.Report

    • Murali in reply to George Turner says:

      I never saw the first Lion King


    • Brandon Berg in reply to George Turner says:

      perhaps we’re reaching peak stupid.

      Unlikely. Stupid is a luxury good. The richer we get, the more we can afford. There are local maxima, but the arc of history bends stupidward.Report

  6. Doctor Jay says:

    I hold that you get to love what you love, the way you want to love it. That’s sort of the geek’s credo, as promulgated by figures such as Wil Wheaton.

    So if you love hand-drawn animation, you get to love it. A critic answers for themselves.

    To answer the question, “Would I like this movie?” you are going to have to find other people who share your interests and inclinations.

    For instance, I adore Babylon 5. I am well aware though, there there are people who are very strongly put off by the primitive graphics and look of the thing, especially for the first season. It’s taken some work, but at this point, I don’t argue. They get to have that reaction.

    Everyone has the stuff they like and don’t like. To call some of those preferences “grudges” seems to me like an attempt to delegitimize someone’s preferences. Which is something that is done probably 10 million times every day. Sigh.

    If you don’t like classical music, don’t read reviewers of classical music. We live in the Age of the Internet. Nobody is forcing you to read that. Move on, and have lower blood pressure.Report