In the past films had to rely on elaborate costumes, make-up and sets to create the right atmosphere and visuals. These days it’s comparatively easier for filmmakers to simply rely on CGI. Could they be relying on it too much though? This year we have already seen some questionable CGI showed off in trailers (mostly involving the colour blue) with Aladdin and Sonic the Hedgehog, the former ending up much better than expected and the latter since going through significant redesigns as a result of the backlash.
Without a doubt, the worst fright regarding CGI has been Tom Hooper’s Cats trailers. The film adaptation of the popular musical does away with the costumes and make-up that the Broadway show has always relied on and instead uses a lot of CGI to brings its world of humanoid cats to life. Something which resulted in not only the first trailer looking ridiculous but, altogether unnecessary too.
According to director Tom Hooper though, its criticism they’ve listened to though as he revealed in an interview with Empire that the team has made changes to the CGI following the backlash from that first trailer:
I was just so fascinated because I didn’t think it was controversial at all. So, it was quite entertaining. The film’s visual effects artists found in the extremity in some of the responses, some clues in how to keep evolving [the production] and [the cats’ designs] have moved on since then, and certainly our understanding of how to use the technology to make them work has gone up, too.
How he was happy with the early version of the CGI is anyone’s guess and perhaps shows that some filmmakers are a little out of touch with the expectations of audiences. I guess the bigger question is why they went the CGI heavy route at all (given the crazy high costs involved)? Especially for a movie where people will probably end up watching it regardless because of the songs they love from the stage production.
I will admit that the second trailer for the movie was a lot better than the first, but it’s still too early to judge. We will have to wait for the final product when the film releases on December 20th. Aladdin proved to everyone that some poor CGI in a trailer doesn’t mean a bad final product and hopefully, this will be the case with this movie. How it will go about competing against Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which releases on the same day, is another matter entirely.
Last Updated: November 29, 2019