I watched Beowulf this weekend. Surprisingly, I
didn’t know it was a computer animated film until shortly before I rented it. This reminds me that we’re nearing the point when actors will no longer be necessary.
This isn’t the case yet, though. Watching Beowulf is kind of like watching a not-funny Shrek. Sometimes the animation is good enough that you kind of forget that you’re watching a computer animated film, and sometimes it’s extremely obvious
because they move a lot like the humans in Shrek. Which is odd, because they use the same technology that Polar Express used. I didn’t like that movie much, though, and didn’t watch it all.
Other people may see this as a bad thing but I try and look at the positive side:
- Franchises can last a lot longer. People don’t like it when a character’s actor changes. Who would want to see an Indiana Jones that wasn’t Harrison Ford? This way, the character never has to age but the voice actor will sound the same (usually) for years and years. Even switching the voice might be easier if they sound alike.
- Actors could keep their privacy. If it’s not them on the screen, then they wouldn’t have to worry about being recognized everywhere they go and having the paparazzi follow them around. The on-screen representation need not look like the actor at all.
- Studios could continue to film a picture even if the stars are having issues. If your top-star is busy drying out or in jail or doing something stupid, you can keep going without them. If it turns out the star couldn’t finish the picture, just re-record the lines.
- The horny director won’t have to scrap his sex scenes because the actress won’t show her boobs.
- You can re-make old classics, in color, with the original actor.
I’m sure there’s a lot of other benefits to
making films the Polar Express/Beowulf way. The big downside, right now, is that it doesn’t look good enough yet.
That’s my challenge to Hollywood, then: make a movie that doesn’t require crazy CGI special effects (drama, comedy, chick flick) using all CGI and see how well it goes over.