Unnatural

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This may seem like an odd thing for someone heavily invested in technology, as I am, to hate, but one of the things I absolutely, viscerally hate is the computer animation of animals (and babies) so as to give them the mannerisms and/or the speech of human adults.

It's a popular technique (this summer's Underdog, for example) and one that seems to appeal to plenty of people, but I find it deeply repulsive. I can't watch commercials that use it, and I won't watch it in movies.

When it's used for aliens, or fantasy creatures (Narnia, e.g.), it doesn't bother me at all. The talking toys and creatures in Wonderfalls? No problem. But a talking squirrel, or a dog raising its eyebrow, or babies turned into adults? That stuff makes me nauseous. (Yes, the dancing baby put me off Ally McBeal for the rest of that series' life.) I have a similar reaction to child beauty pageants, which made it difficult for me to watch/appreciate Little Miss Sunshine at the end.

There are plenty of things I don't care for, and just don't engage with, but the unnaturalness of this kind of anthropomorphism, for some reason, repulses me.

5 Comments

Do lolcats bother you? I know they're not using animation, but they are attributing humanish speech to animals.

I'd venture to explain this response of yours as a kind of protective urge. That because small children and animals essentially have no voice of their own, to "give" them one is a kind of act of violence against them.

/unfounded purely speculative psychoanalysis :)

I think I'm with you, Collin: talking animals and babies that are 100% animated (i.e., not animating the images of actual babies or animals) are fine by me. That CGI thing whereby they take an actual baby or animal and make it talk skeeves me massively. As does the adult-head-on-baby's-body thing. I can't bear to watch it at all. There is, as madeline points out, something violent about such animation, but it's also got something to do with the uncanny valley phenomenon, I think, in which the non-human becomes more and more emotionally affecting, the more humanlike it becomes, up until a point at which an abrupt reversal into revulsion occurs. Talking dogs and babies totally push me over that edge. (LOLcats, not so much.)

I hate it too. I viscerally hate it. Intellectually, I think this stems from wishing that people would appreciate whatever animals, children, etc. bring to the world, for good or ill. Making them creepy adults with photorealistic resemblence to a production crew's notion of "interesting" is deeply, deeply disturbing. Mostly, it just creeps me out.

but the end of LMS is all about taking on the pageants. i mean, what could do it better than to perform a porn act? i don't know; i thought it was clever (but i'm w/ you on being schkeeved out by the "real" contestants . . . bizarre and wrong).

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This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on July 14, 2007 6:30 AM.

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