Have you ever heard of the "uncanny valley." It's a pop science theory which holds that, as robots and digitally created beings are rendered in increasingly realistic ways, we humans become increasingly repulsed by their appearance. The hit TV series "30 Rock" actually offers one of the most layman-friendly explanations available, after Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) asks Frank (Judah Friedlander) to explain the concept "in 'Star Wars'":
Frank: "All right." [holds up line graph] "We like R2-D2. And C-3P0."
Tracy: "They're nice."
Frank: "And up here we have a real person." [points to end of graph] "Like Han Solo."
Tracy: "He acts like he doesn't care, but he does."
Frank: "But down here we have a CGI Stormtrooper, or Tom Hanks in 'The Polar Express'." [indicates lowest point on chart]
Tracy: "I'm scared! Get me outta there!"
Got it? Good. Now you'll understand why the new image of Jim Carrey's Ebenezer Scrooge from the all-CG "Disney's A Christmas Carol" is so creepy.
I think I'd rather watch a feature-length Jar Jar Binks spin-off movie than see another creepy performance capture-animated work like this. I guess I won't be sleeping soundly for the rest of this month. If you want a full-on creepout, make sure to check out the larger-sized image at ComingSoon.
How do you feel about the rising presence of performance capture-animated features? Did you enjoy "The Polar Express"? "Beowulf"? Do you think it would be better to just can the photorealistic CG stuff and go live action with this sort of thing?