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Fridge / Night at the Museum

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Fridge Brilliance:

  • The older guards stating that the tablet enhanced their vitality from the first film. This makes so much more sense with Merenkahre's saying that it was meant to render the family essentially immortal in the third film. Since the magic was strong enough to bring inanimate exhibits to life, could it also do so to living beings? The novelization of the first movie claims that the tablet has the power to give life to everything around it.
  • One might get annoyed at how the real-life historical figures are Flanderized to their most (in)famous trait, but that's often how real-life museums portray them. The wax mannequins represent the museums' view of history.
    • A few of them actually complain about this.
    • Also, the first movie implies that the exhibits absorb knowledge and information from around where they are, such as how the mummy can speak English because of his time in Cambridge. The Roosevelt statue in particular essentially admits he's just playing a part, presumably based on what he's gleaned from guides' and visitors' conversations over the years.
      • Which, if it's true, would be bad news for Rebecca, who isn't going to get anything useful out of Sacajawea for her dissertation.
      • In the Italian adaptation of the second movie is implied that the exhibits are somehow fully aware of critical pieces of information about modern times: Napoleon is able to keep tabs on one of his potential modern descendants and relate about him to Larry even if he simply couldn't have had no way to know about their relationship.
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    • Amelia Earhart claims to have always been aware of her fictional nature, and the bust-Roosevelt shows no surprise about the existance of a wax-Roosevelt with arms, and legs and an horse. Thus, it can be supposed that the same magic keeping them alive gives them awareness of their nature and roles.
    • In the third movie, Lancelot is shown having trouble accepting that he is in fact not real, and doesn't really grasp it until his nose melts. This would seem to disprove this earlier line of thought, except for one major difference between him and Teddy and Amelia...He's a fictional character. There is no real person for him to be comparing himself to, or somehow draw magical memories from, all he knows is the story that has been told about him, and that's his reality
    • It could interpreted it in a somewhat animistic way, with EVERYTHING that's meant to represent a person or animal of some sort being self-aware, no matter their state; it's just that the tablet gives them animation. This leads naturally into And I Must Scream and would easily explain why some of the exhibits grow frustrated with their lot in life.
  • Jedediah is able to drive the remote controlled car from inside. How is this possible? The tablet brought it to life too! His gun may not have worked, but the triggering mechanism did; we heard it click when he tried to shoot Larry. Likewise whatever they used to set off the ineffectual dynamite. And the car has a working motor inside; all that's needed are working controls.
    • And where are those working controls, genius? Toy cars don't have pedals!
      • Jedediah is tiny. the notion that a sculptor gave his tiny pistol an actual functioning hammer is just absurd, if not outright impossible; it's more likely that hammer was added in by the tablet, meaning the tablet could have pulled the same trick off for the RC car as well.
    • Remember when Larry and the gang think Jed and Octavius are "lost" at the end of the first movie, how they pretty much act like it's a sure thing and don't even go looking for the guys? Even if the RC car wasn't destroyed completely, sunset was fast approaching; the odds of finding two tiny men, in the snow, with minutes to spare before they turned to dust, would have been slim to none.
  • Why would an ancient Egyptian artifact reanimate both the dead and lifeless statues? According to their mythology, a person's sheut or "shadow or image" is just as much an essential part of a person as their soul. So reanimating an image of Teddy Roosevelt would make as much sense to the ancient Egyptians as it would to reanimate their body: both are equally important and both are considered part of that person.
    • In ancient Egyptian folk tales there are times were magicians bring wax figures to life, As well as the idea behind shabti's, which are the wooden representations of workers found in tombs. Covers most of the attractions in a museum- wax figures, wood or stone statues, bodily remains including those of animals.
  • Why do all the Exhibits malfunction in different ways in the third movie? Like how Teddy goes into stuttering speech, but Sacajawea just freezes. Well at the end Teddy has throw away line about he's made of wax and she's made of polyurethane. It's meant as a joke, but it could also be the explanation, the different materials they are made out of react differently as they "shut down".
    • This also applies to those not made from artificial materials: Akhmenrah progressively mummifies as the corrosion progresses, while Dexter, a stuffed monkey, suffers a heart attack and dies.
  • On the main page it is mentioned how it seems strange that Akh would be so OK with his friends from New York leaving to become statues again. There are other reasons given (all good), but then if one remembers the Cambridge line from the first movie. Akhmenrah and his tablet have been moved from museum to museum before. While the other exhibits probably have been too, they weren't moved with the tablet, and so wouldn't remember the experience, but Akh would remember all of it, so knows more than the rest of them how museum loan systems and exhibit travel works, and so knew that it wasn't goodbye forever so much as goodbye for now .
    • He might also have some administrative clout among the staff who are let in on the secret, and could thus be able to influence where he would be sent to (like Larry did at the end of the third film).
  • Why doesn’t Darth Vader talk in the second movie unlike the other villains and Oscar? Considering how he’s covered in full armor, who’s to say the mannequin looks anything like James Earl Jones (unlike the other major character statues who aren’t wearing full armor)? It could just be an ordinary featureless mannequin wearing Vader’s armor.

Fridge Horror:

  • In the sequel all paintings and presumably pictures are brought to life as well as the exhibits. Fine and dandy if you're kissing a girl or sailing in stormy seas, but what about the Holocaust exhibits?

  • Remember how Ahkmenrah spent most of the first movie locked inside a stone coffin, screaming his head off? How long has he been in there? And on that note, how many centuries did he spend coming back to life in his own tomb, knowing that he'd be dead again come sunrise?
    • Well, Teddy did say that the tablet and Ahkmenrah arrived at that museum in 1952...
    • Additionally, Teddy says "That's enough, Pharaoh! You've been in there fifty-four years, and you're not getting out tonight!" when he hears Ahkmenrah screaming, which means that Teddy and probably the other exhibits felt little sympathy for Ahk when they heard him screaming.
  • One can't help but wonder what the museum figures would feel like knowing their lot in life. They seem to sometimes show knowledge of their past but at the same time are aware of their nature without so much a "Buzz Lightyear" syndrome— did they know they were not real from the start? And how did they feel about freezing up every sunrise?
    • What about the dinosaurs, animals and cavemen? They seem to lack the intelligence to comprehend their status as not real, or in the taxidermy animals cases, their state as reanimated corpses.
    • Plus about the paintings. They're effectively trapped in their 2D world and unable to interact outside of it. Does these bother the painted figures? Is it a case of And I Must Scream?
    • And while some of these are Played for Laughs like the Augustus bust in the glass case screaming "Pompeii!", one can't help but wonder what such an existence would be like for them. Unable to move, or interact with anyone, amd stuck that way forever, yet clearly self-aware and conscious...imagine the toll on their emotional well being.
  • In the third movie, so, so much about the Roman exhibits.
    • The British Museum has plaster casts taken from the ash in Pompeii, which preserve the forms of humans and animals as they were at the time of death, suffocating or writhing in agony. How will they feel when suddenly brought to life?
    • Also, the Pompeii diorama itself. How does it restore itself before daytime?
    • Themes of violence and sexuality, including sexual assault, are present in a lot of Roman art. From the bas reliefs shown in the movie, it's clear that the violence continues when the artifacts are brought to life. Does this mean the sexual assaults will too? Every night, as long as the tablet is at the museum?
      • This is somewhat lessened by the fact that Ahkmenrah is a mummified corpse until the tablet revives him every night, meaning it's likely the casts would be similar (i.e. turn back to flesh and blood), and considering Attila has undergone character growth and become a pretty nice guy to be around, it's likely the things brought to life by the tablet don't just follow what they were created and are fully capable of undergoing character growth.
      • Plus it's, y'know, a museum. One that millions of kids visit. Anything genuinely X-rated isn't going to be on public display, and probably wouldn't be in range of the tablet.
  • In the third movie, why don't Ahkmenrah's parents show any concern over Kahmunrah, Ahkmenrah's brother from the second movie? His father gushes over how he loved Ahkmenrah enough to force the priests to give them a form of immortality, but there's no mention of their OTHER child.
    • Well they did say that Akhmenrah was born prematurely. The parents' resulting attachment might have caused problems in Ancient Egypt (which is not unlike other instances of Egyptian dynastic chaos) and envy from Kahmunrah. Basically something must have happened that led their parents to disown their firstborn and make Akhmenrah the heir.
      • For instance, how did Kahmunrah know that the tablet could open the Gates to the Underworld? Could it be that he actually tried to do this when he was still alive?
    • It's actually possible that while Kahmunrah is older than Ahkmenrah, he is the child of a concubine whereas Ahkmenrah is the child of the Queen meaning that Ahkmenrah would become the legal heir to the throne.
      • Also Ahkmenrah is a polite, composed, regal and serious-but-friendly Nice Guy, while Kahmunrah is a hammy, power-hungry, cheerful-but-ruthless and Laughably Evil bad guy who is the source of the main conflict in the second movie.
      • In an early version of the script for Battle of the Smithsonian, during a conversation with Larry, Kahmunrah reveals that he murdered Ahkmenrah for the throne. That alone would result in him being disowned.
  • The lions coming to life at Trafalgar Square. There were a LOT of witnesses and if the following night the British Museum rolls out a new "animatronic" exhibition system, some people might put two and two together, and the secret behind the tablet might begin to let slip...
    • For those who might not understand why that has horrific implications, just think: it could very well be proof that the Ancient Egyptian religion is the real deal and that 99% of the world's religions (at worst case scenario) got it all wrong. If the theological consequences weren't enough to cause riots around the globe, imagine if people discover that Merenkahre was the pharaoh that caused the events of the Book of Exodus. He was VERY, VERY wise to keep the secret at all costs.
      • Ahkemrah's parents have no clue that the Hebrews had departed or were unhappy when we see them reanimated in the third movie, so it was probably a different pharaoh that Exodus was talking about.
      • Just to mess up the theology further, what about all the religious artwork in the museums? The singing boy-band cherubs were Played for Laughs, but having the images of angels, saints, and saviors walking and talking is bound to cause some serious issues for believers.
    • However, people in London would more likely tend to view the lions coming to life as some sort of clever animatronic prank, or as an Unusually Uninteresting Sight, only talking about it the next morning, and then going on with their daily lives.
    • That's assuming anyone even believed the witnesses. That late at night, they could easily be dismissed as being drunk and deluded.
  • Someone discovering how to recreate the magic of the tablet and publishing it. You Can Panic Now.
  • As demonstrated by Ahkmenrah and Dexter, the tablet can even bring corpses back to what's gonna happen if the tablet reaches a cemetery?
  • What would happen if the tablet was near a horror video game/tv show/movie?
  • A small one, admittedly, but Sacajawea was a married woman, so presuming her simulacrum knew this fact, she'd have to (politely, I hope) rebuff Teddy Roosevelt's romantic advances. Poor fellow....
    • Except a) there is no wax figure of Sacajawea's husband to be faithful to, and b) the real man died decades, if not centuries, ago. There's no reason the museum Sacajawea can't date as she pleases.