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Special Effect Failure / Animated Films

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  • In Disney's Aladdin, while the CGI head of the Cave of Wonders and the integration of CGI and hand-drawn animation with the magic carpet and the lava still holds up well today, some of the CGI bits inside of the cave (i.e. the escape sequence) are really showing their age now, especially if you watch it on Blu-Ray. Making matters worse is that the CGI footage was shot at a sub-HD resolution before being integrated into the film elements due to technical limitations of the time, so some digital artifacting is very noticeable in certain CGI shots, mainly in scenes with the Cave of Wonders entrance.
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  • While most of the film looks great, the CGI building shots in The Rescuers Down Under have aged horribly, most egregiously the shot with the Sydney Opera House, a low res untextured model that has noticeable clipping in it.
  • The bulk of The Secret of NIMH has impressive animation and special effects work, but some of the scenes of the Tractor and its plow during the Moving Day sequence are obvious live action footage tinted in brown, which sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the film's art. Even Don Bluth admitted he was dissatisfied with the effect in his book "The Art of Storyboard".
  • In the first Toy Story, there is one shot in the film where they forgot to turn on the motion blur in the animation (the shot where Sid goes off to get pop tarts and Woody screams due to his forehead getting burned by a magnifying glass) and the animation is noticeably more jerky in the scene as a result. And in the same shot, if you watch carefully (or still frame it), Woody actually clips through the camera as he runs offscreen!
  • Parodied in the Hilarious Outtakes Pixar did for A Bug's Life:
    • In one scene, an ant "actress" accidentally knocks over one of the "extras" in a crowd scene, which is revealed to be a cardboard cut-out.
    • Another outtake has the bird suddenly malfunctioning in mid-take, complete with metallic creaking and pneumatic actuator noises.
  • The quality of the CGI in the main trailer for My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) varied noticeably, and some of the models (most egregiously the airship, which was noted by some fans to have an "unfinished" look compared to the CGI models used in the rest of the trailer) have been unfavorably compared to the quality of a cutscene from an early Playstation game.
  • Given their Direct-to-Video nature, the mediocre CGI used in the BIONICLE movies can be forgiven, however there are a handful of errors that could have been easily avoided:
    • Mask of Light:
      • While dashing into the stadium, Jaller clips through the camera, and you can see the insides of his CGI model in full detail for a moment.
      • There's an odd bit during the Kolhii match when they forgot to move Hahli forward, so she runs in place.
      • After the crowd stops shouting "All hail Jaller!", one Matoran in the background, only halfway visible, remains frozen in cheering position. Generally, most characters in all three Miramax movies are left unanimated when they're not the focus of the shot.
      • Blinking animation is also messed up. At the end of the Kohlii game, Hewkii has his eyes closed when they should be open, and instead of blinking, he opens and closes them quickly. Later, Jaller's eyes are not fully in sync.
      • The floating mountain slope. As Kopaka braces for the Rahkshi's attack, one of the mountains in the background seems to be made up of only one slope, with the snow magically clinging onto its sides.
      • During Pohatu's speech in Onu-Koro, a lot of the Onu-Matoran are represented by blocky, detail-lacking pre-render models. When Takua arrives, all of them are replaced with such models. A similar error can be seen earlier during the Rahkshi attack on Ta-Koro, as two Matoran cowering in Guurahk's shadow are represented with pre-render models.
      • The "tiny Nuju". As the Turaga and Toa are discussing what to do, Turaga Nuju, who should have been animated behind the crowd (thus his apparent size) suddenly pops up in front of Turaga Vakama's layer.
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    • Legends of Metru Nui was full of faulty, unfinished animation. For starters, lip-sync (or even lip-movement) was a rarity. The screen would pixelate at parts, and the movements would suddenly become very choppy. Some of the Kikanalo's texturing didn't move in unison with their bodies, and at one point, the red glowing effect of their eyes shifts to the side. The final scene has noticeable clipping errors, the most obvious being the top of Jaller's head protruding through his solid mask.
    • Web of Shadows has Visorak spiders clearly walking in air, and never once touching their webs. In a particularly badly animated shot that doesn't even look finished, one of the spiders is floating in the air upside down and another one is freakishly deformed, as if someone had been playing around with its animation model. Other failures include Keetongu being visible from behind a wall as a tiny spot as he scales the Coliseum, Roodaka's catcher claw passing into her motionless arm (which should be shaking wildly with it), and in one of the slo-mo shots, as the camera angle changes, Matau being revealed to be a 2D image.
    • The Legend Reborn:
      • Being animated by a different companynote , it fared better with sharp-eyed fans. Still, there are issues, like when Kiina's animation model jumps out from behind her darkened silhouette during the scene in Ackar's hut. More famously, the introduction scene with Mata Nui's giant robot body and the ocean is flawed in every aspect: the rendering of the water, the physics, the scale, and the movements and textures of the robot itself are all sub-par and feel like they came from the previous films.
      • The Skrall squad running in place at the start of the final battle scene.
      • Berix's poorly and inaccurately animated shadow when he's running in the Hot Springs. It looks nothing like the animation the next cut implies it to be.
      • When Mata Nui cuts Kiina and Berix's cage down, it plummets to the ground, lands visibly intact, and kicks up a large cloud of dust. When the dust clears, the cage is almost completely destroyed.
  • The makers of the animated film of Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight made the strange decision to make the dragons and dragonkin CGI in what was otherwise a (poorly-done) cel-animated movie. At best, it looks jarring and ugly.
  • The deer from Epic appear to have come from a different film altogether.
  • With dull textures, unrefined motion capture, dizzying camera pans, and bizarre character designs, among other things, Foodfight! has so many of these, to the point that an accurate alternate title would be "Special Effect Failure: The Movie". It's especially bad whenever the film attempts to show fluid, and when Sunshine and some kids play "soccer" with a 2D sprite of a watermelon that never changes perspective and is always on top of everything else. Another really bad example is when the camera does a long, dramatic zoom-out after Dex attempts to propose to Sunshine...which gives you a nice long look at the horribly obviously tiled grass texture.
  • An odd downplayed example in Frozen. As Elsa is letting her hair down during the "Let it Go" number, her braid passes through her arm. This animation goof was intentional—as the alternative of doing it properly caused the entire hair rig to go out of control, they subverted it by playing it straight.
  • Heavy Metal: Following the climax of the Taarna segment when the Loc-Nar explodes and takes the whole house with it, the house that blows up is just a small model simply filmed with a blue filter.
  • In The Incredibles the detail and quality of the models are occasionally much worse than in the rest of the movie. For example, the rails and the remnants of the train car, which in part lack texture or are flat colored with cheap sparks.
    • Also the external shots of of Edna Mode's house show a small hill in the middle of a void covered with smooth static grass, devoid of objects outside of the house and the road leading to it, which both are smooth with very little texture and geometric detail. It's more fitting for a contemporary video game.
    • The background characters in general. Unlike the main and supporting characters who all have cartoonish designs, everyone else looks rather lifeless and bland; this also includes Violet's crush Tony.
  • The Invincible Iron Man looks like it was made in a cave. With a box of scraps! All the suits as well as the elemental gods are done with poorly applied cel-shaded effects, which jar horribly with the traditional animation. Their animation is also clunky and weightless compared to the pretty decent animation of the non-CG characters.
    • In one scene, Iron Man is supposed to be lying on the ground. Except he looks like he's floating a foot above it.
  • Invoked in The LEGO Movie. When Vitruvius comes back as a ghost, he is literally just a ghost minifigure being dangled on a string. This is one of the few times where a Special Effect Failure is justified, given that the entire movie is set within a real-life kid's imagination while playing with his father's LEGO set.
    • What wasn't invoked, however, is the platform the string is on when ghost Vitruvius dips. This was fixed in the digital release, however.
  • Disney's The Little Mermaid uses CGI to display ships. Most of the time, the CGI is just barely Conspicuous CG, but there is one, easily missable error with one of the ships. At the climax, Ursula raises some sunken ships from the bottom of the ocean to show her power over the ocean. In one scene where Eric, the prince that Ariel is in love with, is piloting one of these raised ships to kill Ursula, one of the CGI-rendered ships disappears for a split second before the camera shifts to Ursula.
  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas, you can actually see where the bats are held up by strings. It would have been very easy to erase them in post-production, so their inclusion in the final film is likely an intentional choice.
  • Team America: World Police mostly has pretty solid puppetry, but it's a medium hilariously unsuited to the action movie genre and the creators know that as much as anyone, so several of the special effects are deliberately off.
  • Done In-Universe in Toy Story of Terror! when the Toys are watching an old B-Movie, it's very obvious that the bat was being held up by wire. Also an out of universe subversion - attempting to recreate that gag in CGI would've been too expensive so Pixar cheated and used a real fake bat on a green screen.
  • The Transformers: The Movie: In the introduction shot of Unicron approaching the planet, his "halo" is improperly layed over the bacground buildings, making it look like he's tiny and a few meters away from the observes, rather than humongous and far away.


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