“Too real is too creepy”…

That just about sums it up, doeesn’t it? Isn’t it exciting that as we inch toward total dis-humanity we are grossing ourselves out with it too?

Poor Disney then, and the producers of the new smash hit Mars Needs Moms.

Despite our numerous collective avatar/clones flickering about ‘selflessly’ on everything from Facebook, to World of Warcraft, to Second Life and beyond; and a generation of hypercapable real-life robotics turning A.C. Clarke’s dreams into yesterday’s news, we seem to have not gained much ground in terms of the ability to not freak ourselves out!

Personally, I’ve been wondering when the next brave step towards perfect cinematic human rendering would happen (Final Fantasy was ten years ago, kids). It seems like we should already be done with real actors to the same degree we are almost done with real human beings in general. But according to this article (a review of Mars Needs Moms) we’re still nowhere near ready to face ourselves on screen as perfected beings – only in real life can we completely disengage from our own “perfection”, I suppose. Is the silver screen finally just a bad ‘platform’?

I’m reminded of an occurrence during my years working in film and television when I happened rather suddenly upon a rubber ‘prop’ baby that was being prepped for a scene. The moment I saw it my blood ran cold! It was so “real” that it could only be…dead! I was truly frightened, for a split second, and then just repulsed by it’s lingering presence for the next few hours on a prop cart. (And, one supposes, it’s also worth remembering here the modern thrill of the Virtual Girl sex doll and all it’s corpse-y eroticism – so real you could almost reach out and – yuck!). The epilogue of all this, of course, is that ultimately – through the lens and to the screen – this “dead” baby was not frightening in the least to anyone watching the final product. Quite the opposite, in fact.

It’s no new concept that a slight tweak on human appearance is more terrifying than a monstrously distorted one (say, Nosferatu vs [pick any modern zombie movie]), but one would think that we are getting used to this kind of imagery, no?

Apparently not, and not even almighty Disney can outwit that phenomenon as it turns out. Very interesting.

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