Computer-generated imaging, or CGI, is one of the most significant breakthroughs in the history of filmmaking technology, allowing artists and animators to create films that never would have been possible otherwise. It’s become an essential tool in pretty much every filmmaker’s arsenal, but like any good tool, it’s susceptible to misuse. Creating convincing CGI requires an overwhelming amount of time, money, and talent; naturally, not every film production has all of these factors in substantial supply. Instead of using CGI as an enhancement tool, the following 10 films, regardless of their overall quality, made the mistake of replacing practical effects with CGI. The results speak for themselves.
10. The Hobbit Trilogy
You can debate the relative merits of Peter Jackson’s divisive Hobbit films until you’re red in the face, but one thing that’s tough to argue with is that the films suffered from an overreliance on CGI. Gone were the impressive, highly-detailed sets and miniatures of the far superior Lord of the Rings films, replaced by bombastic effects and a gaudy sheen over everything that only emphasized how fake it all looked. Granted, a lot of work went into the visual effects of these films and some of it looks really good (the villainous dragon Smaug is a testament to how far CGI technology has come), but when these films had three times the budget of their predecessors and look three times worse, something is wrong. You only need to look at the cartoonish goblins to get an idea of how far off-base the CGI direction went with this overstuffed trilogy.