Watch the trailer for Beowulf, a movie based on an old English epic poem composed in around 1100 AD. The all-CGI movie has been directed by Robert Zemeckis (of Forrest Gump fame).
Even though the images look stunningly beautiful, the film could very well be a failure due to the ‘Uncanny Valley‘ effect. The same phenomena which led to the failure of ‘Final Fantasy:The Spirits Within‘ and Zemeckis’ previous CGI excursion – ‘The Polar Express‘. This time around, they must be hoping that the cast comprising of major stars like Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich and Angelina Jolie will dazzle us into watching the film.
Uncanny Valley as defined by Wikipedia: it means that if an entity is sufficiently non-humanlike, then the humanlike characteristics will tend to stand out and be noticed easily, generating empathy. On the other hand, if the entity is “almost human”, then the non-human characteristics will be the ones that stand out, leading to a feeling of “strangeness” in the human viewer.