Personally, one of the hallmarks of human ingenuity and our penchant for playful behavior is no better displayed than in a movie’s — and more recently, television’s — visual effects. Here, entire worlds, species, beings, and more are created all from the mind of people like you and me (only way more talented). And this little clip definitively proves that, in 130 years, we’ve come a crazy-long way.
“Visual effects” is really more of an umbrella term for any of the myriad processes by which imagery is created outside of live action shots. But even that shows how, with a little bit of wiggle room and an exciting problem to solve, humans are capable of really impressive, cool, and awe-inspiring things. As the limits of our world expand, so too our storytelling capabilities, and when they’re complemented by the work of ingenuous creatives, bona fide magic is created on-screen.
Video editor Jim Casey‘s chronological exploration of visual effects in film really shows just how far we’ve come. Though there are many, many clips included — going back as far as 1878 (jeez!) — some of the coolest moments from the likes of A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la Lune), Marry Poppins, Jurassic Park, Star Trek, Gravity, and more are on display, creating welcome reminder of our accomplishments in the field. Which is really quite nice considering the neverending snark parade that is our at-times-hypercritical now.
Alright film nerds: can you name all of the films in this clip without cheating? Let’s try to list ’em all in the comments below.