Worth Watching: Visual Effects: 100 Years of Inspiration Video

August 30, 2009

Star Wars

I don't know a good way to introduce this. It's one of those great videos that you just need to watch simply based on the title alone. It's called Visual Effects: 100 Years of Inspiration – a "5th-grader-friendly" collection of clips and making-of footage from notable visual effects films of the past century. YouTube user bengraphics says it was "originally intended for educational use as an introduction to a classroom lecture." It's pretty damn awesome to see and will definitely be nostalgic for anyone that loves great visual effects. I first found this on Awards Daily but apparently it also was posted by Cinematical before that. Watch below.

Ryan of Awards Daily puts it best: "It's a reminder of a simpler era when pulling a top hat out of a charcoal sketch was so pants-shittingly awesome genies had to wear adult diapers." It is also reminds me why I'm so excited to see James Cameron's Avatar - I think he's taking us into a new era with that movie just as he did before with The Abyss and Terminator 2, two movies which were featured in the video. Oh and the music was awesome too - it was "Rods and Cones" by the Blue Man Group. As great as it is to always look back at so many wonderful visual effects, it also makes me excited to think about what's coming next in the future.

Find more posts: Cool Stuff, To Watch



Strange there is nothing from The Matrix !?

Oliver on Aug 30, 2009


Cool but, my only gripe is the big skip from 1993 to 2004 (Jurassic park to Spiderman). I mean thats the time when vfx were really getting going. Obviously you can't throw everything into five minutes, but atleast put in The Matrix, Fifth Element maybe Lord of the Rings? How about an animated movie..Toy Story?

Nic on Aug 30, 2009


I watched Terminator 2 for the millionth time yesterday. The T1000 FX still translate awesome for today.

L on Aug 30, 2009


WTF... no VFX from The Matrix???

T-Man on Aug 30, 2009


It is really nice clip but without The Matrix ,Lord of the Rings and King Kong !!!

Oliver on Aug 30, 2009


Keep this in mind about this video..."originally intended for educational use as an introduction to a classroom lecture." That probably explains the lack of The Matrix...almost all of the effects in The Matrix are of a pretty violent nature.

Kevin on Aug 30, 2009


Oliver....they had 2 shots of king kong....the 1933 movie and the remake.

mortuus on Aug 30, 2009


I agree with putting in the matrix. But where the fuck is 2001???? That was probably the best visual effects made ever.

Tyn on Aug 30, 2009


Yeah what #6 said but theres no excuse for no overshot of Mordor or Gondor on lord of the rings.

Cody on Aug 30, 2009


More King Kong, please!

SUPER X II on Aug 30, 2009


#7 mortuus / Yeaah I know , I saw the clip of the King Kong 2005 but I didn't see the King Kong by himslef 🙂 just Naomi Watts and the other actor. and that was my point !

Oliver on Aug 30, 2009


Ummm...Where was the CGI/Church scene from Young Sherlock Holmes? Also, it was missing scenes from The Last Starfighter!

Lordofcinema on Aug 30, 2009


What about tron, superman, clash of the titans?

JoohuNdur on Aug 30, 2009


yeah without 2001 A Space Odyssey, this video isn't that good!

Xerxex on Aug 30, 2009


Well this clip has been circulating the web like crazy last link. For those that are saying the Matrix to be in this and such, i think the author wanted to convey visual effects that are meant to change the industry or create inspiration for future fx artists. In this case the Matrix wouldnt fit (if ur talking bout bullet time etc...) because that effect itself isnt that useful today nor did it "advance" any technology.

Nikhil Hariharan on Aug 30, 2009


No Roland Emmerich?

AprilCoolsDay on Aug 30, 2009


I agree with LordofCinema, the omission of Young Sherlock Holmes is huge. And how about Sin City?

Lordofcinema on Aug 30, 2009


^ Everything you guys are saying is accurate, but I think this is just the creator's version of what he wants to show, not every last movie like that. In fact, I get tired of always seeing Young Sherlock Holmes referenced over and over, so I'm happy to see some different movies spice it up, but it's still a good video and we still remember all the other greats...

Alex Billington on Aug 30, 2009


Where's Howard the Duck? Where's Piranha? How about Krull? Are you people serious? Who cares what movies are left out of a non-profit Youtube video montage that a teacher made for school? The video makes it's point even if it doesn't meet up to your standards (I for one would have liked to have seen some Georges Melies scenes at the beginning...but who cares?).

Kevin on Aug 30, 2009


Yeah was surprise not to see The Matrix in there. Pretty much change action movies.

ZzFDKzZ on Aug 30, 2009


Kevin in 19 gets it! Great visual trip through special effects. Shows how much has been accomplished. And makes you wonder what's coming! Thanks for sharing.

MgbPeregrine on Aug 30, 2009


Yeah, a lot missing and a lot that didn't need to be there but not a bad watch...kinda. I've had worse wastes of time. Never the less, Alex once again not so subtlety mentions Avatar which will do nothing for anything. it's IMAX which we've seen and it's 3D which has been done long long ago. When VR happens something a bit more realistic happens, then we will see a change. I think we've reached our point for the time being.

Tra la la la la di da on Aug 30, 2009


Cool, but it kinda bugged me that it only said what some of the movies were. Especially since they were all ones I already knew.

Luke on Aug 30, 2009


I mean while they were playing.

Luke on Aug 30, 2009


Um, where is 2001: A Space Odyssey? Before Star Wars, it was.

Alex on Aug 30, 2009


Nightmare Before Christmas, The Matrix, 2001 and Sin City of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow needed to be on this list. Still an Awesome video though and#15 The part that I think needed to be shown is the Neo's dodge from the original Only because that was all stop motion. The camera was on a track going like 80miles around a backbreaking Keanu taking some odd number of pictures every second. The scene took 4 seconds to shoot or something crazy like that, And is in my opinion a trick that needs to be used much more in movies. That was the first time its been done and it looked AMAZING.

DoomCanoe on Aug 30, 2009


It was a neat compilation to see how things have evolved throughout the years. If anything, it seems as though Jurassic Park was the pinnacle of CGI and the only advancements from thereon in were through camera angles, not so much the CG aspects. I also know that Steve Williams (the guy mainly responsible for JP's look) spent countless hours finessing the movie whereas I've never heard much else from other movies where the creative team goes above and beyond what's needed (aside from The Matrix, as people have stated). But I will admit, seeing Brad Pitt's face transform like that was a bit eerie. I didn't realize how old he actually looks when compared to his CG counter part. That being said, I am still waiting for the next step in CG evolution - where the work doesn't come off as 'cartoony'. Spider-Man 1-2-3 all looked cheesy, and so did Pirates... And from what I've seen, Avatar does not look like it will step up to that. Sorry Alex 😉

Dan the Fan on Aug 30, 2009



TTEX on Aug 30, 2009


Stop complaining about missing movies in the clip. Just go and create your own clip.

L1A on Aug 30, 2009


Wasn't the "ring" in the explosion of the Death Star only added with the theatrical re-release as Lucas's special edition version?

dRailer on Aug 30, 2009


The Matrix's VFX are better than some movies that have come out in the last three years.

d1r3ct on Aug 30, 2009


I know this is only about a 5 minute video but there is a long list of things that should be included... Here's things that pop into my mind... Trip to the moon gone with the wind (burning of Atlanta) 1955 day the earth stood still 2001 Close Encounters Raiders ET Young Sherlock Holmes (stained glass knight 1st CG character) T2 Forrest legs on Lt. Dan Toy Story Matrix...bullet time LOTR Fellowship...the Balrog AOTC...Yoda vs. Dooku LOTR 2 towers...Gollum The Polar Express ROTS G. Grievous Transformers Dark Knight (Prisoner Escort Chase) Avatar (clip from the trailer)

Kamish on Aug 31, 2009


@30 - Yes. 😛

Dan the Fan on Aug 31, 2009


HUGE props for Jason and the Argonauts. LOVE that move!

Korm on Sep 1, 2009


Where is Optimus Prime, Neo and Speed Racer?..this is revolution effects of this age....bad job....missing a lot.....

mikezet on Sep 4, 2009

New comments are no longer allowed on this post.



Subscribe to our feed -or- daily newsletter:
Follow Alex's main account on twitter:
For the latest posts only - follow this one:

Add our updates to your Feedly - click here

Get the latest posts sent in Telegram Telegram