8 CGI designs that movie fans hated - from 'Cats' to 'Sonic the Hedgehog'

·7 min read
lola bunny in space jam
Lola Bunny is voiced by Zendaya in Space Jam 2. Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures
  • "Space Jam: A New Legacy" is the latest movie to face backlash for desexualizing Lola Bunny.

  • But the LeBron James-led movie isn't the only movie that fans have panned because of a CGI design.

  • "Cats" and "The Mummy Returns" are also two movies where fans hated the CGI designs.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Lola Bunny's desexualization did not impact the box office success of "Space Jam 2"

Lola Bunny in Space Jam 2
Malcolm Lee, who directed "Space Jam: A New Legacy," said Lola Bunny "needed some evolution." Warner Bros

"Space Jam: A New Legacy" received mixed reactions from fans after the first image was released by Entertainment Weekly back in March.

The fans were particularly divided on the redesign of Lola Bunny, a female version of Bugs Bunny who first appeared in the original "Space Jam."

In the sequel, she had been marginally desexualized, leading to many conservative commentators calling the change a product of cancel culture. Others, including former pro golfer Paige Spinarac, felt that the redesign also implied that women couldn't be both sexy and strong.

The director of the sequel, Malcolm Lee, told Entertainment Weekly earlier this month that he did not really understand the backlash.

"Listen, I understand people don't want things to change, but I think we needed some evolution with her, not by objectifying her but by making her strong and still feminine," he added.

However, the backlash didn't seem to cripple the movie too much as the sequel is looking like a box office hit so far. Other films, however, weren't so lucky.

"Cats" made a $10 million loss after fans were creeped out by the trailer

ian mckellen in cats
Ian Mckellan from the 2019 movie adaptation of "Cats." Universal Pictures

Following the success of recent musical movies, the decision was made to adapt another musical to the big screen. Unfortunately, the musicals chosen was "Cats."

Before July 2019, the musical may have been remembered for its iconic song "Memory," but now it's more likely to be remembered for the nightmare-fuelling CGI cats.

Tom Hopper, the director of "Cats," told The Times that the movie was redesigned after the "insane" reaction from fans. The film was not even finished until less than 48 hours before its premiere, but that was too late to save the movie.

"Cats" received a score of 19% from Rotten Tomato and it grossed only $74 million worldwide, which was roughly $21 million shy of the movie's budget.

"Sonic the Hedgehog" was delayed for a year after fans hated the character's design in the first trailer

Sonic the Hedgehog original design
"Sonic the Hedgehog" original design. Paramount Pictures

Another movie with CGI so bad that it had to be redesigned before its premiere was "Sonic the Hedgehog."

It was the first time audiences got to see the blue speedster brought to life in a live-action film. Still, after seeing the trailer in April 2019, fans hated it.

The main issue was how human-like they made Sonic, which tapped into what is called the uncanny valley, where humans are unsettled by avatars or robots that look a lot like humans but are not human.

The backlash was so bad, the movie was delayed a year to redesign Sonic to be less "creepy."

However, this time the redesign was enough to save the movie. "Sonic the Hedgehog" was an unexpected hit and was the top-grossing superhero film of 2020.

Dwayne Johnson's CGI Scorpion King did not hinder "The Mummy Returns," but stopped fans from wanting to watch the spin-off

The Scorpion King, Dwayne Johnson
"The Scorpion King" was released a year after "The Mummy Returns." Universal via YouTube screengrab

While "The Mummy Returns" was responsible for launching Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's film career, it was the last incredibly successful film in the franchise, according to box office numbers.

One scene of Johnson edited onto a scorpion was criticized by both film critics and graphic artists at the time for being terrible.

The following film in the series, a spin-off focusing on Johnson as the Scorpion King, did terribly at the box office as a result.

"The Scorpion King" only received $180 million-grossing worldwide, less than the domestic grossing for "The Mummy Returns" alone, which was a total of $202 million.

The sequel, "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," released six years later only earned $102 million domestically, but did do better worldwide with a total of $403 million worldwide grossing.

"Die Another Day" was commercially successful but many see it as the worst Bond movie after its terrible CGI scenes

die another day pierce brosnan halle berry
Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry in "Die Another Day." 20th Century Fox

Commercially "Die Another Day" was a successful Bond movie, but it has been regarded by critics as one of the worst movies in the series.

The dislike of the movie was not completely down to CGI, however the attempts to raise the stakes to compete with other spy movies did not help.

The main criticisms were about the very visible "invisible car" and one particular scene where Pierce Brosnan, as Bond, rides a tidal wave. A Guardian reporter wrote that the latter scene looked like it had "been made on a Sega Megadrive."

Henry Cavill's weird upper lip in "Justice League" was part of the reason the original movie was heavily criticized

henry cavill justice league mustache
Henry Cavill and his digital upper lip as Superman in "Justice League." Warner Bros.

The failed attempt at removing Henry Cavill's facial hair was high on the list of problems that prompted fans to criticize 2017's "Justice League" and petition Warner Bros. to release Zack Snyder's original vision for the film.

Henry Cavill's contract for another movie, "Mission: Impossible – Fallout," meant he could not shave his mustache, meaning it had to be digitally removed, creating a weird upper lip in some scenes.

The final product had low critic ratings and a box office grossing much lower than it should for DC's first big crossover movie.

"Avengers: Endgame" re-release received backlash due to an unfinished scene with Professor Hulk

avengers endgame professor hulk
Mark Ruffalo in "Avengers: Endgame." Disney/Marvel

With "Avengers: Endgame," the fan backlash came from the extended cut.

When Marvel re-released the superhero movie in 2019 additional content was added, including an unfinished deleted scene featuring Professor Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

In the scene, we see Hulk save children from a fire before receiving a phone call from Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), which would have been slotted in the original movie before Steve and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) first meet up with the Hulk.

The scene was unpolished and Hulk's mouth didn't even move when you heard Ruffalo's voice, prompting fans to criticize its addition to the re-release and mock the design.

Fans thought Jabba the Hutt's addition in the special edition of "Star Wars: A New Hope" was unnecessary

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Jabba the Hutt in the "Star Wars" trilogy. LucasFilm

Like "Avengers: Endgame," the backlash to bad CGI in the first "Star Wars" movie did not come with its original release. But when the 1997 special edition released in theaters to mark the movie's 20th anniversary it annoyed fans.

In the original "A New Hope," Jabba the Hutt did not appear at all. Creator George Lucas had planned it, but special effects weren't good enough to edit the giant slug-like alien into the movie.

Hence for the special release, Jabba was digitally edited in and most fans felt that the scene was unnecessary. Although Jabba was never aesthetically pleasing to look at, this version of him was definitely the most unappealing.

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