Looking Glass Cinema: toward a "digital wackadoo" canon

: my new term for films whose digital compositions prioritize stylized designs and fantastic tableaux to "realism" or "believability" -- using digital effects and filmmaking techniques as a new art medium rather than an extension of or stand-in for practical effects, and frequently straddling the boundaries of animation/live action. what sets many of these films apart is (adapting the long animation tradition started by the Alice Comedies in the 1920s) having a few live action elements in an otherwise digital theater -- or to put it another way, live action Alices in a digital Wonderland. I'd love to expand this list, so suggestions/input encouraged.

*an additional trademark is clear seams between the the live action elements and their digital counterparts. entries starting at Aquaman (2018) are what I would consider "late digital wackadoos"; these are more recent examples where the bizarre and/or boundless CG imagination is still present but the compositing stitches less so.

Read notes
  • Speed Racer
  • MirrorMask
  • TRON: Legacy
  • Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
  • The Chronicles of Riddick
  • Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
  • The Mummy Returns
  • Pompeii
  • 300
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
  • Gods of Egypt
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Immortals
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
  • Ender's Game
  • The Evil Within
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
  • Thor
  • Ultraviolet
  • Immortal
  • Beowulf
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Terror Toons
  • Tron
  • Pitch Black
  • Riddick
  • Wanted
  • Clash of the Titans
  • The Reaping
  • Jupiter Ascending
  • The Matrix Reloaded
  • The Matrix Revolutions
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  • Green Lantern
  • Hulk
  • Van Helsing
  • Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Sucker Punch
  • Watchmen
  • Stardust
  • The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl
  • Spy Kids
  • Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
  • Sin City
  • Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
  • Wrath of the Titans
  • I, Frankenstein
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • King Kong
  • The Lovely Bones
  • The Great Wall
  • Left Behind
  • Thir13en Ghosts
  • Mortal Kombat
  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2
  • Lucy
  • John Carter
  • Constantine
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
  • I, Robot
  • 2012
  • Dracula Untold
  • Kingdoms in Time
  • Jack the Giant Slayer
  • Clockstoppers
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • R.I.P.D.
  • Dinosaur
  • Cats
  • Avatar
  • The Day After Tomorrow
  • FearDotCom
  • The Polar Express
  • Treasure Planet
  • Aquaman
  • Zack Snyder's Justice League
  • The Jungle Book
  • The Lion King
  • Hellboy
  • Alita: Battle Angel
  • Mortal Engines
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
  • Oblivion
  • Transformers: The Last Knight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu
  • Ready Player One
  • The Irishman