Spider-Man: Into The Uncanny Valley

This is interesting.

The video below shows (supposedly) an animatronic version of Spider-Man that’s going to appear in the Avengers Campus exhibition coming to Disney California Adventure Park that I learned of via Superherohype.

And it looks pretty interesting, but if you look closer it resides firmly in the uncanny valley because it’s missing one important aspect of every living being, namely a body in motion–be it a mammal, most insects, arachnid or a simple single-celled organism, their bodies don’t remain static in motion.

This is easily proven. Flex your fingers. The shape of your hand and fingers change as skin stretches or tightens, joints bend, and muscle tighten or expand.

There’s a lot going on there and while you likely barely notice your hands or any other body part moving, there’s actually something profound going on there.

This transformation in musculature is something that–as of yet–animatronics are unable to do, never mind doing so convincingly because they have no skin as we define it, no muscles, no blood racing though veins informing everything the body does.

‘Spider-Man’ bends moves his legs and arms, and bends his knees and elbows but still comes comes off like a mannequin in motion, as opposed to a living, breathing being.

And I don’t mean to diminish the work done, it’s pretty impressive though it doesn’t quite read as an actual person either.

Then again, the animatronic is likely designed to be viewed from a distance, which means no one would see it close enough to see the difference.

But it’s there.

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