One for the books

My son Sam (8) has informed me that I am famous! A movie I co-wrote, Antz, is now in the Guiness Book of World Records, complete with poorly-scanned, over-saturated artwork. It was, apparently, the "first film with digital water." "The first movie to use computer software to simulate the properties of water was Dreamworks’ Antz (USA, 1998)," says the text. "Prior to this, computer-generated fluid effects were drawn, frame by frame, using graphics programs. Realistic water effects require powerful, physics-based computer simulations — at the time Antz was released, the only detailed studies of fluid dynamics were being carried out by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, USA, researching the flow of particles after a nuclear strike." If those Los Alamos boys had thought to put some talking ants in their studies they might have had something.

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11 Responses to “One for the books”
  1. That’s a very odd first for Guiness to point out, but congratulations on your association with it nonetheless.

    • Todd says:

      I thought so too! As in, who, besides my son, would possibly care?

      • stormwyvern says:

        Well, me, to some degree. But I have to admit, it’s not a question that ever crossed my mind before. I’m as likely wonder what was the first animated film to use cels or what was the first movie to feature a computer animated human as often as I wonder about how tall the tallest person in the world is or where you can find the world’s biggest hole. But the first film with digital water just never occurred to me.

      • Anonymous says:

        Who would most likely join Sam in caring:

        Oh, most likely everyone of us who love you and admire your work and wit. My own self included.

        Do we get to see Mantises, the movie anytime soon??????????????????

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, Todd

    But Guinness is full of shit here. If the sole criterion is “a film containing a digital representation of water,” then the feature-length Nintendo commercial The Wizard (which predates Antz by nearly a decade)has to get the nod. It contains numerous screenshots of NES games with 8-bit renderings of water.
    – Doctor Handsome

  3. kevspace says:


    The Monsters Inc. DVD short “Mike’s New Car” features a commentary track by the children of the directors, which is as awesome as that sounds, and includes a surprising answer to the question of why “water is hard to do in computer animation.”