Does Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson think Monsters Inc. is scientifically accurate?
Preston and Steve had the opportunity to speak with everyone’s favorites Astrophysicist, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson via Zoom today. He’s in town on September 23rd with his show, An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies, at the Kimmel Center.
Discussions of time travel and space motion rise to the surface as soon as the interview begins, with Dr. Tyson revealing that if people wanted to move backward in time, they would subsequently become stuck in the vacuum of space itself due to the fact that as one moves in the atmosphere, the Earth is moving as well.
During the conversation, Dr. Tyson gives us a glimpse of how he distinguishes the relationship between cinema and scientific accuracy. He exemplifies a variety of films that encapsulate the full understanding of the time-space continuum while remaining vivid and concise in a way that will not bore the audience.
Occasionally, the most distinct failures in a movie could be right in front of our eyes, and perhaps we might not notice such a minute detail. However, Dr. Tyson takes the initiative in pointing these small, yet critical details out. By pointing out what a film did correctly -or even incorrectly- in terms of scientific accuracy can open the conversation among filmmakers to create works that efficiently depict their message of the world that surrounds us.
Dr. Tyson revealed that before the re-release of the 1997 Titanic in 2012, he reached out to director James Cameron about an edit that needed to be made within the scene of Rose on the board, because scientifically it was impossible for her to see one of the stars from where she was. This is not the only occasion that Dr. Tyson has noticed blunders in films, but says he has often let little things go for the sake of enjoying the film for what it is. From live-action films such as the Martian and Gravity to the likes of Marvel’s Dr. Strange, to animated films such as Monsters Inc. and A Bug’s Life, Neil deGrasse Tyson connects scientific analysis and the flaws and perfections that can come from creating these works. Dr. Tyson takes concepts some might find
Incomprehensible and formats them in a way that is eloquent and easy for anyone to digest.
We’ll talk to Neil deGrasse Tyson anytime! But we’re also excited for him to talk to all of Philadelphia on September 23rd. And you better bet that we’ll be first in line to pick up his new book, Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization, on September 20th.