This Captain Marvel VFX Breakdown Shows That Maybe the Movie Didn't Need 4 Cat Actors

Goose the Flerken getting into mischief.
Image: Marvel Studios

Without Goose the Flerken, there’s a very good chance that Nick Fury would have been murdered by the Kree in Captain Marvel, which would have had catastrophic consequences for the larger MCU. Without Fury, there probably wouldn’t be any Avengers, and without them, well. You get the idea.

It tracks that Marvel would go to great lengths to make sure that the studio’s first pet hero to star in a film was depicted compellingly—including going to the trouble of casting four different feline performers with different temperaments in order to capture the whole of Goose’s personality. While there were multiple cats portraying the creature, many of the alien’s scenes in Captain Marvel were crafted with significant amounts of VFX, which makes sense considering that Goose ends up journeying into space and eating a bunch of people. But in this new VFX breakdown from Trixter, it’s clear that the VFX Goose wasn’t only used for scenes that would be difficult to get an actual cat to cooperate in.

The digital cat is a damned good likeness of the real thing, but you really can’t help but wonder: If the team can make fake cats that look this authentic, why bother with living, breathing ones?

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The answer, of course, is because cats are fantastic—if very unpredictable—creatures that do all sorts of random, weird stuff that gives them personality. While a VFX house could certainly map out a number of eccentric cat mannerisms for its digital cats, it wouldn’t quite be the same as seeing actors interacting with them in the moment, and playing off their energy. That being said and having seen that clip, it’s difficult to say just how often Captain Marvel’s human actors ever actually got a chance to pal around with their animal co-stars.


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Charles Pulliam-Moore

io9 Culture Critic and Staff Writer. Cyclops was right.