With sometimes hundreds of millions spent on making just one blockbuster, you'd think mistakes in movies would be a rarity. However, fans everywhere seem to pick up on those little things editors miss like continuity, audio dubbing, or cameramen in the frame.
Some movies seem to lend themselves to editing errors more than others. According to MovieMistakes.com, the ten most error-filled hit movies are:
|3||The Wizard of Oz||421|
|4||Superman IV: The Quest for Peace||414|
|5||Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl||390|
|6||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban||318|
|7||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets||298|
|8||The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King||289|
Granted, some of the errors reported may be considered trivial by some, but to die-hard fans, even the smallest error can mean a lot.
Movie Editing Errors Examples
Curious what constitutes an editing error?
- "In Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Mini Me hands Scott a piece of paper with black and red writing on it. The problem is, he wrote with only one pen.
- Mr. and Mrs. Smith is set in New York City, but during a fight scene between the couple, a Los Angeles street sign is visible.
- When Sonny is shot at the toll both in The Godfather, the windshield is destroyed and yet when his bodyguards arrive a few seconds later, it is undamaged.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is littered with misplaced scar tissues starting with the second half of the film. Frodo starts out with a scar on his right jaw, but the scar is later seen on the left jaw, in different positions on his right jaw, and the injury varies in size.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets makes a pretty big oopsie while enthusiastic Hogwarts students watched a duel between Harry and Malfoy. In fact, everyone, including the film crew was scrambling to get the perfect shot. You can tell because a cameraman comes into plain view within this scene.
- The Twilight Saga: New Moon offers two glaring consistency issues. First of all, while you were mystified by Jacob's glamor muscles, you might have noticed his tattoo has a hard time staying at the same height on his right shoulder. While shirtless, Jacob confronts Bella and Edward with a tattoo that appears to move roughly two inches in height. Bella and Edward also seem to switch sides of each other a couple times while confronting the Volturi--talk about that lightning vampire speed!
- The Hunger Games series magically changes the physical appearance of Buttercup the cat. In The Hunger Games, Buttercup proves to be a black and white cat, but in Catching Fire, Buttercup appears to get an orange striped makeover. It's magic.
- A League of Their Own placed great importance on the list posted stating if the girls made a team or got cut. Doris and Mae share a triumphant hug when discovering they have made the cut and will be playing on the same team, but in the next shot, Kit anxiously pushes through the crowd while Doris still eagerly searches for her name on the coveted list.
- Pretty Woman seems to have a few great breakfast options as Vivian munches on a croissant for the most important meal of the day--or does she? Next thing you know, Viv magically holding a pancake with a big bite missing from it.
- Star Wars is known for those robotic Storm Troopers that always appear to move in perfect unison. But…uh-oh…during A New Hope, one trooper appears to be much too focused on his target, Luke Skywalker, instead of the door he smashes his head into.
- Jaws has that scene that has permanently burned into everyone's brains: the one when innocent Chrissy is devoured by the ominous great white shark. The thing is, her screams don't quite match up with the movement of her lips. Apparently, sharks invoke fear that warps the sound barrier.
- Titanic shows Jack is a pretty slick character, but so is his hair. When Jack brings Rose below the more prestigious decks, his hair appears slightly messy and free falling. However, he seems to get ahold of some hair gel off camera because his hair suddenly becomes slicked back perfectly mid-scene.
- Troy takes place many, many, many centuries ago in an era of brutal warfare. Clearly, there wasn't anything like electricity invented yet, right? Wrong. Apparently, there are planes in this time as one cruises by during a close up on Achilles.
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is an intense adventure film that keeps you on the edge your seat. The military personnel themselves are enough to keep you on edge. However, when a female in uniform gives orders to other personnel, it makes you raise an eyebrow because no one in the 1930s had females in the military.
- Back to the Future is a film that jumps from time period to time period with ease. But they didn't do their homework when it comes to when things were invented like handicapped parking signs. During the clock tower chase scene in the 1950s, there are many handicapped signs to be seen, but those signs weren't used until the 1970s.
- Speed gives you an adrenaline rush with every watch. It consistently keeps you on the edge of your seat, unlike the consistency with Harry's limp. Throughout the film, his limp fluctuates between his right and left leg.
Animated Movie Bloopers
It's not only your standard movie that comes packing editing errors. Animated films do, too! As a matter of fact, there are many examples including your favorite classics that have tons of noticeable errors.
- Tangled is a silly movie that always brings a smile to everyone's face, except when Flynn gets tied up and restrained by Rapunzel's hair. Flynn falls hopelessly to the ground on his left side while still being restrained to a chair only to be pulled back into an upright position while lying restrained on his back.
- Pokemon is an adventurous anime movie with exciting ups and heartfelt downs. However, Ash's friend Brock seems to be particularly up when discovering how cute Nurse Joy is in her missing person's poster. The same can't be said for his shadow because it seems to be missing from the initial shot. However, the next shot shows his shadow completely covering the poster.
- Spongebob Squarepants seems to have an inconsistency when Mr. Krabs catches on fire. When he is engulfed in the flames, Mr. Krabs is butt-naked. However, when he jumps in a barrel of water, his clothes reappear as if he got dressed during this hot scene.
- The Lion King seems to have an issue with getting Simba's best friend and love interest, Nala's, eye color right. Nala's eyes appear to be blue for the majority of the film, but when she stalks Timon and Pumba in the dire need to eat, her eyes change to a stark green.
- Cinderella seems to be slightly out of tune with this error. When Anastasia kicks the footman into the piano keys, his head appears to hit the left side of the piano. However, high-pitched notes seem to be the sound that comes from these keys. The left end of the piano is all low notes.
- Toy Story fails during the important operation in which the toys try to discover what Andy got for his birthday. The scene centers around Woody and the army men, who communicate through a baby monitor. But during a wide shot of the scene, the baby monitor is nowhere to be seen.
- The Little Mermaid showcases Ariel's massive collection of random objects. After Sebastian discovers the cupboard where Ariel keeps her collection, he gets tangled in a few of her collector's items. One item is a thimble that gets stuck on his claw. The next shot is then thimble-less followed by a shot with the thimble right back on his claw.
- Ratatouille teaches that everyone can cook. Except for Alfredo who is scolded by Colette for his dirty sleeves on his chef's outfit. However, the next shot shows a perfectly clean and pristine Alfredo who never went home to change his clothing.
- The Simpsons Movie is a classic adult cartoon that brings laughs to those that are young at heart. Remember the part where a very naked Bart is handcuffed to a lamppost, and he is censored by a very long piece of grass? Well, where did the grass come from? The original shot shows no such plant.
- Beauty and the Beast shows that one should never judge a book by its cover. In fact, the musical number "Be Our Guest" welcomes everyone and anyone to the castle's dinner table. Including the Eiffel Tower, which technically hasn't been constructed yet.
- Aladdin is a film that says big dreams can come true no matter how farfetched they may seem. But, speaking of farfetched, it seems as though Jasmine has impossibly small hands. In the scene where she is caught stealing, the merchant grabs her hands and totally engulfs them in his by a long-shot. The perspective of body parts is way off.
- Monsters Inc. puts a funny spin on the monsters versus human relationship. In fact, the humans are so toxic that the monsters can't even tough their stuff-or can they? When monster George Sanderson touches a human sock, he is brutally handled until he is deemed as a non-threat. However, Sully gets away with stuffing a whole locker full of Boo's toys without an issue. Seems a little unfair.
Movie continuity is checked and double checked. In fact, if you check the closing credits of many blockbusters, you will see at least one name listed as a continuity checker. It is his job to review all the film footage for editing errors. He checks to make sure the star is wearing the same earrings from one shift in a camera shot to another. He double checks that a movie made in December but set in June doesn't include a shot of a blizzard in the background. Beyond that, he checks the movie timeline to make sure it stays intact and agrees with historical data. In other words, if a movie is set in 1963, it should not reference an event that did not occur until 1969. Imagine the magnitude of the task!
Other types of movie editing errors spotted may include:
- Reflections of crew or equipment in sunglasses, windows, etc.
- Crew members actually showing up in scenes
- Calendars not agreeing to movie timeline
- Continuity issues with reality (for example, songs playing on the radio that would not have been written yet during the time when the movie is set)
Corrections Are Imminent
While many moviemakers have learned to live with sporadic movie inconsistencies, others have gone to great lengths to correct errors in the DVD version, so don't be surprised if you remember an error in the big screen version of a movie that you don't see at home. For example, in the original version of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Hans Solo goes from not wearing a jacket to wearing a jacket in the scene where he is put into the carbonite. Now, if you picked up a copy of the DVD, you can very easily see where the jacket has been altered white to match his shirt.
Movie Errors Galore
Looking for errors in specific movies or just curious what else you may have missed in your favorite movies? Visit:
There is a lot of time and effort that goes into a full-length film, but the many people involved with the movie can lose track of the details they need to keep consistent, audio and dialog dubbing, and even clearing the crew for the perfect shot. Although it may seem cringe-worthy, these errors actually give people a little something more to talk about. So rejoice when you catch one because you need a keen eye.