This chapter illustrates the role of insects in movies and other media. The ubiquity of insects and the frequency of their interactions with humans virtually ensure that they will feature prominently in cultural contexts. Throughout history, insects have conspicuously appeared in a range of visual media, including painting, sculpture, printing, and engraving. Thus, with the advent of film in the late-19th century, insects were depicted in some of the earliest efforts; since then, they have made appearances in virtually every form of this modern medium. As the 21st century begins, insect images are common in film and television, and their role in cinema is firmly established. In fact, their impact on culture has been so pronounced that references to insect movies even serve on occasion as punch lines in jokes and cartoons, and the expressions "big bug film" and "insect fear film" are widely recognized. With the continuing development of computer-generated imaging (CGI) and the explosion of such outlets for films as cable stations, satellite television, DVD, and video markets, the future of insects and other arthropods in the movies looks secured. Arthropods will certainly continue to be objects of distaste and unease for audiences throughout the world and so will remain staples of horror films and sci-fi adventures. Moreover, CGI and developments in macrophotography ensure that insect images on screen will become increasingly sophisticated, although scriptwriting will doubtless remain as resolutely unrealistic as it has since the earliest days of insects in cinema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Insects
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780123741448
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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