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Welcome to Cinematica Animalia! If you share our love of both science and movie monsters, then tune in as we - two ecologists, one veterinarian, and a writer - explore the ecology and physiology of cinematic creatures; explaining what works, what mostly doesn’t, and how the movie’s plot is subsequently affected. At the end of the day, we just love talking about science.
 
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show series
 
The Cinematica Team finishes off their series by returning to the movies that inspired, guided, and helped them to become the people they are today. Join them one last time to discuss science and storytelling within a shared love of films. Thank you so much for listening and joining us over these last few years. It has been a joy to share with all …
 
This week, the CA Team goes into the belly of the beast, The Sea Beast (2022) that is. It's a whale of tale as we discuss all things cetaceans. What would really happen if you got swallowed by a whale? What is whale culture? How were whales hunted and why? Libby also reveals what happens if Catholics stay under water for too long.TIME POINTS00:00:4…
 
Raise your wands, prepare your blades, and grab your magic babies and join the Cinematica Team as they explore the world of Willow (1998). What would happen to humans if they were mouse sized? Could a brontosaur evolve a taste for meat? Is the Fantasy genre still profitable?All of these questions and more will be explored in the name of Elora Danan…
 
The Cinematica team gets "hooked" by the latest season of Love, Death, and Robots and "wade" into Bad Traveling (2022). Join them as they explore "shellfish" crews, basic "claws" of developmental ecology, and how short stories can "chitin" your day. Please don't be "crabby" and come join them.TIME POINTS00:00:36- Introduction and News00:03:00- Epis…
 
Check your sasquatch, because it's time to talk about Bigfoot. This week, the CA Team analyzes the found footage from Exists (2014). Adam walks in the creature's footsteps, exploring why these hairy Hendersons might be solitary; as well as why they ended up in North America. Dave's segment might be hard to find as he reveals the hidden patterns beh…
 
The Cinematica team leaves the realm of movie adaptions and returns to the source material with an exploration of their favorite books they wish would be turned into films. TIME POINTS00:00:38- Introduction & News00:03:21- Literature Trivia00:05:56- Galactic Football League Series by Scott Sigler00:20:28- The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi00:32:20…
 
What do you do when your local farm is invaded by a group of 80's aliens that don't want to phone home, help you become the last starfighter, or fight the decipticons? The answer involves homemade fireworks and a shotgun. Join the Cinematica team this week as they explore the world of Critters including the physiology of rolling, eating till your g…
 
By Grabthar's hammer and by the suns of Warvan, the CA Team goes intergalactic this week with Galaxy Quest (1999). Listen to our historical document as we probe into dick-headed octopus culture and the very real city of Octlantis. Adam proposes a theory of sentience matching body plans and breaks down the difference between convergent and homologou…
 
Time to get lost in a world full of deadly dinos. Join us as this week the CA Team takes an island vacation with The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). What should you do when you find a baby T-Rex in the wild? What is a "complete ecosystem"? Does Cretaceous Park have the same ring to it? And why is Dr. Ian Malcolm brought back from the dead? More i…
 
Peace green brother! This week the CA Team is pregnant with possibilities as we give birth to our worst movie yet: Carnosaur (1993). What is a T-Rex's proper posture? Do anti-viruses actually exist? What is so shocking about an experiment with snails and genetic memory? And what is a mockbuster; but more importantly, how many Kung Fu Panda mockbust…
 
Things just got stranger as the CA Team take on both demi-dogs and the power of Billy's mullet in our continuation of Stranger Things (2016 - present). Could the Upside Down be a meteor impact site? What is a fungal shotgun and did Hopper take one in the face? Is a virus jumping species common? What does Jurassic Park tell us about writing from a c…
 
Hold tight and flicker the light, the CA Team is upside down this week and next as we explore all the dimensions of the Stranger Things TV series (2016 - present). What type of predator is the Demigorgon and what does it lam-prey upon? Why is our bipedalism more significant than our brains as homosapiens when looking at our history? Just how powerf…
 
Everybody Dar-wins this week as the CA Team explores Evolution (2001). We discuss why the universe doesn't really styles itself in one direction, no matter how much it paynes us to think there is a story of our lives. We divide the facts from fiction on the subject of cellular mitosis. We divide the facts from fiction on the subject of cellular mit…
 
Say Expecto Patronum and hopefully summon another movie as the CA team returns for hopefully the final Fantastic Beasts film in The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022). We have serious concerns about why the Qilin would bow. We ask if this is actually a Manticore? We worry about how the Wyvern would work. Finally, we explore paper thin world building.TIME…
 
Say Accio and summon a sense of patience as the CA team returns to the world of Fantastic Beasts in the Crimes of Grindelwald (2018). We cheer with the Zouwu and its’ new found freedom. We worry about the carnivorous implications of the Kelpie. We freak out about the death of the adorable Chupacabra and WHAT KIND OF SOCIOPATH DOES THAT!? Finally, w…
 
Say alohamora to a menagerie of magical and mythical beasties this week as the CA Team casts themselves into part one of three fantastic episodes, starting with Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016). We can't get enough of Niffler and his bower bird tendencies. We harrumph at the erumpent's almost diminutive size comparative to actual gian…
 
Exactly how many monsters are in The Monster (2016)? Just like a car on an old back road, we breakdown this week's canid-like monster and ask the hard hitting questions. How can burns kill so quickly? Do wolves understand paved roads? Is it healthy to snack on other carnivores? How is an allegory different from a metaphor? Can Sam pronounce the wor…
 
This week, the CA Team bares their souls in the world of Elden Ring (2022). We wrap our tentacled brains around the strange, amorphous beaked blob that is the land octopus, now known as an octoplonk. We simp for imps as we analyze ambush predation tactics and social structures. We yabby-dabby-do want to see more crayfish take the horrifying spotlig…
 
Out of the depths came Stephen Sommers's Deep Rising (1998) and you are in for a Treat (Williams). All aboard as the CA Team asks some unsinkable questions. How far back do human's tales of sea monsters go? What exactly are Archaea Ottoia? Why are octopi's brains located throughout their tentacles? Will this group of adults be mature enough to refr…
 
The city of Gotham flashed the CA logo in the sky and we answered. For our very special 100th episode of the podcast, we chose the nontraditional, The Batman (2022)! Breaking from analyzing monsters to create our very own DCinematica versions of a realistic Batman, Catwoman, and Penguin, with the help of a very special guest host. The original vete…
 
You can't Cena me! It's time to make peace with CA's take on James Gunn's Peacemaker (2022). Are our flappy little foes, The Butterflies, really parasites? Where do bald eagle's fall on the eagle bad-assery scale (as ranked by an Australian)? Who are the Kazakh Eagle Hunters? What makes a redemption story redeemable? And will we ever get the song "…
 
For this week's episode, the CA Team rolls with the first season of The Wheel of Time series (2021). We call bollocks on Trollocs and discuss the real world examples of persistence hunters and pursuit predation. We discuss how blight ain't right by exploring the inner workings of mangroves plus the ecosystem they support and protect. And finally, w…
 
We don't talk about Bruno, no, no, but we do talk extensively about the magical house known as Casita in Disney's latest Encanto (2021). This week we look at mobile ecosystems and dirty sloths, learn two new $5 words (pyriscence and serotiny), find that Nemo is probably a pretty slimy boi, and ask the question, do stories really need a villain? Dav…
 
This week, the CA team collectively places one hand on The Book of Boba Fett (2021) and swear to protect the perpetually poorly treated rancor. We look at what a spin off actually is, sexual imprinting (not the Twilight kind), real life 6 meter/19.7 foot giant sloths, and why keeping a rancor on a desert planet, much less a dungeon, is excessively …
 
What does hentai-light, vengeful Jesus, and mislabeled fog have in common? All creep out of Stephen King's The Mist (2007). This week we are suckers for how tentacles suckers physically work. We theorize exactly how one might get caught in a caustic web. We are frank about four winged fabulously flying freaks that already exist in real life. We ask…
 
As a Last Resort, we welcome our audience this week to the Valhalla that is the Halo franchise (2001-2021?) We look at Covenant species with their methane breathing, wormy boi bridge building bodies, and birthday skulls; why Adam gives sentient culture two tactile thumbs up; and whether or not decades long stories should be self contained. You real…
 
Take a field trip to the Field Museum with us as the CA team analyzes the Kothoga from 1997's The Relic. Answered questions this week: Is our poor monster actually an addict? How did this movie get academia right and how did it get it very, very wrong? What are some real world South American cryptids? And what is a tepui? Gesundheit. TIME POINTS00:…
 
What's kraken CA fans? Take an epic journey this week with our double snake header, Clash of the Titans (2010) and Wrath of the Titans (2012). We look, but not directly at, Medusa's possible use of tetrodotoxin, djinns using advanced prosthetic technology, how civilization, not heroes, were the downfall of Greek monsters, the origins of Olympus, an…
 
When a worn out Bounty Hunter with dubious credentials gets lost in the sands of Tatooine, what happens? He meets a collection of creatures with dessert adaptations of course!Join the Cinematica team this week as they explore giant lizards, environmental catastrophes, and reptile-mammals in Disney's new The Book of Boba Fett.TIME POINTS00:00:39 – I…
 
This week, we turn out all the lights as the CA team, aka our little psycho fuck family, flies blind alongside the bio-raptors of Vin Diesel's breakout role, Pitch Black (2000). How does an entire species develop a sun allergy? What came first for bats: echolocation or flight, and why? What exactly is an antihero? Why the hell do we keep saying "ha…
 
Season 5 is here! So we decided to kick things off with Season 2. Of Netflix's The Witcher, that is. And while all of us are rightfully bewitchered by Henry Cavill, we deal with monsters, not hunky monster hunters. So this week the CA team talks invasive species, why Lamarckian evolution might help centipedes grow human hands, and the origins of th…
 
Prepare to ugly cry as this week the CA Team discusses Bong Joon-ho's super pig Okja (2017). Learn all about hippo and pig teeth, the good and bad of GMO's, the depravities of factory farming, and how emotional storytelling can change your brain. Bonus, hear why Sam thinks he should be able to gatekeep chocolate.TIME POINTS00:01:15 – Introduction a…
 
This week the team dives into Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy 2. Join them as they explore rapidly growing plant gods, angel of death eye wings, and the ravenous tooth fairies. When things go bump in the night... Cinematica Animalia tries to explain them. TIME POINTS00:00:36 – Introduction and News00:05:45 – Movie Introduction and Discussion00:12:53- …
 
This week we take a pronged approach to deconstructing the monster of the 2021 movie, Antlers. We ask who, what, where, why, and wendigo did the legend of this Algonquin creature first take shape. We look at every tine-y detail, from parasitic lifecycles to the ritualistic, cannibalistic side of human beings. Which part of the human body is the dea…
 
This week the Cinematica team joins New York Times best selling author Scott Sigler to explore the 2006 cult classic, Slither. Would the Lone One make a suitable parasite for humans? Would a hive mind be possible? How do authors like James Gunn and Scott Sigler come up with their monsters? Why is there no more goddamn Mr. Pibb?!Slither in and enjoy…
 
The team ventures into the fantastical realm of Ta Lo within the 2021 smash hit, Shan-Chi. Join them as they discuss scaled horses, vestigial wings, wormy dragons, and the dangers of inbreeding.TIME POINTS00:00:36 – Introduction and News00:04:22 – Movie Introduction, Discussion, and Trivia00:14:56- Science Discussion00:52:08- Final Thoughts…
 
Taking a short detour this week, we've talked bad movies, but now we talk bad movie tropes, both science and story. Listen to Sam, Adam, and Libby give some monster sized roars about untested hypothesis, how microscopes actually work, and lazy writing. TIME POINTS00:00:37 – Introduction and News00:06:50- Science Tropes00:24:04- Story Tropes00:40:11…
 
Dance magic dance with us as we unravel the secrets of Jim Henson's Labyrinth (1986). How do Gigantopithecus's get their rocks off? Can organism's live without their heads? Is there something scarier looming over the multi species society of the Goblin Kingdom? Most importantly, is Sarah, the protagonist, actually the real monster of this movie? TI…
 
Dust off your stillsuits, this week we are turning up the Arrakis heat and discussing the newest version of Dune (2021). We cover desertification and not the ice cream kind, how sand could become water-like, worm on worm cannibalism, and that weird mother son scene, you know which one. A question unanswered however: was it a kangaroo rat or a jerbo…
 
Count yourselves in for a treat and get sucked in to our fang-tastic vampire episode! This week on our Halloween tour, the Cinematica team wanted to take a bite into vampires with 30 Days of Night (2007). Do these undead monsters suffer from albinism or a plethora of skin disorders? Why are humans actually a terrible prey species? Are vampires real…
 
It's that spooky time of year! Over the next few weeks, we will be covering some Halloween horrors starting with the legendary Pumpkinhead (1988). What does it mean to be a digitigrade in the swamp? Does our demon use estivation to survive? And what other vicious vice demons did the Cinematica team create to join the likes of Pumpkinhead?TIME POINT…
 
Delve into the interdimensional depths with the Cinematica team as we explore Pacific Rim (2013). This week we answer the monster sized questions. What do kaiju and 3D printing have in common? Do dinosaurs have a second brain? And will movies ever stop making boob armor? Full disclosure: we can't answer that last one.TIME POINTS00:00:31 – Introduct…
 
You shall not pass...this episode. Join the Cinematica team as they return to Middle Earth to explore the Wargs, Fellbeast, Mumakil, and more. Could you really fly on a Fellbeast? How long would it take to domesticate a bear dog? Does Adam even like Lord of the Rings? Listen in to get all the answers you are looking for!TIME POINTS00:00:42 – Introd…
 
This week Adam and Sam sit down to talk about the general ecology of the world of Middle Earth. Where are all the animals? Why do ecosystems change at the drop of a hat? Why is no one talking about how scary Ents are?TIME POINTS00:00:36 – Introduction and News00:06:10 – Movie Introduction and Discussion00:17:23- Science Discussion00:33:20- Environm…
 
This week the Cinematica team dishes on the 2008 rom-com Cloverfield! We learn how rebar impalement is a "walk it off" kind of injury, that found footage is really lost footage, and in addition to being lost in New York City Kevin McCallister style, poor Slusho was also heavily parasitized. TIME POINTS00:00:38 – Introduction and News00:05:41 – Movi…
 
Descend into the horror of, well, The Descent (2005). Join the Cinematica team as we spelunk and debunk the common misconceptions of cave critters, why squirrels' ankles are relevant, and to see or not to see seems to be the question.TIME POINTS00:00:34 – Introduction00:02:13- News00:06:45 – Movie Introduction and Trivia00:22:00- Science Discussion…
 
A young boy's uncle murders his father and attempts to murder him in a bid for his inheritance and prime real estate. This week Cinematica Animalia journey's into the animated classic The Lion King (1994). We are joined by conservation ecologist, Maria Gatta to discuss why hyenas so unfairly get a bad rap, how Scar and Mufasa easily could've shared…
 
Who wants to talk about that unusual plant in the window? Join the team this week as they discuss the 1986 classic Little Shop of Horrors. Listen as they relive the songs, argue over how a plant would consume unsuspecting shop owners, and discuss which of theatrical endings was the best. Experience their thoughts on why Audrey II is really a Mean G…
 
This week, the Cinematica team decides who has the deadliest guns: Arnold, Carl, or the Predator (1987). In this classic film, we take a laser focused look into how this dreaded alien can not just climb up and down trees, but jump from them as well. We'll also "rave" about its glowing blood, talk about what might be a memorable but vestigial left o…
 
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