Watch 112 years of movie aliens in just over three minutes
From 1902's "A Trip to the Moon" to "Guardians of the Galaxy," take a look at how our portrayal of aliens has changed on the big screen.
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Just two years into the 20th century, French director and illusionist Georges Méliès released a silent film called "A Trip to the Moon." Involving a cannon-fired space capsule shot to the moon and the capture of a lunar inhabitant known as a Selenite, it's regarded as the first science fiction film. It's also the oldest film featuring an extraterrestrial in Wikipedia's list of such things.
Since then, Méliès' work has inspired over a century of films featuring characters that don't hail from our planet. We've ventured far beyond the moon in sci-fi films and met aliens both terrifying ("Aliens") and not-so terrifying ("Space Balls").
A new YouTube video from content-curation giant Digg rounds up the aliens that have appeared on-screen from 1902's Selenites right through to the talking raccoon, living tree, green-skinned Gamora and hulking Drax the Destroyer in 2014's "Guardians of the Galaxy."
Along the way, you'll meet characters from such classics as "Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe," "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars," "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Barbarella," "Superman," "Dune," "Predator," "Men in Black," and lots of others. There are 98 clips in all, fittingly set to Radiohead's "Subterranean Homesick Alien."
That's a lot of big eyes, goo and teeth to fit in to just over three minutes, but the film's editors -- Bryan Menegus and Adam Schleichkorn (of Mylo the Cat fame) -- do a good job getting it all in. Spider-Man is even included, which threw me for a bit, but then I realized he was wearing his black suit, which, according to Marvel, is in fact an alien creature.
How about you? Do you see any missteps in the video or know of any aliens that should have been included but weren't? Let us know in the comments below. Till then, stay vigilant.