Disney+ Just Changed Thor: Love and Thunder’s Questionable CGI

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Thor Love and Thunder CGI Disney Plus change

One of the criticisms directed to Thor: Love and Thunder was its lackluster CGI. Some have believed that this visual effects issue is due to the movie's heavy reliance on The Volume, the filming technology that was used for The Mandalorian, while others pointed out that it could be tied to the strict turnaround time of the studio for VFX artists. 

Thor 4 director Taika Waititi and Valkryie star Tessa Thompson previously poked fun at these issues, indicating that they are aware of the criticisms. It remains to be seen if discussions surrounding its CGI affected the overall performance of the movie, considering that Love and Thunder suffered a historic box office drop while also receiving bad reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

Now, as the Chris Hemsworth-led movie enjoys its Disney+ premiere, one Marvel fan uncovered the fact that the studio did a key change to alter its CGI. 

Thor: Love and Thunder's Updated CGI During Disney+ Debut 

Twitter user @comicxbook discovered that Disney+ updated the CGI of a key scene from Thor: Love and Thunder. 

The aforementioned sequence revolves around Axl (formerly known as Astrid), Heimdall's son, with him telling Thor and Valkryie that Gorr took him and the Asgardian children to the Shadow Realm. 

The user noted that "it looks even worse," with numerous replies that appear to be agreeing with their take: 

The Direct Image

It's reasonable to assume that Marvel Studios did such a move to address the criticisms from fans regarding its CGI: 

The Direct Image

Upon closer inspection, Axl's floating head in the scene seems to look sharper in the updated version rather than in the theatrical cut. 

Glowing beams also protrude from Axl's head, and there is a notable chromatic aberration effect over the entire image:

The Direct Image

This wouldn't be the first time that Marvel Studios has tampered with its projects on Disney+, accidentally or not, having made small tweaks to WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in the past.

Will Marvel Studios Keep Updating CGI with Disney+?

This significant visual update now sets an interesting precedent: could MCU projects now get major post-release updates to address visual hiccups? WandaVision previously proved that Marvel was willing to update its projects even in minor ways, so it's possible that other movies and shows could get the same treatment.

Projects like Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk have been subject to heavy criticism in the visuals department, so Marvel Studios could use Disney+ as an opportunity to amend their previous mistakes.

Some problems can't be fixed though.

Many fans have pointed out that the updated CGI didn't really improve the scene, mainly because it looked "terrible in motion." 

Despite that, there are still some viewers who are defending the update based on the screenshots shown above, considering that the theatrical cut image was taken from a pirated copy of the movie. 

Others have theorized that the lackluster appearance of Axl's floating head could be due to the idea that Heimdall's son is still learning to use his powers. 

Ultimately, this approach could be considered a band-aid move for the studio, but it doesn't change the fact that there are widespread criticisms already. 

Marvel Studios is already taking the necessary steps to address the overall VFX problem, with a past report noting that work is set to be allocated fairly in "a more logical way" going forward.

Thor: Love and Thunder is now streaming on Disney+.

- In This Article: Thor: Love and Thunder
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.