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Five Great CGI Characters We Just Can't Forget

The "Planet of the Apes" reboot opted against the rubber masks worn during the original '70s-based franchise.

The results? Stunning, to put it bluntly. CGI magic makes the apes in the series, which resumes this weekend with "War for the Planet of the Apes," look amazingly lifelike.

It confirms what we've known, and seen, for some time. CGI-created characters can make us believe virtually anything on the big screen. The digital apes are part of a recent tradition of stunning CGI characters. Consider the following five examples as proof the digital film age can turn ones and zeroes into fascinating figures.

The T-1000 Terminator

It's the CGI character that started it all. Moviegoers were shocked to see actor Robert Patrick walk through metal bars in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." He had plenty of other visual goodies in his bag of tricks, too. The result? A CGI character who could carry a scene, threaten the hero and make us believe the impossible.

Technology has changed dramatically since then. Those 1991 visuals aren't as cutting edge as they once were. Watch the movie again. Most of the FX still hold up. Patrick deserves credit for a chilling performance, but he gets plenty of help.

Gollum

"My precious..."

"The Lord of the Rings" trilogy delivered on the hype built into the franchise. The series lacked an A-list star, but the battles, pitfalls and heroism stood out. So did Gollum. The character made the final two chapters in the saga all the more intriguing. Gollum laughed, and cried and made us feel like he deserved our pity. The creature's odd, transparent skin and creepy strands of hair made him visually arresting as well.

It's impossible to imagine the saga without him.