Mindless questions about a mindless movie (Night at the Museum)

Nitpicking a movie like this would be pointless (like why can’t Ben Stiller tell or show David Brent what goes on at night, why in five decades haven’t the flashing strobe lights, noise and chaos all night every night ever attracted the attention of just one passerby, what happens in the winter when it gets dark before closing time, etc.), but its not a bad kiddie film , and any film with the line “No, I will manhandle you Jedediah” can’t be all bad, and Steve Coogan telling Stiller “It’s Octavius, Mary” was pretty funny, but I do have two questions that maybe have reasonable or factual answers that I may have missed-

  1. Why is Teddy Roosevelt made in a factory, yet all of the others are supposed to be the real deal?

  2. Why do the Civil War guys have stockings on their faces?

My guess is that all the mannequins and figures were made in various factories, etc, but the Teddy Roosevelt mannequin is the only one aware of it.

My question is why you’d put Carla Gugino in a movie and then give her such a minimal role?


  1. I think that most of them are, sans the animals and such. Teddy just has the insight and soft spot for Stiller to tell him.

  2. The civil war guys aren’t really guys, but faceless dummys that have uniforms on. The purpose of their display is just to show off the uniform, nothing more.

Again, I feel uber silly for questioning this film :slight_smile: , but Stiller at the end has the girl get insight from Sacagawea to help with her book.

Right - apparently the mannequins knew who/what they were supposed to be, and had the memories of said individual… Teddy apparently transcended to realize that he was made of Wax and was not the original.

A wizard did it. Or, at least, a magical Egyptian tablet did it.

An Egyptian wizard did it. Or maybe an Egyptian doctor: “Here, take two of these tablets and call me before morning.”

To expand on this, faceless mannequins/dummies are pretty popular for showing off clothing and accessories in museum displays, because then you’re looking at the clothing instead of the face of the dummy. Also, mannequins can be kind of freaky looking at times, so sometimes it’s best to go for the cheaper option and have no faces. The exceptions to this are when you want the display to humanize what it’s demonstrating (the tribal ceremony display in the the Milwaukee museum of natural history) or if you’re showing real people (the Lewis and Clark display in the movie).

Some displays of extant garments go a step farther than faceless dummies, and have headless or bodyless ones. It gets kind of disturbing after going through lots of pictures from someplace that does this, because after a while you lose a sense of the body’s proportion with a head. I spent an evening recently going through the Danish National Museum’s collection of extant garments, and then saw myself in the mirror and couldn’t figure out why I looked so strange. Oh, wait! That whole body thing.

I was okay with the movie…up until when Teddy reveals that he is aware he is only a model. I don’t know why they opted to do this and ruin the premise. And you’re right, it then makes absolutely no sense that Sacagawea might give any insights into the real Sacagawea.
There are other inconcistencies (again, tough to nitpick a fantasy film) that bothered me: the romans could speak/understand english, but the huns couldn’t ?

To me, though, perhaps the best aspect of the movie was seeing Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney on the screen again.