Courts use cartoons

Disney-style animation is the latest weapon used by US lawyers to win over juries.

JuriLink International produces computer-generated accident and incident reconstruc tions to help juries understand complicated cases.

Images like those seen in Disney's Toy Story have been used to help explain why an explosion at an oil refinery may have occurred. The system, which costs at least $10,000 to use, works by videoing genuine images, turning them into animation, and then manipulating them to recreate circumstances.

Complex computer graphics have also been used to “morph” physical features of a defendant so that lawyers can show a jury how they would look when in disguise.

JuriLink's David Weinberg said the technology had proved popular in personal injury cases as well as fraud trials where it could be used to illustrate complex financial transactions.

“It cuts the amount of time a trial can take by simplifying evidence for the jury,” he said.

However, some US judges have ruled the new technology as inadmissible, as the images can easily be manipulated to give an unbalanced view of what actually happened in a disputed transaction or event.