5. Adam & Steve (2005)
The 2005 romantic comedy Adam & Steve is a rare example of a film that incorporates a digital recreation of the towers to establish a specific time period early on and then uses their absence later in the story to reflect the passing of time. Craig Chester wrote and directed the film, and he also stars as Adam Bernstein.
The towers are shown in the movie’s opening sequence, during the titular characters’ first meeting. Seventeen years on, the couple is standing at the very same place, and the towers are very much absent from the frame. One of the characters even remarks how difficult it is becoming to remember where the buildings once stood. It’s a poignant, bittersweet moment that perfectly suits the mood of the film.
4. Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Another example highlighting the sensitivity that filmmakers applied to their post-9/11 work is 2002 Disney animated comedy Lilo & Stitch. The final scene of the movie was originally set to feature Stitch steering a hijacked airborne Boeing 747 through downtown Honolulu. However, this was subsequently deemed inappropriate, and so the scene was redesigned to involve a spaceship and the mountainous peaks of Kauai.
Fortunately, the resourcefulness of the animators meant that this was accomplished by simply substituting the existing CGI model of the plane, which significantly cut down on the number of shots that had to be fully reanimated. The original scene was later included as a bonus feature on the 2009 Big Wave Edition DVD version of the film.