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Art Shift
Same guy, same show.

This is a scene in animation or print where the art suddenly and intentionally shifts into a different style, usually for homage or parody purposes. Frequently occurs during flashbacks, particularly "Rashomon"-Style sequences. Particularly abrupt shifts can be rather scary.

Not to be confused with instances where the art unintentionally changes as a result of, for instance, the animation being subcontracted to several different studios. For this, see Off Model. Neither should it be confused with cases where the style changes because two or more unrelated anime have been stitched together by an American distributor — for this, see Cut-and-Paste Translation.

Also should not be confused with Art Evolution, which is a gradual and more permanent art change over time as the artist gets the hang of drawing the series.

A Sister Trope to Art Shifted Sequel, where a work changes its art style in its next incarnation.

Can overlap with Show Within a Show, Deep-Immersion Gaming, Disneyesque and Super-Deformed.

Compare Non-Standard Character Design. Contrast with Medium Blending, where it isn't just the art style but the whole medium (animation to live-action, 2D to 3D, etc.) which changes.

See also Stylistic Suck, a phenomenon used to visually distinguish a show-within-a-show from the work that uses it.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Almost the entire last episode of Gunbuster was deliberately animated in black and white—on color film stock.
  • Many scenes in anime (especially Gag Series) involving fighting will often make a visual reference to Fist of the North Star.
  • This happens many times in Excel Saga, most notably in episode 17, where there are so many rapid-fire shifts (from Looney Tunes to Disney to DC Comics to The Simpsons and beyond) that it's impossible to keep track of them all.
    • And then there are the Puchuus, who suddenly change from Ridiculously Cute Critter to something Golgo 13-esque when you kill them. The also utter something mean-spirited/action-movie-ish when it happens (reflecting their true, evil nature). Sometimes it happens without them being killed, if the gag demands the nasty phrase (e.g. in a scene parodying the survival action-movie fad from The Nineties, a Puchuu cuts Excel's rope and spits out, "Burn in hell.").
  • Repeatedly occurs in Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai, with each world often having its own unique art style.
  • Done in episode 5 of FLCL. When it flashes back to Amarao asking for a "manly" haircut in a hair salon, it's done in the same animation style as South Park. There's also "manga sequences" in episodes 1 and 6, during which the standard animation style is replaced by pans across (semi-animated, with voice-overs for the dialogue) manga pages. This was incredibly hard to animate, and the second one is brought to an abrupt end by Kamon, who breaks the fourth wall to point out "Why can't we be a normal anime!? The animators asked us not to do another manga scene."
    • There's also the grayscale style used for collisions, which comes up a few times.
    • There's also the scene in episode 2 where Haruka, Mamimi and Naota are all talking and the animation style has suddently changes to a more abstract style. As soon as Canti comes back though, the art goes back to normal.
  • Similarly used but played straight in Bleach, during the climax of the duel between Ichigo and Ikkaku, the sequence suddenly turns into the manga page.
  • Similar to Excel Saga, Pani Poni Dash! often shifts art styles for scenes or takes or even just eyecatches.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • When Haruhi and Kyon are trying to solve a murder, their suppositions are Art Shifted. Haruhi's is in low-res red-filtered live-action (possibly mimicking the CSI Necro Cam), and Kyon's is simple crayon sketches.
    • Also, in the gag series Suzumiya Haruhi-chan no Yuutsu, when Kyon tells Itsuki he loves him, the camera shows Itsuki's face. The simple art style turns in to a shoujo style, with Itsuki's hair blowing in the wind and rose petals in the background.
  • In Trigun — sometimes for absolutely no reason other than the Rule of Funny — Vash suddenly looks like Duke Nukem.
  • The Hellsing Ultimate OVA occasionally switches from it's usually detailed and glossy art to chibified character designs with thick, solid lines for comedic effect reminiscent of Fullmetal Alchemist. It's particularly jarring...
  • Some parodies of Initial D go the extra distance and reproduce cars with Conspicuous CG.
  • When Saki in Genshiken gets really, really, angry or emotional, she becomes crudely animated, often with triangle-teeth, somewhat oversized head, jerky movements, and pupil-less eyes.
    • Also, the episode where she and Madarame are in the clubroom together. Madarame goes through the possible scenarios of telling her there's a loose nosehair coming out of her nose, and the art style frequently shifts to look either more like a visual novel or more like Kujibiki Unbalance when these scenarios play out in his head.
    • And Ogiue's Yaoi fantasy episode with the guys Art Shifted to Bishōnen.
  • Lucky Star makes frequent use of art shift as part of its many anime and video game parodies and Shout Outs — everything from Konata imagining an athletic competition as Track And Field for the NES, to Konata changing to a more "refined" appearance to match her Maria-sama ga Miteru-influenced behavior, to a rather lengthy Initial D parody done entirely in its art style.
  • Nagasumi of My Bride Is a Mermaid is especially fond of doing this, turning from Ordinary High-School Student to musclebound icon of manliness (Fist of the North Star-style, there's even a Shout-Out to Kenshiro's battle with Raoh from that series at one point) whenever his fighting spirit kicks in (see page picture above). Happens to the other characters as well.
  • Sakura in Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan occasionally does this whenever he is expressing extreme emotion or is in a harrowing situation.
  • Minami-ke loves switching from its normal style to Bible Black-esque art during close-ups on character's faces. It is... somewhat disturbing. Probably intentionally.
    • The last episode of the second season contains a series of stills showing an intimate moment between the sisters, done in the style of the previous season, which had been produced by a different company. The background music also switches to the first season's opening theme, which creates a nostalgic mood.
  • Episode 7 of Zoku Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has the show art shift to Magical Girl style, complete with the show's remarkably realistic Hair Colors turning into a rainbow of phenotypes.
    • Another segment in the same episode is completely dedicated to this trope, with the art constantly shifting to styles such as silhouette animation and claymation, finally climaxing with an actual video of a pair of hands flipping through a flipbook.
    • The first segment of the second episode of Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is done in the author's original drawing style. The third segment is animated in a shoujo style.
    • And in yet another episode they were doing acoustic art shifts by switching voice actor around between characters, more or less at random.
    • Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei's eighth episode, the third of the Three Shorts (the "Mystery Train" segment) is animated in a radically different style made up of rough sketches and cardboard cutout animation. It comes across as sort of trippy.
  • In Naruto, Itachi's Amaterasu technique, which, in the manga at least, produces flames that look they came out of a sumi-e painting (think Ōkami) drawn with an ink brush.
    • Also, Sai's Choujuu Giga technique involves the drawing of ink charicatures of animals which he uses to scout, attack, and fly, that are clearly inspired by actual "choujuugiga" (meaning beast scrolls) style artwork.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann episode 11 contains a number of flashback-type sequences which resemble elaborate paper cutouts.
    • Due to having a guest director, the entirety of episode 4 is either Off Model or an extended Art Shift.
    • In his first appearance, the Spiral King Lordgenome is uniquely drawn in a rough, sketchy style perhaps as a reference to the style used whenever Kamina and Simon are passionate.
    • The Eyecatches throughout the series show various character in a very angular style resembling the previous Hiroyuki Imaishi directed work Dead Leaves.
    • When Kamina dies, the moment is shown in a white/light blue sketchy style, as a homage to the iconic final shot of Ashita no Joe.
  • Ichigo in Tokyo Mew Mew thinks in chibis. Also, later in the series, the art style evolves so that everyone older than Ichigo, even by one year, looks obviously older.
  • Jubei-chan does this constantly, to the point where you'll have several characters in the same scene drawn in completely different styles.
  • One episode of Kirby of the Stars featured quite a few rapid-fire art shifts in King Dedede's homebrew Stylistic Suck anime, presumably because none of the (in-universe) art staff was given a specific style to work with. The style switches between dramatic Death Note style to contrasting bright and cartoony before eventually settling on crude crayon drawings.
    • Becomes extremely noticeable with some of the characters (especially King Dedede), where sometimes they're hand-drawn, while other times they're CGI.
  • Crayon Shin Chan, while maintaining the overall art style, shifts to a more detailed, shaded art style in one episode. The FUNimation dub lampshades this with the narration, "Will we be able to afford that sweet animation used at the beginning again?"
  • This happens to Tamaki in the 19th episode of Ouran High School Host Club where a closeup of his face is in a heavily-shaded Fist of the North Star-esque style. A sign even pops up to indicate that he's Tamaki for any confused viewers.
  • In Dr. Slump, Senbei Norimaki often changes from a fat, short, ugly man into a tall, handsome, muscular one... and then back in a matter of seconds. "He's like Ultraman... kinda."
  • In Samurai Champloo's eleventh episode, Gamblers and Gallantry, Shino, the woman with whom Jin falls in love, is drawn in Hayao Miyazaki's style in the beginning and in the end, but not in the middle when she works in the brothel. Why? You guess...
  • Petite Princess Yucie is generally quite fluidly animated, which only mild occurrences of super deformity. Some episodes are suddenly very cartoony though, with over-the-top slapstick effects all over the place. Whether this is done deliberately or out of budget reasons is not clear.
  • In Sket Dance, the art style changes to old-school shoujo whenever Saotome Roman turns on her Otome Vision.
  • Paranoia Agent's strikingly detailed character designs and animation give way to animation that looks like cardboard cut-outs when a character is sent to a Lotus-Eater Machine.
    • The art style shifts about in more subtle ways throughout the series, complementing the characters' delusions and breakdowns.
  • Washizu Vision and Tsubasa Vision in Asu no Yoichi!. The first one brings out the Bishie Sparkle and the Love Bubbles on Ibuki and turns Yoichi into an evil stick figure, while the second one depicts Washizu in a flowery shoujo manga style.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry did a rather comical (and creepy) art shift for a second at the first season's grand finale to show how the gang is back to their normal happy lifes.
    • The manga also uses an Art Shift to a style evocative of ancient Japanese artwork when describing the history of Hinamizawa.
  • In Saikano, the art frequently shifts to Super-Deformed when Chise and Shuji are talking with their friends, especially when Chise gets embarrassed or Shuji gets mad.
  • The first Dragon Ball Z movie, The Dead Zone. There's an abrupt art shift in flashbacks that's used to unbelievably creepy effect.
  • K-On!'s manga had a strip in which the last panel shifted into being scary — a Shout-Out to legendary horror mangaka Kazuo Umezu's characteristic style.
  • In the anime of Axis Powers Hetalia, the anime once has England shift out of the default Moe style to the serious style of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure as he plans to get back at Germany.
    • The manga and anime both have France occasionally shifting to a 1970s shojo look. While in the comic itself, America was once shown in New York-style doodles. And that's not counting the chibis...
  • The opening scene of Project A-Ko 3: Cinderella Rhapsody, which showed the three main characters playing pool, had less-cartoonish character designs, dimmer colors, and higher-framerate animation than the usual art style of Project A-Ko. This is because the scene is C-ko's dream.
  • The Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle anime had almost an entire episode with Syaoran, Sakura, Fay, and Kurogane all drawn in chibified forms. A few other characters they met on their travels also showed up in the episode as chibis. The Art Shift can be explained, though; Mokona was the artist drawing the cast and making up the story. The episode was appropriately named "Doodler Mokona."
  • Chibi Maruko-chan has an episode where Maruko gets a stomach ache (it later turns out to be appendicitis). However, despite her moanings and groanings no one will take her to the doctor thinking it's a simple stomach ache (they don't realise it's appendicitis until later). This prompts Maruko to wonder why she can't pull a look on her face to resemble extreme pain. As this happens we momentarily shift from the style of animation normally used to one normally used in anime where we see Maruko drawn in regular anime style.
  • Bakemonogatari uses art shifts all over the place. They happen so often that it's almost like the series doesn't even have a "normal" art style.
  • Happens often in Ninin Ga Shinobuden. Especially Onsokumaru, who rarely goes for more than a minute or two before changing art styles.
    • The second half of episode 9 was done in a completely different art style, but with more subtlety (Compare the eyes, chin, and hair of Shinobu with the first half of the episode). It was probably done to see if anyone noticed.
      • Ironically, Onsokumaru looks the same in both renditions.
  • In episode 3 of Death Note, the animation shifts to a far cutesier shoujo-esque style for the scene where Light is tutoring his younger sister Sayu.
    • Later, in episode 6, the backdrops for the scenes where Light is lying to Naomi Misora are almost photorealistic, in a clear divergence from the usual style.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, when the "Freaky Friday" Flip situation is hitting its peak before Touma figures out what's going on, he sees Kuroku giving an address of Yes! We! Can! and temporarily shifts into a crudely drawn cartoon figure.
  • White Album uses art-shifts extensively, occasionally shifting into a style reminiscent of a pastel painting.
  • In Change 123, in which the characters are generally drawn very realistically (at least from the neck downwards), various chibi versions of the main female character are used throughout the series to indicate certain visible moods of hers, but always with a sense of good measure, varying the degree of chibiness. Also, sometimes the artist uses a different line style (a soft pencil style or a charcoal style) to indicate various internal emotional states of characters.
  • Ode To Kirihito by Osamu Tezuka uses an art shift to denote a character's descent into madness.
  • Hidamari Sketch, following the lives of several art students, appropriately throws in numerous brief scenes that use a wide variety of different art styles. Yuno's daydream during an art history class starts imitating the painting styles they are being taught about (Fauvism and Cubism); watercolour-style art is occasionally used in particularly emotional scenes; other scenes use imitations of collage, silhouette, pencil sketches and a variety of other media.
  • In Monster, all the sequences of Franz Bonaparta's story books are portrayed this way — most notably, "The Monster Without a Name".
  • In Hayate the Combat Butler, during a Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann parody, the animation and drawing shift to Gainax-style, providing a rather amusing sequence.
  • Used profusely in Otomen. One of the main characters is a shoujo mangaka who bases his story on his friends; another character is always drawn in classic seventies shoujo manga style; one who tends to fantasize about himself as a hot macho guy is sometimes drawn as a shoujo-style "sexy bishounen;" and Ryo's very manly and macho grandfather is always drawn as if he came from a stereotypical seinen manga.
  • Usumaru Furuya's surreal Fourth Wall-less, genre-hopping gag manga Short Cuts does this a great deal.
  • The Tower of Druaga does this in the first episode during Jil's transformation, where the artwork turns extremely sketchy and deformed as a homage to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's more Hot-Blooded moments. There's also episode 5, where various characters try to navigate a part of the title tower that's covered in magical booby traps, some of them changing the victims into video game sprites, and the background into the background from the original game.
  • Happens several times in Arakawa Under the Bridge. Oddly enough one was referring to a western cartoon.
  • In a very brief moment in Baccano!, the art shifts to an almost childlike colored pencil sketch animation when Isaac and Miria entertain the idea of Jacuzzi being eaten by the Rail Tracer (who, in their minds at the time, is represented as a comical giant green worm terrorizing the train corridors.)
  • Makoto of the Futari Ecchi manga whenever he feels "desperate" in having sex.
  • Happens often in SEX whose art fluctuates between normal "manga" and realistic styles as a Rule of Cool effect.
  • The anime anthologies Batman Gotham Knight, The Animatrix and Halo Legends being created by different studios show their own unique art styles for the pieces.
  • In Berserk, elves, Puck especially, seem to exist in their own personal Art Shift dimension, appearing as chibi more often than not. Bratty Half-Pint Isidro gets his fair share of super-deformed moments as well.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt loves this trope. In addition to the default Thick-Line Animation style, it frequently shifts into Super-Deformed Flash-style animation during the comedic bits, detailed anime art during the fanservicey moments, and even a realistic style that's reminiscent of Satoshi Kon's work. It also uses rotoscoping in a couple of (more) surreal scenes, live-action sequences with the blown-up models of the defeated Ghosts and with the pair of feminine legs stomping on the Big Bad at the end, and intentionally half-assed Flash animation in the Sanitarybox shorts.
  • In Nurarihyon No Mago, the artwork changes into Sumi-e style whenever yokai characters release their powers.
    • Sometimes for comedic effect characters' faces become extremely simple in the way of smilies or emoticons.
  • In Kochikame, Honda is a shy, weakling motorcycle patrol officer, but when gets on a motorcycle or anything alike, he transform into a mean tough motorcyclist.
  • Basically anything involving the witches in Puella Magi Madoka Magica will have this. Otherwise, the show is surprisingly free of this trope for a Studio SHAFT production. Aside from Kyouko's flashback and that bit with the blood in episode 9...
  • This trope is somewhat enforced within Neon Genesis Evangelion, in that in the last two episodes, Studio Gainax ran out of money, and so had no choice but to include Art Shifts to crayon and Copic drawings where they couldn't have animation, i.e. storyboards. This can go on for minutes at a time. Thankfully, they did it well enough that it can be passed off as Artistic License.
  • Lupin III:
    • Lupin III Island Of Assassins features flashbacks by Lupin, which are shown as photo-negatives.
    • In the OAV Green vs. Red, the final showdown between the Red Jacket and Green Jacket Lupins is animated in the style of Monkey Punch's original manga, just one of many Mythology Gags to Lupin's four decade history scattered through the film.
  • In Warrior Cats: The Rise of Scourge, the art changes during Tiny's made up story about how he defeated a dog.
  • Macademi Wasshoi parodies Kaiji at one point, and the art style momentarily changes to emphasize this.
  • In The Idolmaster, whenever Kotori gets into an Imagine Spot, this happens. Thus far, the art sometimes shifted into Shōjo (Demographic) style, or JoJo's Bizarre Adventure style.
  • In Tsuritama, the first episode's introduction and the ending credits use a computer-generated artstyle based around clusters of circles.
  • Frequently used as a visual gag in Lotte no Omocha, as well as when Naoya tries to draw, or when Asuha is being particularly crafty.
  • Used A LOT in Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo So much it would take days to count.
  • In Sangatsu no Lion, this is done as a visual gag on Nikaido's face when he's about to go up against Rei, his rival in shogi. The soft, slightly sketchy, shoujo/josei-esque art style Chica Umino is known for changes into a more semi-realistic style, parodying older action-oriented manga for older audiences.
  • In Kyo Koi O Hajimemasu, the characters shift into a very cutesy chibi style during comedic and embarassing scenes.
  • This happened in one scene of Yuuta in the Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! anime, when Touka plays an audio clip of his Old Shame so deliberately loud that Kumin could hear.
  • The One Piece anime made use of art shifts to emphasize two particular funny moments :
    • Jyabura's lie to Sanji about Robin being his long-lost sister. The flashback is depicted in an incredibly cheesy way, and with a deliberately ridiculous art style.
    • Boa Hancock's ImagineSpots, during which she imagines Luffy as a typical Bishonen.
  • Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji): In episode 14, when Ciel is discussing entering in the curry contest, it shows a hyper-realistic shrimp curry in the background behind Sebastian.
  • Binbougami Ga frequently does this for comedic effect- most notably shifting to the styles of Fist of the North Star and Death Note.
  • Kill la Kill does this on several occasions, often Played for Laughs. One incident in Episode 17 has the Mankanshoku family confronting Gamagoori about Ryuko and their daughter's wellbeing. Barazo's design goes from his normal chubby self into a dramatic, heavily shaded, Fist of the North Star style. The reason? First, he wanted to know if Mako and Ryuko were still alive. Second, he wanted to know if the event he had to attend was catered.
  • Notably Averted in Continuity Reboot Sailor Moon Crystal: While otherwise consciously Truer To The Text of the original Sailor Moon manga, Crystal lacks the manga and first anime's shared and frequent shifts to broader comedy tropes like Chibi, Blank Face of Shame and Wingding Eyes, and dispenses with some associated Graphical Tropes, (Visible Sighs, large Sweat Drops and the like). While not lacking in slapstick, the result is a less Zany Cartoon tone.

    Comic Books 
  • The comic Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane uses the art shift a couple of times, both times it is used to indicate a character is flashing back.
  • The first issue of the Super Mario Adventures comic (it ran in Nintendo Power during the 1990s) featured a scene where the plumbing in Peach's castle goes haywire — upon running up to the courtyard, Mario almost immediately shouts out "Mama mia! It's a pipe-o-rama!" What makes this scene unique is that the artist shifts — for this one panel only, and never again — to a hyper-realistic, almost Uncanny Valley rendition of the title plumber. Link here.
  • The comic book version of Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again uses this to differentiate between the familiar version of the Archie characters (who are done in the usual art style and seen through flashback) and the older version (drawn by Gene Colan).
  • Also done in Archie Comics style is Hack Slash #6. This time, however, the purpose is to contrast Archie's clean, light atmosphere with Hack Slash's massively violent slasher action.
  • Most of Spotlight: Kup is drawn in a scratchy style to represent Kup's deteriorating mental state. The art shifts to a cleaner style when the point of view shifts to Springer and his rescue mission, and both styles are used together when the two plots converge.
  • The Superman Alternate Continuity miniseries Superman Secret Identity culminates with "real-life" Superman and his daughters flying across the sky, then suddenly shifting into various Golden Age, Silver Age, and even Timmverse art styles that progress through the panels, in a loving homage to the character and the many artists who have drawn him through the ages.
  • If Fred Hembeck appears in your comic, it is a fact that he will appear as drawn by the man himself in that signature goofy style of his, no matter how much it might clash with the style of the rest of the characters.
  • In the Alan Moore run of Supreme, the story became involved with the history of comic books and comic tropes. When Supreme flashbacked to the 1950s, he entered into EC Comics artwork, first from their horror and SF comics and finally from MAD. In the lens of Mad, Supreme transforms into something very similar to their old parody, "Super Duper Man".
  • This is a favorite storytelling style for Alan Moore. In Tom Strong, Strong's flashback sequences were often written in classic comic book styles, with artwork to match. In Promethea, during the title character's tour of the worlds of the Khaballa, each issue was drawn(by J. H. Williams III) in the style of a different artist(ranging from Van Gogh and Da Vinci to Escher and Salvador Dali).
  • Stormwatch had an issue where Jenny Sparks relates her historical adventures in the style of the cartoons from those periods. This includes duplicating the look of The Spirit, Dan Dare and Watchmen, amongst others.
  • Brian Michael Bendis loves this trope:
    • Flashbacks in Alias and New Avengers, and scenes after time travel in Mighty Avengers that are set somewhere in the sixties or seventies are imitiating Silver Age style.
    • Similiary, scenes in Mighty Avengers that happen in the middle ages are imitating old paintings.
    • In Dark Avengers, scenes in Norman Osborn's mind are drawn by a completely different artist.
  • In the DC Comics Harley Quinn comics series, occasionally the art would shift between a semi-realistic form (when the story was being told by sane characters) and a semi-Timmverse style (when the story was being seen from Harley's... unique viewpoint).
  • The Post-Crisis reboot of Plastic Man was drawn in the style of his old 40's-era comics — because that's how he saw things. Shortly after falling in a vat of acid, and emerging with goofy shape-shifting powers, he realizes that the acid — like that other type of "acid" — had affected his mind too. He even says "I never saw a car like that [comical 40's-style sedan] before, outside of a comic book." It qualifies for this trope because the first page or two of each issue was done in a realistic style by a different artist, and was referred to as a "reality check" in the credit box.
    • His guest spots in Superman and Power of Shazam both featured a couple of scenes drawn from his viewpoint.
  • In the early episodes of Buddy Longway the otherwise realistically drawn characters have Little Orphan Annie style white ovals for eyes. Later on they get more realistic, but when Buddy tells his kids a story from his bachelor days, the characters in the flashback have white ovals for eyes again.
  • Amelia Rules is drawn in the style of Peanuts for when Tanner and Mary were kids, of Archie for when they were teenagers, and so on.
  • Desolation Jones often switches styles, from paintings to sketches, black and white inks, two-tone chiaroscuro, and the standard inks and coloring, though it maintains a similar feel throughout.
  • During the middle of the Marispan affair (or the beginning of the Bet Your Life arc) in Spy Boy, the art changes from anime-style to something out of Mike Mignola's mind and back again.
  • In Dirty Laundry, Robert Crumb and his wife Aline Kominsky-Crumb each draw themselves in the comic. At one point when debating what Aline sees as her lack of drawing skill, R. Crumb draws her to show how beautiful she looks to him.
  • Criminal: Last of the Innocent sees the art shift from a gritty, realistic-noir style for the protagonist's present life and a colourful Archie Comics style for when he has flashbacks to his teenage years, which were supposedly more innocent. The Nostalgia Filter is gradually punctured by the gradual realisation that events in his teenage years weren't exactly rosy even if he wasn't aware of it.
  • In the German comic Werner: After the complaints about the books from Wer bremst hat Angst! to Exgummibur!, Brösel sort of went back to the roots and drew almost all of Volle Latte! himself in a much simpler style. The only exceptions are the very beginning which parodies the mainstream-compatible, high-quality Werner drawings and guest drawings by Jörg Reymann who had done a lot of drawing for Brösel before, this time in his unmistakable own style which was intended to clash with Brösel's, also to mock the fact that Brösel couldn't draw women.
  • Issue #3 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) starts with a quick summary of the previous two issues in a 50's style sepia-tone and slightly simpler-draw ponies, ala the educational film from "Hurricane Fluttershy".
    • Lampshaded by the end of the issue: in the same sepia style, Spike provides a cliffhanger dialog, and then Angel flips a switch, reverting the art style back to normal.
    • In the second story-arc Luna's exposition of her time as Nightmare Moon and her defeat are told in the same style as the storybook in the pilot.
  • In Noob, the art changes towards a more manga-like style (specifically yaoi manga) when Gaea puts her Shipping Goggles on. There was also a Dream Sequence during which the style was closer to American comics.
  • Astérix:
    • The brochure for "the Mansions of the Gods" has artwork drawn in a realistic style parodying cheesy stock photography in advertising.
    • One soothsayer (denounced as a charlatan) in the Exposition Dump page of Asterix and the Soothsayer predicts modern high-rise developments in the form of a cut-out photograph pasted to his speechbubble.
    • In Obelix and Co., Mrs Geriatrix is drawn in a much more realistic, detailed style than she usually is — for the whole comic, but most noticeably when she's having her ambiguous romance with Obelix. When asked why, Uderzo explained that she's fairly easy to draw realistically as she is based somewhat on his wife, and added "I like drawing beautiful women".
    • There was a short Pilote one-shot from the late '60s (republished in The Class Act) which had the conceit that they were obeying reader suggestions for how to improve the comic. This included a Gross-Up Close-Up Darker and Edgier version where they are all fighting Romans with guns, a style parodying Peanuts, a realistically-drawn parody of pulpy 1950s sci-fi comics, and a Fad Super story drawn in the style of Yellow Submarine in which psychedelic Gauls defeat hippie-chick Romans by brushing them with magic flowers, resulting in confusing geometric visual effects that prompt Obelix to complain that he can't tell what's going on any more, and preferred just punching people.
    • A few panels towards the end of Asterix and the Laurel Wreath taking place in a misty street at night are drawn in a monochrome, pontillist style, apparently more as an artistic experiment than anything.
    • How Obelix Fell into the Magic Potion When He Was a Little Boy, being a childhood story recounted by Asterix in the first person, is illustrated with gorgeous, muted water-colour paintings instead of the usual loud, poppy style.
    • The fight scene at the end of Asterix and the Roman Agent is drawn in a style based on history textbooks and museum displays, with two drawings of the typical warrior outfits of either side at the top alongside the title, portraits of important characters along the bottom, and sharp, draftsmanlike art covered with arrows and annotations explaining what is going on in the battle. This is kind of a Take Our Word for It because the battle is explained as being the most intense, dramatic battle in the village's history, but is riddled with plenty of fun gags.
    • The end of Asterix and the Goths is also done in a history book style, explaining in abbreviated style the complicated political fallout of Asterix's meddling.
    • Asterix and Obelix's Birthday: The Golden Book is full of this, such as parodies of famous paintings and the Vitruvian Man.
  • Jon Sable, Freelance #33 deals largely with the plot of one of Sable's children's books. A framing sequence was drawn by Mike Grell in his usual style, while the majority of the issue is drawn by Sergio Aragaones in a much more cartoony style, representing the illustrations in the book.
  • In Issue #4 of The Wicked And The Divine, the Fresco of Baal in the Valhalla is done by Nathan Fairborn, who Gillen hired solely for the two panels it appears in. The inking was still done by regular inker Jamie McKelvie.
  • In Seconds, panels have been seen jumping around from cute Super-Deformed appearances to rather realistic illustrations.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Calvin's fantasy sequences are often drawn in a very realistic and detailed style, unlike the rest of the comic strip. This led, quite intentionally, to the effect of fantasy looking more realistic than reality.
    • Similarly, Suzie Derkins's fantasies (seen on the rare occasions that Calvin plays with her) are illustrated in the style of a soap opera comic strip. One excerpt from Calvin's comic book collection is shown in a similar style.
  • Mad Magazine:
    • A parody of the classic comic Bringing Up Father, pictured here and here (courtesy of here).
    • Used effectively in an article detailing the history of courtship in your grandparents' time (1890s), your parents' time (ca. 1940) and the present (1967). The earliest segment uses intricate hatching like a Charles Gibson drawing, the next one is still detailed but done in ink washes, and the last is a bit more pared down (sometimes no backgrounds). All of these are in artist George Woodbridge's typical realistic style — then it looks at computer dating in the future, and the characters are uncharacteristically big-headed and cartoony, in flattened-out surreal backgrounds.
    • The final pages of the parody comic "Mickey Rodent" shifted (with considerable Lampshade Hanging) to a less cartoony style with realistic shading, shadows and five-fingered hands.
  • In "Hounded" from Knights of the Dinner Table #183, Sara has a dream about the Untouchable Trio Plus One. The dream is illustrated using art from Knights of the Dinner Table: Illustrated by the Fraim Brothers.
  • In FoxTrot, background crowd scenes behind the main characters have incredibly simplified, "cartoony" people, as opposed to the details of the main characters.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • In the CGI Horton Hears a Who!:
    • An entire sequence narrated by Horton is done in the style of a colorful anime. The producers explain that this was simply for the entertainment of the children watching.
    • Earlier, Horton has an Imagine Spot which was animated like the 2D illustrations of Dr. Seuss.
  • El Arca:
    • Features this, though whether or not it's intentional is debatable — the art noticeably shifts depending on how many characters are in a scene. In a scene with only one or two, or even a small handful, the art is of quality comparable to Disney. However, in scenes with many characters present, like when Kairel is trying to get everyone organized right after they get on the Ark, and Xiro completely ruins her efforts, the designs quickly become comparable to a toddler's scribbling.
    • An example that was clearly on purpose would be when the Villain describes his future plan for the prey animals, and visualizes what it will be like.
  • The Incredibles: Invoked. The opening and closing themes are animated in a shiny, '60s and '70s deco art.
  • WALL•E:
    • During the credits, the art goes from simplistic cave paintings up through the history of art. It's implied that this is humanity slowly regaining its artistic ability as they readjust to life on Earth.
    • The video message of the President is live-action footage of a real human being, so the implication may be that humanity became "animated" as we essentially de-evolved. Best shown in the paintings of the various Captains, seen on the bridge — the first few are actual photographs, while the latest ones are CG. The ones in between are a hybrid, and fall into Uncanny Valley for some of them.
  • Utilised in Space Jam when Mr. Swackhammer fantasizes his use of Michael Jordan in Moron Mountain after Jordan makes a bet with him but before he seals the deal. In this sequence, Jordan is animated rather than live-action, and the characters are drawn in a shadowed solid color.
  • The Prince of Egypt features a dream sequence that plays out in the form of an animated mural, drawn in the exact style used by ancient Egyptian painters.
  • The film version of Watership Down begins in a simplistic, limited-animation style while explaining the legend of El-ahrairah, but then shifts to lush, photorealistic animation of the English countryside for the rest of the movie.
  • In The Princess and the Frog, Tiana's vision of her restaurant in "Almost There" is done in the same Art Deco style (inspired, according to the director's commentary, by Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas) as the picture she carries with her.
  • In the Studio Ghibli film Pom Poko, the tanuki shift from realistic to Funny Animal to Super-Deformed.
  • The entire point of Osamu Tezuka's short film Legends of the Forest (along with a Green Aesop). It shows the long, epic story of a forest's slow cannibalization by humans, showing the passage of time by shifting through the different styles of animation. It starts out by panning across realistic-looking woodcuts, moves into an early, B&W Disney style, and then turns to color, Termite Terrace influenced style, and then into a more lush, Cinderella style, and finally into something similiar to Fantasia.
  • Used all over the place in The Secret of Kells, which plays with perspective and the draws inspiration from the different styles of medieval illumination. Notable examples include Brendan's slate sketches, the tale of Collum-Cille, and the Viking raids.
  • The song "I Just Can't Wait to be King" from The Lion King featured stylized character designs and backgrounds based on traditional African fabric patterns.
  • The story in the middle of The Nutcracker Prince, most of the film is animated in a Disney-esq style but that sequence is animated in a bouncy more cartoony style.
  • Kung Fu Panda seems to love this trope. While it's primarily filmed in CGI, it opens with a flash animated Dream Sequence and a traditionally animated Creative Closing Credits; Secrets of the Furious Five shifts to traditional animation to show the Five's backstories; and the holiday special has yet another 2D Dream Sequence. Then there's Kung Fu Panda 2, which opens with a sequence resembling Chinese shadow puppets, and has a few traditionally animated flashbacks and one Dream Sequence that are animated traditionally. Plus, there is at least one cut-out animation sequence in every episode of the TV series.
  • A dream sequence seen about halfway through the song "A Girl Worth Fighting For" from Mulan appears to be animated in the style of traditional Chinese watercolor paintings.
  • "The Backson Song" in Winnie-the-Pooh is done as colored chalk drawings.
  • In the first Ice Age movie, we see how Manny lost his family as rendered in animated cave paintings.
  • Wreck-It Ralph, whenever the action is seen from "our" side of the screen.
  • The credits The Tigger Movie tells the events of the film drawn in the style of E.H. Shepard's illustrations in the original Winnie-the-Pooh books.
  • The How to Train Your Dragon short "Legend of the Boneknapper" shifts from CGI into cartoon when Gobber has a flashback.
  • The Bunyip song in ''Dot and the Kangaroo", features animation based on Aboriginal rock paintings.
  • In Alice in Wonderland, the backgrounds become more abstract and boldly-colored after Alice lands in Wonderland.
  • My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks:
    • The opening credits use black silhouettes of the characters (with only the facial cutie marks as spots of color). They are also often more stylized, notably with legs ending in pointy tips instead of feet.
    • The ending credits, on the other hand, use monochrome still frames of the characters in a more detailed style.
  • The Book Of Life:
    • The prologue and all flashbacks are animated traditionally in a style resembling El Tigre.
    • The designs in the Framing Device and the story proper are also distinctly different, with the characters in the latter resembling puppets or dolls with jointed limbs and wooden textures.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • During the stretch of Spike Lee's Crooklyn that takes place away from Brooklyn in rural Virginia, the image is horizontally squashed, leaving everything looking freakishly tall and skinny. Those scenes were filmed in widescreen but with anamorphic correction deliberately left unapplied.
  • Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 also feature this. A sword fight is completely done in silhouettes, the begining of Vol. 2 starts in black and white and O-Ren's backstory is completely anime.
  • The stop-motion animated musical dream sequence with dancing hamburgers in Better Off Dead. Yes, the whole movie is cartoonish, but otherwise as realistic as 80ies teenage comedies go.
  • In the film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a stylised cartoon accompanies each of the Guide's definitions. As well, at one point the characters briefly turn into stop-motion-animated yarn puppets after the Infinite Improbability Drive has been used.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, the medium switches to stylized animation when Hermione recites The Tale of the Three Brothers.
  • Melancholia: The opening montage is shot in a completely different style than the rest of the film.
  • The Wizard of Oz may be one of the earliest and most in your face uses of this trope in film. The switch from the sepia tones of Dorothy's Kansas to the technicolor world of Oz is almost jarring.
  • There were talks of producing a sequel to the film adaptation of Daniel Handler's Series Of Unfortunate Events as a stop-motion animation, and writing off the previous live action foray as Adaptation Distillation, established so as to not distress the audience to the extent that it would have otherwise.
  • The opening exposition of Hellboy 2: The Golden Army is depicted with huge CGI armies of puppets whaling on each other, illustrating how young Hellboy imagines the battles his foster father describes to him. This allows the movie to show the scope of the ancient human/Fair Folk conflict, without giving away the appearance of the actual fey races prematurely.
  • Producer Norman Maurer attempted doing this for The Angry Red Planet by having all the surface of Mars footage to turn directly into hand drawn animation from live-action, or at least to simulate that through the use of Cine Magic technique, which enables hand-drawn backgrounds to look as real or as unreal as the live-action footage.
    Though the Mars scenes do shift from Technicolor to a red hue.
  • A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas turns into claymation after the guys unwittingly drink some eggnog laced with drugs.
  • The zombie-display sequence from Waxwork is shot in black and white, in homage to Night of the Living Dead.

  • Mervyn Grant illustrates Wheres My Cow with three different art styles. Sam and Young Sam (and the later scenes featuring Ankh-Morporkians) are realistic; the world of the book within the book is all pastels, and the third, Young Sam's imagination, is cartoony. Then they start to blend together...
  • Used in The Heroes of Olympus series via book cover art to highlight and visually accentuate the cultural differences between the Greek and Roman demigods.
  • David Macaulay won a Caldecott medal for his picture book Black and White, which tells four overlapping stories simultaneously, mostly about cows, using four markedly different styles of illustration.
  • In David Weisner's picture book retelling of The Three Pigs, the pigs realize partway through the story that they can escape their book and visit characters in other stories, all of which are illustrated in different styles. This one also received a Caldecott medal.
  • Relativity is a series of short stories in prose form, but one story is presented as a comic.

    Live-Action TV 
  • An odd live-action one occurs in the final TV movie of Saved by the Bell, which is filmed on more traditional film cameras and lacks the show's brighter lighting and soundtrack. (Compare this to the show's first TV movie, "Hawaiian Style", which is filmed using the show's cameras.)
  • In Spaced, some flashbacks are done in a blurry, pink-hued style.
  • Going the other way, the Scrubs episode "My Life in Four Cameras" had J.D. musing on the concept of life as a sitcom being able to solve problems, which turns the normally naturalistic filming style of the show into a garish, brightly lit set with a laugh track, a silly plot about a talent show and all the female cast members in overly sexualized outfits, before revealing that it was just wishful thinking, and the problems posed in the episode (a man discovers he has terminal cancer; budget cuts force a loved employee to be fired) have depressingly real consequences.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Heroes", the interviews filmed by reporter Emmett Bregman are done either using different equipment or different film, and as a result look distinct from the rest of the show. The show usually has more of a "cinematic" feel compared to the more "live TV" feel of Bregman's footage.
  • House does things like this a lot.
    • The episode with the father and daughter with nearly no emotional reactions is done with a blue filter until they get cured.
    • When House has insomnia, all scenes with him in have a bloom effect.
    • Many of cold open scenes in House are directed in the distinct style of a different kind of series or show, so much that they may confuse a less savvy viewer.
    • The season 5 episode in which Kutner dies has strangely subdued lighting throughout, presumably to emphasize its serious tone.
  • M*A*S*H had an episode where the various characters were interviewed by a film crew about their experiences during the war. The interview segments were very tight shots, using a very grainy, black-and-white newsreel style, which contrasted greatly to the clear, open, full-color photography used for the rest of the episode.
  • Community:
    • The second season Christmas episode "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" was stop motion-animated. In fact, Abed's noticing of the Art Shift that no other character notices is central to episode's plot.
    • There are Deliberately Monochrome segments in the Clip Show spoof in season 3, o ne of the tags is an animated Show Within a Show created by the Dean, and one episode is styled after an 8-bit videogame.
    • In Season 3, Jeff and Shirley engage in a game of table football which is shown in anime. There's no real explanation — it appears to be for no reason other than the fact that they couldn't think of a better way to make table football suitably dramatic. More likely Harmon was playing on the fact that anime tends to contain a lot of Mundane Made Awesome.
  • In a rather unexpected example, we have Fringe where in the episode "LSD", in Olivia's mind it suddenly changes to a cell-shaded/cartoony style when Walter and Bishop enter Bell's Room. Apparently they couldn't get Leonard Nimoy to appear in person so they had to use this.
    Walter: Bellie, why are you a cartoon?
  • Stargate Atlantis, Season 5 ep 19 "Vegas" has an alternate universe Shepard in a CSI-like cop show, complete with recurring camera-zoom-in to a close-up of the evidence he's talking about at the moment. The crime he's investigating turns out to have been committed by a Wraith who is on a covert mission on earth.
  • Farscape:
    • When Harvey turns out to be Not Quite Dead, Crichton sees him as Nosferatu in a scratchy black & white film.
    • Another episode has Crichton in a coma, envisioning the dilemma he's trying to solve in the style of a Warner Bros. cartoon, specifically a Roadrunner cartoon.
  • Hustle does this for certain exposition scenes. A description of a very old con trick is done via a B&W silent movie, and an explanation of fugu fish preperation is done via anime.
  • Eureka used this in the Christmas Episode "Do You See What I See?" A machine in town malfunctioned and turned everyone into various animated styles. They used everything from Peanuts to claymation.
  • The two part episode of JAG in season eight which served as a backdoor pilot for NCIS had much faster cuts and a completely different musical score from the usual fare on JAG: whenever the NCIS characters were on screen (except for when they went to JAG HQ).
  • In one episode of That '70s Show, Fez says that he wishes he was in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, and that episode's scene in the circle is animated in the style of '60s' Scooby-Doo.
  • The opening of Even Stevens is done in claymation.
  • Friends : During scenes involving Joey's soap opera work, the show goes from 30fps to the soap opera standard of 60fps.
  • In the Doctor in Charge episode "There's No Fire Without Smoke", the climax in which the doctors of St. Swithin's hospital rush in comically inept style to a fire (which one of them assumes is just a drill) is done in the style of a silent film comedy, complete with title cards for dialogue and lively piano accompaniment.
  • In You're The Worst' "Sunday Funday" episode, the main cast is followed all day by a group of Hipsters. Whenever they show up, direction switches to a 2.35:1 ratio and quick cuts to look more like an action movie.

  • The cabinet for WhizBang Pinball's Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons eschews the conventional design of pinball machines, and looks instead like a series of melon crates stacked on top of each other.
  • Stern Pinball's Batman combines original animated art with digitized clips from The Dark Knight, with jarring results.
  • Similarly, Indiana Jones combines digitized clips from the four movies with hand-drawn animated sequences.
  • Played with in America's Most Haunted via the two different versions of the game. The "Animated Blue" version has hand-drawn cabinet and translite art, while the "Reality Green" uses photographed models. The playfield art is the same in both cases, though.
  • The cartoonish playfield art of Lights... Camera... Action! is interspersed with several women drawn in a more realistic style. According to artist Brian Johnson, they were added by the art director because management felt Johnson's women weren't "sexy enough".

    Video Games 
  • Zero's art changed so radically from Mega Man X5 to Mega Man Zero that fans were left wondering if it was really the same Zero.
    • Zero 3 answered it in a rather confusing manner.
      • To be precise about it, it's revealed that Zero's body in the Zero series is a completely new body. When you fight the final boss, Omega, his final form is Zero's original body. Which wouldn't be so confusing, except Zero's "original" body looks just like his new one!
      • Although Omega Zero's sprites change to Zero's old sprites temporarily whenever he uses certain animations, so this might just be laziness on the part of the developers.
    • The Zero and ZX games in general have a different art style from the X series. Likely to accommodate the transition from TV screens to tiny handheld displays.
      • Both the Zero and ZX character designs were done by Toru Nakayama. The original and X series was still done by Keiji Inafune.
      • Keiji Inafune only handled the character designs for Mega Man 1-6, 9, 10 and X 1-3. Hayato Kaji was responsible for 7 while Shinsuke Komaki worked on 8. Haruki Suetsugu for X4-X6 and Tatsuya Yoshikawa for X7 and X8. Inafune more or less draws the same as he did in the Famicom era.
  • During the 6 year release gap between Persona 2 and Persona 3, the main artist changed from Kaneko Kazuma (who also does the majority of the Shin Megami Tensei artwork) to Shigenori Soejima, who has a softer, anime-like (albeit only to a certain extent) art style compared to Kazuma's imitable style. Soejima designed the characters and Personas for 3 and Persona 4, and he even redesigned the characters for the PSP remake of Persona 2. Kazuma himself even put out at one point that he deliberately let another artist handle the Persona series because he felt his art style did not fully match with the tone and overarching world (which is more down-to-earth and focuses as much on the daily lives of the characters, even with a supernatural backdrop) that it embodies. However, for the characters in 3 and 4 who can use multiple Personas, most of them are based on Kazuma's designs of demons from other SMT games, and his Persona designs for the remakes of both the first and second games were retained.
  • In Final Fantasy IV The After Years, although most of the game's sprites have a FFVI-esque appearance, flashbacks will show them with the same dwarfish proportions they had in the original.
  • The developers of killer7 hired two different anime studios to create brief, fully animated cutscenes for some of the game's more bizarre levels, one level featuring what look like flash-based animations while another level is filled with more traditional cel animation, which serve as a welcome break from the game's usual in-engine cutscenes.
  • Crash: Mind Over Mutant enjoys abusing Art Shift for its animated FMVs for no apparent reason other than to amplify its wackiness. Across the 17 such scenes, there are twelve art styles used in total!
    • These styles include: Shadow puppet cutouts, hand puppets, old frame animation akin to the old Marvel shows, somewhat abstract yet technological-looking, more streamlined and flash-like animation, chinese and SD-like animation, South Park-ish construction paper cutouts and an anime style akin to Dragon Ball Z.
  • I Don't Even Game has a minor one after you get past the nuclear core level. The white background changes to a grassy field.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 4, Snake dozes off on his way to a location and has a dream. The dream is all in the same graphics and engine as Metal Gear Solid for the PS1. (This is because it's actually a real section from the original MGS1.)
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, in the Timeless River area, all the characters shift to the style of 1930s Golden Age Disney cartoons (into their own character designs for Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Pete).
    • Port Royal and the characters in it are more detailed than the rest of the game and feature a lot of Real Is Brown since they are based on a live-action movie. Sora and his friends point out that this world looks different when they first arrive.
    • The final cutscenes are also generated using much more realistic-looking CGI. It can be a bit of a shock the first time you see it, but it looks extremely good.
    • More subtly, weapons and common Heartless get their textures shifted in Halloween Town and Space Paranoids into darker, detailed textures for the former and Tron Lines for the latter while keeping their models (the heroes do get shifted in those worlds too, but their changes are more drastic than a simple texture swap). To wit: a regular Soldier, a Halloween Town Soldier and a Space Paranoids Soldier.
  • Elite Beat Agents and Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan do this cleverly; while the agents/ouendan dance in 3D on the bottom screen, the results of their cheering is shown on the top screen in a mix between manga style (there are manga effects and word bubbles) and limited animation. The most clever use is in the Jumping Jack Flash stage of Elite Beat Agents: as all of the agents' clients try to break the agents out of their stone status, the bottom screen is black. When they are freed, the agents jump down onto the bottom screen and start dancing.
  • In Rakugaki Showtime, which is done normally in a low-detailed, scribbly art style, does a momentary art shift in its intro movie. Yukiwo, the main character, is momentarily rendered in typical anime style for comedic effect before a dramatic attack.
  • Used a lot in the WarioWare series for the mini games, where even igoring the deliberate retro style choices in 9-Volt (and 18-Volt)'s microgames, the games seem to range for sprite to cartoon to semi photo realistic style on a per game basis. The music changes about as frequently as well.
  • Super Mario RPG had a part where you would go behind a curtain and Mario would go from psuedo-3D-rendered-isometric sprite to 8-bit just as he appears in the original Super Mario Bros..
    • Paper Mario had a similar scene that was a Shout-Out to the same scene from SMRPG.
      • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door would also 8-bit-ize your partners in yet another room. It's almost a running gag in the series.
      • Super Paper Mario has power-ups (Pal Pills, and the Superstar) that summon up "mini" 8-bit versions of your current character, and turn you into a GIANT 8-bit version of your current character respectively. And they stay when you switch characters. So yes you CAN get Peach surrounded by her own legion of 8-bit Bowser protectors.
  • Several scenes in the Tsukihime sequel Kagetsu use this. Notable example, the curry restaurant scene with Ciel where she acquires blank white eyes, three v shaped teeth, cartoony hands... oh, and a head larger than her torso.
  • Combined with Art Evolution in AdventureQuest, as one quest involves a distortion in time, thus causing characters' art to reverse to its original and first images.
    • One monster-hunting quest has never had its art updated, but had a Lampshade Hanging added to it halfway through when your character complains about searching for aquatic beasts in a picturesque lake.
      "Also, [this NPC's] pants look funny."
  • In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Maria asks Alucard if he has seen Richter Belmont. Maria has a thought bubble depicting a Sot N style Richter sprite. Alucard responds with a remembering of when he fought alongside Trevor Belmont, who he remembers in the form of the NES Trevor Belmont sprite.
    • Also, in variation, the sprite used for Richter Belmont in that game is the same as his Rondo of Blood sprite, which doesn't match the artwork for the game. However, the Sega Saturn version has the option to play as him in a more accurate get up.
  • Rayman Origins looks a lot different to the previous games. The game features 2D environments with enemies from the first game, but with a some A machine in town malfunctioned and turned everyone into various animated styles. They used everything from Peanuts to claymation.
  • The two part episode of JAG in season eight which served as a backdoor pilot for NCIS had much faster cuts and a completely different musical score from the usual fare on JAG: whenever the NCIS characters were on screen (except for when they went to JAG HQ).
  • In one episode of That '70s Show, Fez says that he wishes he was in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, and that episode's scene in the circle is animated in the style of 60's Scooby-Doo.
  • The opening of Even Stevens is done in claymation.
  • Friends : During scenes involving Joey's soap opera work, the show goes from 30fps to the soap opera standard of 60fps.
  • In the Doctor in Charge episode what darker colour scheme much more similar to the 3D games. Other than this, the characters have much more exaggerated character designs and animations, possibly as an homage to wacky, Ren & Stimpy esque cartoons.
  • Fate/hollow ataraxia occasionally switches to intentionally bad chibi figures for the main cast at different times such as Ilya's castle or certain bonus scenes.
  • Due to being a dolled-up version of an unrelated Famicom game, Super Spy Hunter has a completely different art style.
  • Prototype uses real-life photos with special effects mixed with in-game footage, sometimes together at once.
  • The cutscenes for Super Mario 3D Land are all animated in-game, but the "photos" Bowser took of the captive Peach are hand-drawn.
  • Super Meat Boy has a rather large contrast between somewhat realistic in-game environment, cartoonish style in menus and cutscenes and pixellated in-game characters.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has the "Sun Saga" books-within-a-game, retelling the events of the original Golden Sun games with simplistic 2d figures instead of the rest of the game's lush cel-shaded 3d animation.
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time (and, to not quite the same extent, its predecessors Tools of Destruction and Quest for Booty) use drawn, 2D images in place of 3D renders for photos and flashbacks.
  • In Rage the final mission eschews a Borderlands- or Fallout-esque dusty post-apocalyptic look for a sci-fi futristic high-tech look, including littering the level with ammunition for the futuristic Authority MG's upgraded ammo and the even more futuristic BFG, both of which give off sci-fi laserlike streaks and "pew pew" noises rather than gunshots.
  • The Secret Of Monkey Island has close ups for some of the important conversations Guybrush has with Cobb (the 'Ask me about Loom' guy), Elaine, Captain Smirk and Carla. In these close ups, the characters are much more detailed and look like they do on the box for the game. It is thought that all the graphics would have looked like this had technology permitted it at the time.
  • The menus, loading screens, and Game Over screen for Lollipop Chainsaw are all presented in the style of a vintage comic book from the 70's or 80's. And then in Chapter 2, there's an Art Shift that happens during gameplay: Being struck by lightning (or electrocuted by the boss's electric attacks during the boss battle) results in X-Ray Sparks, viewing from the front shows us that Juliet—a realistic-looking character (or as realistic as the Unreal Engine allows)—has a CARTOON skeleton.
  • Antichamber: The final area before the end is a really soft and rounded area in what up to that point was a very blocky, angular game.
  • In Saints Row IV, the recruitment mission for Johnny Gat involves the Player Character being transported into an old-school beat-em-up called Saints of Rage, complete with badly-compressed sounds and dialogue and Digitized Graphics a la Pit-Fighter.
  • In Robopon, the first game had Pokemon-esque overworld sprites; the second had much more detailed GBA sprites. This had the side effect of making characters two tiles tall. It also made Professor Don and Sam, from the first game, look decidedly inhuman.
  • In Danganronpa, the Art Shifts into a NES 8-bit style for a few seconds as the condemned perp is walked across the scene. Another Art Shift right afterwards for the executions, which are deceptively more darker in coloring.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner does this all. the. time. Several alternate versions of the main characters exist to parody various media genres, such as the "20X6" anime versions, the old-timey versions, the 60's cartoon mystery-solver versions... all of which have their own art style.
  • Red vs. Blue: In the original series, a few episodes were filmed with the game Marathon when Church gets sent back in time. Everyone else got sent forward in time, and the series now uses Halo 3 graphics instead of Halo: Combat Evolved graphics. And now that Monty Oum (the creator of Haloid and Dead Fantasy) has joined the Rooster Teeth staff, a few scenes in the latest season, Revelation, have been made using CGI alongside the Halo game-generated content.
    • In Season 9, instead of trying to integrate them together, they have the flashbacks involving the freelancers in CGI and things involving the Blood Gulch teams in machinima.
  • Hellbenders Done terrifyingly.
  • Bowser's Kingdom
    • The scene where Hal fought Donkey Kong in episode 6 was 8-bit. Hal and Jeff used sprites from the orginal Super Mario Bros., while Donkey Kong used the orginal Donkey Kong sprites.
    • The story in episode 9. Everyone was drawn in Flash.
  • Ducktalez
    • In episode 3, when Vegeta pulls a Captain Ginyu on Scrooge McDuck. Vegeta gets Scrooge's animation style and Scrooge gets Vegeta's animation style. Dewey and Louie immediately wonder why Scrooge looks crappy.
    • Kind of in episodes 4 and onward. The animation switches from 2D to 3D while still keeping the Stylistic Suck art.
  • The end of episode 5 of Tomorrows Nobodies. The animation changes from the series usual style to live action, to crude squiggly animation, and back several times.
  • In Appisote 18 of Da Amazin OT Advenchr, Lite freaks out as the show starts getting colours, shading, and backgrounds. It's all fixed in the end, though.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
    • "Guardians Of Sunshine". Finn and Jake get stuck inside a video game and consequently, the art style becomes a sort of blocky 3D animation style complemented with green and black graphics for the in-game characters and levels.
    • It happens again in "A Glitch Is a Glitch": The episode is animated in crude CGI by David O Reilly (serving as special guest animator) to reflect the fact that the Ice King has unleashed a computer virus to delete everyone in Ooo.
    • And yet again with "Food Chain", which uses a lower framerate, yet more highly detailed style courtesy of guest director Masaaki Yuasa.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: The animation for the outside sequences in "Snowdown" is an Homage to Calvin and Hobbes.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show made extensive use of art shifts in many of its stills. The paintings would often be hyperrealistic and grotesque, with emphasis on abject features like body parts and excretions like eye gunk, hair, liver spots, etc.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
    • "My Peeps": Billy gets eyestrain, and Grim uses his magic to fix Billy's eyes, accidentally giving the boy precognitive powers. Grim ends up repeatedly altering Billy's sight in an effort to fix things, demonstrated by point-of-view shots through Billy's eyes as the art shifted to a sketchy Jhonen Vasquez-inspired style, then an Animesque style, then a cutesy little-kids' show style.
    • The Big Boogey Adventure movie also did this when the characters have to paddle through a vortex, briefly turning them into puppets (Billy even lifts up his shirt to reveal a arm underneath causing the others to scream) Grim comments it as "disturbing" once they exit out of it.
    • The show even switches to the style of The Powerpuff Girls at the end of one episode, after Mandy smiles and breaks the laws of physics.
  • The Avengers Assemble episode "Molecule Kid" features a Flashback to the era covered in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and as such the characters are all drawn in Timm Style, complete with their EMH costumes.
  • Oggy and the Cockroaches:
    • The episode "For Real" features Oggy and Joey turned into a realistic cat and cockroach, respectively, with much more detailed animation to go with it. In the end, after Oggy and Joey are turned back to normal, Jack, Marky, Dee Dee, and Bob end up with the same fate, though Bob becomes a photo cutout of a real bulldog, and the effects are...disturbing, to say the least.
    • Additionally, The Movie (Yes, seriously) begins with a Parody of Evolution where the art style is drawn much more simplistic.
  • South Park has had quite a few:
    • In "Good Times With Weapons", the kids' imaginary adventures as ninjas have an Animesque art style.
    • In "Chinpokomon", the kids smile in a cutesy Animesque fashion as a result of the Chinpokomon influence.
    • A scene in the episode "A Scause For Applause" is animated in Dr. Seuss' style.
    • The episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft" is half machinima.
    • In "Major Boobage" Kenny's hallucinations after he gets high on cat urine are animated in the style of Heavy Metal.
    • In general, Canadians are animated in an even cruder style than the rest of the charcters.
    • Live-action is sometimes used in sharp contrast to the rest of the show. Some examples are Mr. Garrison's rhinoplasty in "Tom's Rhinoplasty" (which causes his face to resemble David Hasselhoff), Saddam Hussein's head, and the intentionally atrocious news re-enactment in "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining".
  • Family Guy has done this several times:
    • In one episode they go back to the Pilot, which is more crudely drawn, than they go into the future which is ultra-realistic CGI.
    • The Multiverse episode, especially the Disney part and a brief live-action segment where Brian and Stewie are played by an actual dog and baby with their voices dubbed over.
    • Or when Peter remembers when he took drugs.
  • In the Sanjay And Craig episode "Prickerbeast", Craig momentarily becomes jarringly detailed in a close-up shot when he is told to look "real scary" by Sanjay.
  • Trip Tank due to being a Sketch Comedy show and animated by different animators.
  • The King of the Hill episode "Death of a Propane Salesman" has Kahn telling an old Laotian fable that is animated in a sketchy papyrus style.
  • In the American Dad! episode "The Longest Distance Relationship" when Jeff and Sinbad travel through the wormhole they morph into several different animation styles including South Park, The Simpsons or Futurama, The Powerpuff Girls, Clone High, and characters from the computer game Dragon Scuffle from the earlier episode "Dungeons and Wagons".
  • During a two-part episode of The Legend of Korra that details the origins of the first avatar, the art style takes on a look and feel reminiscent of the paintings of feudal Japan, with watercolor backgrounds, lots of swirls in things like fire and dust, and a pale tint.
  • Detentionaire sometimes shifts from the usual flash animation to something else. For example, the big prank that kicks off the plot is only shown through image stills with sound to convey the utter chaos going on in the gym. The last shot of the intro is in a more traditional, sketchy animation style. When there are closeups of hands, they tend to be drawn in more detail, and several nameless background characters are drawn in different styles as well.
  • In the Ultimate Spider-Man arc "Spider-Verse", some of the alternate universes are art shifted: Spider-Man 2099's world is CGI, Spider-Man: Noir's is Deliberately Monochrome, Spider-Ham's has a Looney Tunes feel to it.
  • The The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Job" took this Up to Eleven. Gumball's dad gets a job as a pizza deliveryman, which actually tears apart the Universe. The other family members drive right behind him and go through numerous Art Shift in the last couple minutes at an accelerating rate, some of which also changed mediums as well. Right before the climax, Gumball, Darwin, and Anais go through more than a dozen different art style changes each in about one second. The fact that the show itself already doesn't have a consistent art style makes it even crazier.
  • Rudolph's Shiny New Year switched from stop-motion to traditional animation during a flashback sequence where Rudolph tells Happy his story.
  • Kevin's near-death experience in Mission Hill has backgrounds done with oil paints that are constantly shifting from one to the next, while the rest of the show (and the characters) are done with animation cells.

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ArtistsArt TropesArt Shifted Sequel
Art EvolutionGraphical TropesArt Shifted Sequel
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