On a limited budget it's somewhat hard to animate someone running without making it look jerky. As recently as The Perils of Penelope Pitstop
, animators tended to draw legs moving with very little bending of the knee, sometimes at even a full run. In real life, this would be more than a little painful, as shown in this animated insert
from Sesame Street
The preferred trick around this is to avoid showing the legs altogether. You can position the "camera" above the runner's waist while still showing him swaying about a little, or aim the shot straight at the feet, which also doubles as looped footage.
Some artists go an extra step if a female character has a skirt. The legs might be drawn nearly straight all the way down
even while stationary, as if she doesn't have knees, thighs, or defined hips.
Oddly enough, knees seem to be a little too flexible in the Twisted-Knee Collapse
See also Wheel o' Feet
- Aside from having a (rather notorious) problem with feet and pouches, Rob Liefeld has done this, with both men and women. Although the women tended more to have one knee that seemed to branch out into the rest of each leg.
- Sekoila Zarner from Zany To The Max has no knees. Because of this, the way she walks is very interesting. Her legs spin rapidly as if around an axis, to the point where Wheel o' Feet is used.
- Lampshaded in LEGO Island, which, since all the characters are LEGO minifigs, displays this by default..
Mama Brickolini: Papa, you are just imagining things!
Papa: Imagining knees? ...You're probably right.
- The main heroine of Narbacular Drop, the game whose team was hired by Valve to work in the Spiritual Successor and Even Better Sequel called Portal, was called Princess No-Knees—but it's not immediately obvious whether she lacks them, as it's a nickname referring to her inability to jump.
- Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders mentions and animates the aliens as having no knees. They make a two-frame movement animation with rapid footsteps. In contrast, humans are given a distinct bend in the knee, and make less frequent steps.
- Pintsize from Questionable Content originally had no knees or elbows, but during the course of the comic he happily received upgraded limbs.
- Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic' has a humorous backward-running style that seems to suggest she has no knees whatsoever in Swarm of the Century.
- In One Bad Apple (and other episodes), some scenes show she does have knees...only, they happen to bend in the opposite direction horse limbs are supposed to bend!
- Naturally, being another LEGO adaptation, The LEGO Movie features this with its characters, which is lampshaded when Emmett does "jumping jacks".
- Averted in Ninjago and Legends of Chima, where characters bend their limbs despite also being LEGO minifigures.