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Animation Bump

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Too bad Dedede's contract said that the entire Show Within a Show had to be of a professional quality...

"I remember the boy Mowgli riding a black panther moving and acting in a clichéd way — until he got off. And suddenly everything changed. The drawing changed. The proportions changed. The actions and acting changed. The panther helped the boy up a tree and everything moved to a superb level of entertainment."
Richard Williams (referring to Milt Kahl's Mowgli animation in The Jungle Book), The Animator's Survival Kit

Animation Bump, as the name implies, is when the animation quality of a work (usually a television or web series) suddenly improves for a certain scene or sequence. This usually manifests itself in the character animation, with body language and movement being more precise and fluid, and facial expressions being more subtle or detailed. However, it can also extend to other parts of the production: more detailed backgrounds, improved colorwork, more impressive dynamic effects such as fire and water, integration of CGI, etc. In the anime industry, this is called sakuga.

Creators usually put it into practice for pivotal episodes or sequences. This generally means season openers, season finales, and any cinematic moments or action scenes. You may also sometimes find that the pilot episode may have better animation as well, though this is due to it being treated more as a short film proof-of-concept than a single episode in a bigger production, though there are plenty of cases of cheaply-made pilots for that same exact reason. You can also expect any films based on the series to get the treatment, as those usually come with a slight budget increase as well (especially if the company decides the film is theater-bound). Also, the title sequence: it's the first thing the viewer will see, so you really want it to look as good as possible.

Why doesn't the show always look this good, you ask? At the end of the day, animation, even if you're doing Limited Animation, costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to producenote . Unless you're a big name whom executives unquestionally trust with a blank check, you have a budget the studio is holding you to, and thus need to plan out how those funds are going to be allocated smartly: i.e., what gives everyone and everything (the current audience, a new audience, the narrative itself) the most payoff.

Note: This is not meant to say that the rest of the animation for the works listed here is usually bad or inadequate, but only that there are moments that clearly had more attention and money fueled into them than others. Also, shows which have the animation split between several different companies depending on the episode can also fall into this simply because some animation houses have better staff than others; many cartoons made for syndication during the 80s and 90s, especially those produced by Disney and Warner Bros. during the 1980s an, are a prime example of this, with syndications.

This is the inverse of Off-Model, in which animation or art instead become worse than it usually is for a moment or even a whole episode. Compare Art Evolution where, at some point, the art or animation is permanently upgraded. See also Art Shift for when the whole style of the medium deliberately shifts during the course of the work, usually for dramatic or comedic effect. If the show sees a long-term change in animation quality beyond a handful of scenes, it's an Animation Evolution.

If possible, make sure to credit the animators responsible for the remarkable entry. If you need help, Sakugabooru is a good place to start looking. Keep in mind many animated sequences are not credited, and animators have to confirm which sequences they worked for.

Compare Action-Hogging Opening, Detail-Hogging Cover. For studios that often get this result, see AIC, Kyoto Animation, TMS Entertainment, Production I.G, Startoons, Carbunkle Cartoons, Toon City, Rough Draft Studios, Digital eMation, Sunrise (at their best), Studio BONES, Moi Animation, Spectrum Animation (which was actually bankrupted because of how much attention they paid to their animation), JM Animation (who said staff later left the studio to find Studio Mir), WIT Studio, and Madhouse. And, of course, Disney.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Asian Animation 

    Fan Works 
  • Turnabout Storm's presentation basically amounts to Ace Attorney's trademark Character Portrait style plus voice acting; but unlike that series, the character portraits there are only simpler stills of the characters instead of animated sprites — At least, until they step inside the courtroom. Once there, all dialogue is lip synched, Phoenix Wright gets to show his desk-slamming, finger-pointing abilities, and Wild Takes are shown in all of their glory.
  • Suikakasen, as a Film Comic, has very little in the way of actual movement with screen shakes and images sliding across the screen being common and most of the actual animated segments (such as the worms on the rotting apple from Seiga's feast) follow Limited Animation at best. The exception occurs during the final battle when Kasen does an Unnecessary Combat Roll that ends with her preparing a punch and gets Mouth Flaps to go along with her dialogue, all of which is animated frame-by-frame and gets far more movement that anything else in the series.
  • The first episode of the Animated Adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW), Sonic Rebound, is made of painful Limited Animation. With the notable exception of Sonic running face-forward, there's limited and choppy movement, excessive use of still shots, and lazy lip syncing consisting of mouth flapping. This is justified since it's a No Budget pilot episode. The animation of the second episode is much better, with more fluid movement and actual lipsyncing, giving an animesque vibe. The third episode's animation, while not as bad as the first's, is more limited than second's however.

    Films — Animation 
  • Recess: School's Out had much better animation than Recess usually had, though it had a much larger budget and didn't have the deadlines of the TV series, meaning more work could be done on improving the quality.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie had better, smoother, more fluid animation than the series itself. The Sequel The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water looks even better due to the improvements in technology, especially when the 2D characters become CGI.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) has vastly more detailed and fluid animation than the series proper, which tends to look nice enough as it is. This is particularly noticeable in the ponies' faces; while the expressions in the show tend to look fairly similar to each other (except where the model is intentionally broken for comic effect) as a result of reused assets, characters in the movie never make the same face twice — Pinkie Pie's expressions have become especially zany and exaggerated. While a natural consequence of the higher budget, it also has to do with the series switching from Adobe Flash to Harmony, and as a result making heavier use of traditional frame-by-frame animation techniques.
  • Transformers: The Movie employs shadows, much more carefully drawn character models, and far more fluid character movement that makes the series look downright primitive by comparison. In short, Transformers went from frequently off-model animation to a level that could give even mecha OVA (to this day among the crown jewels of animation) a run for their money.
  • The theatrical films based off the Chinese series Happy Heroes amp up the quality of the animation and the shading; in the TV show, the shading is usually kept to a minimum.
  • While Hanna Barbera suffered a huge crunch in animation quality when they switched from MGM's theatrical unit to their own television projects, their first theatrical movie, Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, where they obviously regained a bigger animation budget, demonstrated that their old fluidity hadn't quite left them yet. Some shots are quite reminiscent of their final Tom and Jerry shorts.
  • All of DreamWorks Animation's movie version of How to Train Your Dragon is a marvelously-designed CG movie, having some absolutely gorgeous designs for the village of Berk itself, the surrounding forests, oceans, and mountains, wildly varying dragons, and long hair and fur coats that bristled in the wind similarly to Tangled. The last eleven minutes of the movie, however, namely the epic fight to the death with The Red Death is where the already amazing animation takes several leaps and bounds all on its own, to the point that rocks get shattered and flames are shown burning as realistically as possible, with the hair of the stunned Vikings flowing like the actual thing.
  • In the Disney Animated Canon, any scene animated by Milt Kahl (one of the Disney's Nine Old Men). Praised as the greatest animator ever lived by another ridiculously skilled animator Richard Williams in this video, his scenes have much more fluid movement and, during Disney's "sketchy" Xerox era, have a recognisable drawing style. Notable examples include Medusa and Snoops in The Rescuers and Shere Khan in The Jungle Book. Here is a large collection of "pencil tests" of scenes animated by him.
  • Most of Disneytoon Studios early B Team Sequels were a clear downgrade from the company's mainstream works, with almost television episode level quality and budget. As the studio was reworked and animation transitioned to digital however, a lot of projects became far more polished and better at replicating the original films.
  • The Thief and the Cobbler: Zig-Zagged (no pun intended). Richard Williams put incredible effort in the animation. However, due to going over budget and missing deadlines, he was fired from his own film, and cheapskate Fred Calvert was put in his place. Calvert had the remaining animation done overseasnote , resulting in very Off-Model animation. As a result, the animation varies wildly in quality from scene to scene.
    • On a related note, Williams himself greatly defines this trope as his drawing and animation skills improved greatly throughout his years as a commercial artist. Compare one of his early films from 1962 to his most recent from 2015 note ... just... wow.
  • Watership Down goes from a deliberately primitive opening, directly to a conspicuously detailed shot of a butterfly in a meadow, where every blade of grass appears to be rotoscoped. Most of the film is shot in fuzzy watercolors but with much looser animation for the moving characters, and more folk art-style Limited Animation dream sequences, only to transition back to sharp-focus close-ups in key scenes.
  • In the animated adaptation of The BFG, different characters were drawn and animated in different ways. The Queen, the Paras and the Royal Guards are drawn in a hyper-realistic, rotoscoped way, while the military commanders, the giants and even Sophie are animated in a more traditionally and cartoonish, but less detailed way. Sometimes, it can be rather jarring to see the Queen's comparatively stale, realistic expressions compete with the tubby, fat-nosed Field Marshall's over-the-top gesticulations, while on other occasions (like the army overpowering the giants), it's rather genius.
  • Son of the White Horse has a unique art style as is, but certain sequences are much more fluid, dynamic and feature better detailed characters with livelier animation, while some scenes are simplistic if not outright choppy. This is because most of the animators and cel-painters found it very tough to get a grasp on the film's visual style, and facial animation in particular had to be kept to a minimum. Some scenes were also sloppily redone when poor animation materials ruined the original takes. The more fluid shots, meanwhile, were animated by the director Marcell Jankovics himself, with some of his more talented high-ranking colleagues occasionally helping out.
  • The Tragedy of Man, by the same director, is a rather uneven mishmash of fluid animation and one frame per second dissolves, due to most of its ~20 year production time having been spent on raising funds. Often, the animation style and quality changes midway through a shot. Certain scenes, however, stand out not only for their superb details but also their high animation quality with expressive, lively movements.
  • Heroic Times was animated via extensively detailed oil paintings, so obviously many corners had to be cut. While most of the movie relies on Limited Animation, Stock Footage or plain still images, shots that required full, fluid movements were laboriously animated.
  • In Titanic: The Legend Goes On, the scene where Victoria gives Angelica her dress is probably the only scene in the movie that actually looks like it could be presented in a theater.
  • The Twelve Tasks of Asterix has the traditional animation occasionally spiced up with some nice looking Rotoscoping, most notable seen during the dance scenes on the island of pleasure.
  • The Chipmunk Adventure has noticeably more fluid and detailed animation than the Alvin the Chipmunks 80s series it spun off from, with the premise having the Chippettes and the Chipmunks venturing through multiple beautiful and unique backgrounds and settings.
  • Animated feature Belladonna of Sadness varies wildly between Limited Animation (often no animation at all, just the camera panning and zooming over still drawings), and intricately detailed and fast-moving animation, mostly during the sex scenes that make up a large part of this Erotic Film.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the 1994 live-action version of The Flintstones, CGI dinosaurs appear a lot at the beginning and end of the movie. Budget-savingly, these dinosaurs are almost entirely absent from the middle portion of the film, save for a few awkwardly composited puppets.
  • While Transformers (2007) and its sequels Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon have decent effects throughout, there're quite a few times where you can tell that the effects studios spent a lot of time on them (like Optimus' Transformation in the first film and any of Driller's scenes in the third). Driller is such an example that Industrial Light & Magic's entire render farm was used to process his scenes!
  • The opening short of Who Framed Roger Rabbit is noteworthy for being animated at a full 24 frames per second, as opposed to the more common 12 frames with each frame repeated twice to make up the 24 frames per second of standard motion picture film, a process known as shooting "on twos". And, partially as a result, it's known as the most expensive animated short of its type ever made, being produced essentially twice over while still using the traditional hand drawn, physical ink-and-paint techniques. The rest of the film, while still mostly animated at 24 fps in order to fit with the live action, doesn't quite maintain that same quality in its animation. Notably, the entire Toontown sequence appears to have been done at the 12 frames per second rate. Which was intentional, as it helps make Toontown not only more accurately resemble the classic cartoons that inspired it, but also to make it look otherworldly. It still looks more than good enough though — in fact, Richard Williams won not only one, but TWO Oscars for his animation direction.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • The official animated reconstructions of Doctor Who's Missing Episodes are made by multiple studios and with multiple head animators. As a result, while Limited Animation is always present, they fluctuate all over the place in quality from "The Reign of Terror" (mostly just lip-synched Talking Heads at extreme close range unless completely unavoidable, even when it's obvious from the sound that the characters are being shot from further away) to "The Moonbase", which contains a lot of hand-drawn movement, beautiful light and shadow, and looks like an anime.
    • When watching an animated reconstruction, you can always tell what footage they have that survived because the animation quality significantly improves for that scene due to the use of a reference. For example, the cliffhanger scene at the end of Episode 1 of "The Moonbase" shows Jamie moving in a stiff, simplified way... until it reaches the point where he sits up from the bed, and his motion suddenly becomes much more fluid and expressive. That's because that part of the cliffhanger was repeated at the beginning of Episode 2, which has survived.
    • The telesnap-based reconstructions (such as those by Loose Cannon) sometimes have this effect, as quite often some small amounts of footage of missing episodes have been recovered. A notable instance is in one episode of "Galaxy 4", which contains a whole scene of the Doctor and his companions talking to and tussling with the Drahvin, and the rest of the story is all still images, Limited Animation using simple digital cutouts and rolling subtitles. Also, watching a whole serial with some reconstructions and some surviving episodes leads to this effect.
  • The Disney Channel series Bunk D is a rare live-action example of this trope in action, specifically of the intro sequence variation: the intro uses very high-quality film techniques, impressive (for a TV show) computer effects and is shot in a single-camera format while the show itself is show in a multi-camera format with the same low-budget considerations as every other Disney Channel series.

    Music Videos 

    Video Games 
  • This is often seen when video games do not use the game engine for cutscenes. Notable examples should be listed.
  • Tales of Symphonia uses intricate animation for its intro, and approximately ten seconds of full animation thereafter with mostly static storytelling throughout.
    • Ditto Tales of the Abyss (although being a bit more generous in the full animation department), but Abyss has an interesting variation. When cutscenes are used to show characters talking, despite being voiced, they get no real detailing - characters move in prerecorded movements, no camera work, etc. When something actually important is happening, though, Namco starts to use its cutscene engine to the max. Examples include when Sync drops his mask for the first time, when Guy's backstory is shown and before the final battle with Van. Those scenes have quite a lot of detailed movement, and scene angles are played more professionally, in a more dynamic way.
  • Team Fortress 2. While the actual game doesn't look bad at all, the "Meet The Team" videos are all gorgeously animated and use separate, more detailed character models with very realistic facial expressions. The best part? A few console commands and the game replaces the standard character models with the high-quality ones and cranks the environmental details up to 13. It's virtually indistinguishable from said promotional videos. Even the shorts themselves went through an Animation Bump over time. The earlier ones like Meet the Heavy and Meet the Engineer have less detailed models, animations, and lighting/shading, while the later ones like Spy, Medic, and Pyro have more detailed models, realistic lighting/shading, and outstanding animations on par with a Pixar or DreamWorks film.
    • As of 2012, the program Valve used to create the "Meet The Team" shorts, Source Filmmaker, is now released - for free! - to the public. Meaning, with time, skill and patience, anyone make videos up to their quality with the proper lighting and beyond. Better yet, you can even edit a couple of the Meet The videos yourself.
  • Possibly not the perfect example, but both Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II give us two kinds of cutscenes: a generic kind, with "pixel mouths" and prerecorded movements; and the detailed kind, with great fluidity, expression and overall quality. Of course, scenes with the latter can be considered Animation Bumps in relation to the scenes with the former. It's particularly noticeable since they are used interchangeably in the same scene, so it's easy to spot when the cutscene quality suddenly drops/increases. It's especially jarring during the final cutscene in Kingdom Hearts II where the quality shifts mid-cutscene from the usual higher quality cutscene mentioned above to beautiful CGI animation reminiscent of Advent Children.
  • This is VERY noticeable in Final Fantasy X. The CGI cutscenes approach photo realistic, making the transition between cutscene and in game graphics somewhat jarring. Square attempted to avert this by using character models with high-poly facesnote  during scenes with close ups that used the in game engine, but it did not help much.
  • The .hack// games used seperate models for animated cinematics from those used in gameplay that were higher-quality and animated more smoothly. The .hack//GU games used the same trick as Final Fantasy X for its in-engine cutscenes, using higher-quality models for close-ups, as well as featuring pre-rendered cinematics that put the in-engine graphics to shame.
  • Bully: Pre-mission cutscenes are more fluid than the rest of the game, while mid-mission cutscenes are run on the usual game engine.
  • Metroid: Other M was touted in previews for its cinematic, CGI cutscenes. The side effect was that it didn't gel with the rest of the game, which seemed to be going for a "Realistic" style on the Wii (which most devs know that it won't really work on the system), but had several strange graphical decisions (such as JPEG stalactites), like it almost seems to be trying to make up for the disk space taken up by the CG cutscenes. Probably the best display of this, however, is in the unlockable Theater Mode, which strings together those CG cutscenes, the in-engine cutscenes, and game footage together in a movie. The results are quite jarring.
  • Inverted in the older game Freedom Force — those cutscenes NOT done in the engine, usually character origin scenes, are LESS fluidly animated — justified, as they are more in the style of a motion comic book, rather than actual pre-rendered cutscenes.
  • Rayman Origins is an animation bump for the entire series. Fluid movement, Deranged Animation, fantastic lighting and beautifully animated characters, Rayman himself is no exception. And the best part: everything was painted by hand.
    • The sequel, Rayman Legends, uses a more oily style of painting; making it look more 3D and better than Rayman Origins.
  • An interesting and justified example was found in the Nintendo 64 port of Resident Evil 2. Due to hardware limitations, as more sprites appear on the screen the resolution drops to keep the game running at full speed. Because of this you'll often see abrupt changes in the animation quality, especially when ambushed by a large enemy or a flock of crows.
  • While The Wonderful 101 has excellent visuals throughout, the cutscenes that don't involve Talking Heads look absolutely outstanding, and could even be mistaken for a scene from a CGI movie.
  • Cel Damage had some pretty sloppy-looking walk cycles. Not so much in cutscenes, but definitely in-game, as most characters who are left running around after their vehicle is blown up would look more like they were sliding or skating. However, in the cancelled sequel, from the 15 seconds of early alpha footage we were given and the one second we were given of walking/running, the walk cycles look like they had improved drastically. Just look at how Violet runs.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, signature monsters, such as Yami Yugi's Dark Magician, get special summoning animations.
  • The opening cinematic of The Original Strife: The Veteran Edition is of vastly better quality (ray-traced graphics etc.) than the game itself. The Strife episode of Ross's Game Dungeon lampshades this.
  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • Afterbirth bumps up the animation for the final boss of Greed Mode, Ultra Greed. Compared to the other enemies and bosses, his movement is more detailed, smooth, and slower.
    • All of the new bosses in Repentance have significantly more fluid and detailed animation compared to their predecessors, but the True Final Bosses Dogma, the Ultra Harbingers, and The Beast deserve special mention.
  • A very significant example in Fate/Grand Order, not just for visual reasons, but also gameplay reasons. At the game's (very rocky) release, most Servants shared the same attack animations, with very few exceptions. This also mattered because hit counts (which matters for Critical Hits and Noble Phantasms) were tied to the animations. Servants released after the launch were given more unique animations for their attacks (with more variable hit counts) and more elaborate Noble Phantasms, which were not only visually stunning, but also more reflective of their individual fighting styles (ex. Flash Step master Okita incorporates tons of them in her attacks, while Mordred fights more similarly to traditional Sabers, but is notably less refined than her "father"). As part of Growing the Beard, most Servants were given updated sprites and animations, with some Mythology Gags for veterans (ex. Artoria's Noble Phantasm now features its signature Pillar of Light at the end, EMIYA uses more Projected weapons, etc.).
  • Granblue Fantasy: Some newly-released characters from 2017 onwards have their unique charge attack animations which are more flashy or elaborate than most of the previously-released characters. Examples include Summer Diantha who comes with a Background Music Override, Yggdrasil in which she floats in the skies (also the only Charge Attack Animation not affected by the Ougi Animation Skip mechanic), Mikasa and Levi who have their cut-ins zooming in as their strike, event Zeta's Charge Attack animation being similar to a Summon Call, and the Charge Attack of Zooey's permanent version, like Yggdrasil, involves jumping out and changing the background while attacking.
    • The 5★ uncap of some Story characters also changes their Charge Attack Animations to include the Primals they have bonded with. And it is similar to that of the Summon Call Animations.
    • The "Quest Clear" screen of almost all battles has an updated equivalent exclusively for Arcarum, a "Victory" text which is also more saturated and has more frames.
    • The voiced event trailer for L.E.T.S. H.A.N.G. is currently the only event trailer made with a GIF animation, while all other event trailers are simply static images.
  • Some examples across the Kirby series:
    • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards: One of the game's most praised aspects are the cutscenes, rendered in-game with surprisingly smooth results. The game features multiple models for each character, depending on how far or close to the camera they are. Going from Ribbon's very limited in-game model to the cutscene ones are a sight, as the close-up models wouldn't look out of place from the usual Dreamcast or Gamecube game.
    • Kirby has used pre-rendered cutscenes for the games since Super Star Ultra, but starting from Kirby: Triple Deluxe onwards, HAL Labs has begun using much higher-poly models for their pre-rendered scenes.
    • Kirby Battle Royale has very static looking cutscenes, but the game's few pre-rendered ones look a lot better than the game's usual performance, boasting much more shaders than the rest of the game combined.
    • Kirby Star Allies took things further, with the game's Opening story cutscene showing detail far beyond their previous scope, specially notable given how much fluffier Dedede's coat looks. Due to the game's nature to prioritizing the game's multi-party of characters, no more cutscenes appear pre-rendered beyond the Intro, even on the game's ending.
  • Crash Bandicoot:
    • The original Naughty Dog developed games had pretty complex animation and cosmetics all around for the hardware they were on. They had a more unique way of utilising an Animation Bump in-game however, since the cutscenes tended to use far more detailed and expressive character models (likely as a result of cutscene backdrops taking up less polygons than gameplay levels). The Eurocom developed Crash Bash uses a similar method to a lesser degree.
    • Also in the Naughty Dog games, several characters got increasingly more detailed models as each title passed. Compare Crash and Cortex's models in the first game to their podium models in Crash Team Racing for example.
    • These techniques are even replicated in the remakes; Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled borrows a lot of assets and models from Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, however some mild tune ups are made to some of more Off-Model redesigns, with animation and expressions also improving to downplay some of the more uncanny elements. Some of the animal characters such as Baby T and Penta Penguin in particular look much more refined and cartoony.
  • Final Fantasy VII has the player characters rendered with more polygons in battle due to the background being more simplified compared to the overworld. In the final battle against Sephiroth, Cloud's character model gains additional polygons that make him even more detailed in order to make the final bout more climatic.
  • There are certain scenes in Xenosaga Episode I that are supposed to look better than the rest of the game (such as the prologue, whenever KOS-MOS uses her powers, and when you first see the Kukai Foundation, just for example). However it's not a horribly jarring transition and isn't completely noticeable at times either. In Episode III, the use of CG cutscenes become this, being used mostly for action sequences in place of the in-game engine which handles conversations.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has all cutscenes done within the game engine, but the more important scenes stand out with additional details like voice acting, motion capture, and custom facial expressions not normally seen in the game. There's also a CG cutscene used near the finale of the Binding Coils of Bahamut raid, which ties up the loose ends from 1.0, but this is never used again except for trailers due to the cost and time it takes to make such scenes.

    Visual Novel 
  • Kokoro Baka Monogatari has limited animation for the most part. The biggest exception is Moku's transformation into Neko Neko Princess, which features impressive 2D animation that's much smoother than any other animation in the game.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue's first 7 seasons were created entirely in Halo, limiting the characters to animations programmed into the game's engine, which pretty much limits them to head bobbing, walking, crouching, jumping, and shooting (and when using Halo: Combat Evolved, they had to use a glitch to lower the characters' weapons). By season, 8, Revelation, Rooster Teeth has acquired Monty Oum, and with him CGI. Suddenly, fight scenes aren't limited to shootouts any more, which they announce with Grif driving a warthog through a cement wall.
    • On the other hand, the CGI models tend to be missing detailing displayed in the games, like textures, which can make it jarring every time it switches from a shot featuring characters depicted in-game to a shot featuring CGI versions of characters.
      • Season 9 averts this by splitting the season between two separate storylines, one of which is pretty well all machinima and the other of which is entirely CGI. Monty Oum confirmed this was because trying to match the animated sequences with the "filmed" ones was nearly impossible.
  • RWBY, another project of Monty Oum, has noticeably better animation for the fight scenes. From Volume 4 onward, the show saw more general Art Evolution thanks to the team switching over from Poser to Maya.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, the animation gets noticeably better in the second season - most visibly, the characters, instead of being like a cut-out paper figures, starts moving their hands and heads and bending. The Deceiver, when he shows up, is fluid and animated, with his model bobbing and swaying with his movements, and and his back scarf/tendril things bend and move around a lot. He also has several distinct facial expressions. Fitting, given that he's an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Octocat Adventure. What starts out as a poorly animated, poorly voiced series of MS Paint shorts by one "RANDYPETERS1" about an eight-legged cat "finding his parents" abruptly improves in production value halfway through the final episode as everything immediately after is animated in 3D with improved sound effects and music. As it turns out, the actual creator of the shorts was looking to find out if terrible animation and voice-over hampers storytelling, and intended to end the series with a bang to make up for it.
  • Done twice in Tomorrow's Nobodies. First between episodes 2 and 3 of Old Tomorrows Nobodies, where the animation went from very crude to only moderately crude, and again when the series was rebooted.
  • The best-animated episodes of Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse have visuals that actually look as if plastic Barbie dolls became alive, which seems praiseworthy in comparison to Barbie's sterile direct-to-video movies.
  • Girl-chan in Paradise normally revels in hilariously bad animation and terrible lip synching...except for Yusuke, who's animation is noticeably better and who's mouth movements actually match what he's saying.
  • The final episode of Nyan~ Neko Sugar Girls has noticeably better visuals than the previous ones. Mind you, it still isn't remotely decent. It is simply better than before.
  • Season 4 of The Most Popular Girls in School has much, much, more fluid animation of its dolls compared to its previous three seasons. The fifth season looks even better, from the first episode alone (to the point where the sound of Deandra's robotic arm had to be removed entirely because the noise was too distracting).
  • La Golda: The animation between the two versions of the pilot are quite distinct. One has more fluid-ish movement than the other.
  • The first 3 seasons of Minilife TV have the standard quality of an average LEGO stop-motion video. However, production values start to increase in Season 4, the most notable change being lip-syncing.
  • Epithet Erased is mostly done in a Limited Animation-style just a step above what you'd use in a standard visual novel. However, the climatic moments at the end each story arc feature fuller animation, such as in Episode 4 when Giovanni defeats Mera with Molly's help and Episode 7 when Ramsey and Percy defeat Zora.
  • Earlier seasons of SMG4 had seemingly intentionally poor animation thanks to the poor movements of the GMod models. However, Meggy’s model is surprisingly well animated for the show, with most other Original Characters following suit (though most of them would end up obtaining the usual ragdoll movements). However, after TheInvertedShadow was hired in early 2022, the animation would become incredibly smooth, especially with characters like both normal and Eldritch SMG0.
  • Issue ten of Teen Girl Squad, which barely counts as being animated in the first place, features not only full color for the first and last time, but a sequence in which the camera seemingly swings wide around the group as they say their collective catchphrase "SO GOOD" in slow motion. To sell the effect, the whole cartoon had to be done at a higher framerate (20 instead of the usual 12), leading to the animation of Strong Bad at the end looking a bit uncanny. The cartoon advertising Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People had to be animated at 24 frames per second in order to mesh with the 3D sequence dropped in from the actual game engine.

  • Most of the time, Homestuck updates with either a still panel or a quick animated sequence, the latter having become increasingly common as time goes on. However, for important scenes, important dates, and/or at the ends and beginnings of Acts, the fanbase is treated to a longer, often minutes-long animation complemented by music. The longest and most detailed so far is "Collide", the End of Act 6, at 18 minutes. The animation became even more extensive in "Act 7" (Link contains spoilers)
  • Synodic Reboot: Depending on the current depicted action, some panels have more effort put into their animations or art than others. Climactic moments are usually the heights of this, as would be expected.

    Web Videos 


Homer's Heart Attack

When Mr. Burns fires Homer as a result of his poor work performance, Homer's chest pains get worse and eventually reaches to the climax of his heart attack and his heart stops. Notably, Homer's heart attack was animated more expressively in this scene.

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5 (10 votes)

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Main / DerangedAnimation

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