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Deranged Animation

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Animation, freed from the limitations of live-action films, allows you to show anything you could ever imagine. Here, that freedom is used to dispense with all semblance of reality, and sanity, taking the viewer into a crazy world where anything goes. Some people find this "anything goes" attitude delightful. Usually it wasn't made on drugs... but it almost seems like it'd be less creepy if you knew they did.

For younger viewers, this can be either a pretty rich well of Nightmare Fuel, whether or not accidental, or Nightmare Retardant.

See also Art Shift, Off-Model, Unintentional Uncanny Valley, This Is Your Premise on Drugs, Surreal Horror, Faux Symbolism, and Quirky Work. Compare Big-Lipped Alligator Moment, Disney Acid Sequence, and Bizarro Episode, where things only temporarily become deranged (usually).


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    Anime Film 
  • The Adolescence of Utena (well, the series is like this too, but mostly the movie). It runs like a dream on hallucinogenics. It includes scenes like a morphing butterfly/girl/bedsheet in a cabbage patch and Utena turning into a car. Listening to the director's commentary, however, reveals that not only was its creator sober and off drugs, but he's also an incredibly calm, thoughtful individual in general and everything has an allegorical meaning.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion brought back Gekidan Inu Curry, designers of the surreal Art Shift witch labyrinths, and had them do an ever-escalating portion of the visuals. Random flying objects, twitchy paper cut-out animation, and creepy misshapen puppets... the end result is like watching the already trippy original series on acid. Justified in that the whole movie takes place inside a labyrinth, with everything that comes with it.

    Anime Series 
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo has extreme Art Shift to realistic faces at times, things like Yugi Mutou shooting out of Bobobo's head, a male enemy becomes a very feminine torpedo and two boys fuse into a Magical Girl. Here's one example from the show.
  • Excel♡Saga does have some semblance of sense and logic, just as long as you're aware of what all the parodies and references are, what's being satirized, and why. It's not so much some kind of "random for the sake of random" or "on drugs" type of psychedelic trip. (That distinction goes to Bobobo Bobobobo). Excel Saga, however, IS one big non-stop barrage of in-jokes poking fun at the director Shinichi Watanabe's own thoughts, feelings, and ludicrous experiences at working in multiple genres of anime, as well as original manga author Koshi Rikudo's cynical, social satire, self-mocking, and controversial statements about his own nation's strange policies and economic troubles. Although the existence of the Puuchuus and why they randomly turn into Takao Saito and Leiji Matsumoto characters when struck with a blunt object....
  • Puni Puni Poemi, which compresses an even greater amount of insanity into 1/13th of the time.
  • FLCL, which almost qualifies as a drug in and of itself. Actually, it was. It was the anti-depressant for everyone who had worked on Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Gankutsuou is set in a futuristic world so trippy one would almost think it was made by Dr. Gonzo from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, not Studio GONZO.
  • Kaiba. The plot summary alone sounds a little out there... And then you see the art style. Kaiba looks like a child's TV show, with trippy architecture and illogical types of technology, gone Cerebus Syndrome and mixed with adult themes. Buildings are depressingly creepy, even with the bright colors and lack of geometric structure. Then you consider how the authorities steal bodies, look into other peoples' personal worlds, execute enemies, have sex, pilot spaceships, HIT BUTTONS AND PRESS LEVERS, etc,.
  • Kemonozumer. In fact, the art style is actually fairly representative of everything Yuasa (and Studio 4C, for that matter) has done since Mind Game.
  • ×××HOLiC is a wonderful manga, but the art style CLAMP employed does not translate well to video. The anime is fine, but the movie is trippy, surreal, and somehow enjoyable.
  • Enjoy this list of the top ten (yes, only ten) "WTF?" moments from Dragon Ball Z.
  • Azumanga Daioh is more or less a Slice of Life series that looks at the various idiosyncrasies of some rather unusual (but still average, all considered) teen-aged girls. And then there's Sakaki's dream about what Chiyo's dad might be like—a huge, orange cat that spouts Gratuitous English. Had to be some weird "dream" for Sakaki to come up with that.
  • The second opening to Death Note. Very bright colors and Japanese metal for a show about a kid playing god? Someone had to be tripping.
  • Episode 18 of the Hetalia: Axis Powers anime. There's no way that the decision to have the Roman Empire randomly pop out of the sea and sing about the differences between heaven and hell was made while sober.
    • And then there's the movie ("Paint it, White!") where he appears again and sings a rock version (!) of his Heaven and Hell song. It doesn't even make sense in context... well, the context itself doesn't really make any sense, either.
  • Welcome to the NHK has snippets in which the protagonist is taunted by appliances.
  • One has to wonder what the animators of Bleach Episode 133 were smoking when they made it. Everyone look like Memetic Molester|s. Even Hitsugaya. And Yachiru Kusajishi.
  • Trapeze. Oh dear god((s)/dess(es)) Trapeze. A little series about psychiatry at which its own entry notes (legitimately) that it makes viewers fear for their own mental health. Take a novel series about an unusual psychiatrist, mixing it with hallucinogenic vitamin shots, adding one's brains and a major TV announcer, and placing all of these in a blender and setting to "liquefy". And then having a big-name model dress up as a perky-goth nurse and injecting said medicine whilst the doctor leers nearby in a psychedelic fursuit. And this is a Cliff's Notes version of the series BEFORE the True Insanity starts per episode.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. One of the openings for season 3, which is insane even by the standards of the show.
  • CGI series Ga-Ra-Ku-Ta, or Mr. Stain on Junk Alley, which features a hobo named Mr. Stain that finds an object in each episode that royally screws him or his friends up, such as him finding a box of crayons that make anything you draw become real which leads to his friend losing his entire face and begin sucking everything in sight up due to his face becoming a black hole. It certainly doesn't help that Junk Alley is apparently built above the ruins of a sunken, Lovecraftian city. Though that would probably explain most of the weird, creepy things that happen.
  • Popee the Performer is known for its (excluding intense nightmare imagery) disturbing wild animation. And boy, was this anime the product of its time.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. Ben 10, Invader Zim, The Powerpuff Girls - all of the Western cartoons you used to watch were pureed and delivered intravenously directly to the brains of the people behind Dead Leaves and FLCL, then Gainax stuck a pen under their trembling fingers and told them to draw. Unlike most of the other examples, this one was actually influenced by drugs - the creators have admitted that they were drunk off their ass when they came up with the concept for the show.
  • The Wedding Peach OVA where the Love Angels become cat girls contain EXTREMELY traumatizing images, such as when they go catty over Yanagiba and when they take the forms of the schoolgirl versions, when they innocently move about the wall of the school, yet another Nightmare Face with catty features they don't have anymore until they see Yanagiba.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica is normally devoid of this and doesn't contain as much as a single exaggerated expression, but steps right off the deep end whenever the witches show up.
  • Haré+Guu is an acid trip from start to finish. The weirdness is too much to state on one paragraph, but suffice to say, the first opening features dancing palm trees and a world inside a stomach. And that's the least weird thing you'll get.
  • Episode 167 of Naruto Shippuden is this and severe Off-Model. In a rare example, it actually works; the episode is a high-speed Chase Fight between two people who are about this close to gods, and the animation emphasises this.
  • Usually not common in Pretty Cure, but at one point in episode 13 of Smile PreCure! we get two terrifyingly freaky shots of Miyuki's face from below. Said shots have already reached Memetic Mutation status around the fandom.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
  • Osamu Tezuka himself did a few films falling under this trope, especially his more adult films "Kleopatra" and "1001 Nights".
  • Soul Eater's art style is a little out-there, but still fairly restrained. Once people start going insane, though, the model is thrown right out the window in favor of some truly demented imagery with Nightmare Faces galore.
  • Much of the animation of Lupin III: Part III is like this, especially in episodes animated by Tatsuo Ryuno.
  • If you've watched past the Paranoia Agent pilot you'll know about the episode called "Kin no kutsu" (or, "The Golden Shoes"). While much of the animation gets deranged, the Golden Shoes gets mention since Michio Mihara let at it when the character hallucinates. If you recognize his name from Space Dandy he also animated the first episode of the 2-part series finale, "Dandy's Day in Courty, Baby."
  • Space☆Dandy: Some episodes are more... trippy than others. Case in point episode 21, with the alien world of Planet Limbo.
  • Shinichiro Watanabe, who created Space☆Dandy had also previously graced us with drug-induced hallucinations in both Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop. These scenes contrast heavily with the otherwise 'realistic' designs and atmosphere elsewhere in both shows.
  • Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou: The ED looks very SHAFT, but it's not - it's actually the (mostly) sane Studio Bones. The show itself, with its color palette, frenetic action and frequent abuse of in-storyline Anachronism Stew, would also count.
  • Pop Team Epic in its entirety, but especially the Bob Epic Team segments.
  • AC部's art style in general. Aside from the Bob Epic Team shorts, they're also responsible for the memetic "Galo Sengen" and "It's So Good Now" music videos.
  • The Love Live! series, an otherwise pretty mundane franchise about Idol Singer schoolgirls, took a crack at this one with the music video for Ruby Kurosawa's solo song "Cotton Candy Ei Ei Oh!", whereupon all semblance of logic and reason decided to take a lunch break and the remaining void was filled by what could best be described as a combination of Rikako Aida on the art team, the animator(s) of Bob Team Epic, and unspeakable amounts of acid locked together in a room for 24 hours straight without sleep, all set to a song that is almost as insane as the video would have you believe the song to be. It has to be seen to be believed.
  • Winter Days veers into this at points. Some notable examples:
    • Noriko Morita's segment is animated in a very erratic manner, and features a woman being savagely attacked while the sounds of a crying baby ring in the background, as well as some Body Horror.
    • Katsushi Boda's segment features a man growing butterfly wings and fighting an Eldritch Abomination, and culminates with a train floating in space.

    Asian Animation 

    Eastern Animation 
  • Captain Pronin, a parody of '80s action movies, is exactly what would happen if Mike Judge did meth.
  • The animation in His Wife Is a Hen is a tad... well, let's start with the boxes that just shrink into thin air after use.
  • Clinic is a Medical Horror short film by Russian animator Alexander Bubnov featuring some strangely-animted vignettes representing the nightmares had by an old man in the hospital.
  • Hugo the Hippo is a Hungarian animated film with a number of bizarrely-animated scenes. There's the one where Aban-Khan slaughtering the rest of Hugo's herd is represented by him shooting lightning at hippo-shaped clouds. Later, Aban-Khan turns a garden into an army of strange-looking vegetable soldiers to capture Hugo, which inexplicably features a scene where Jorma and Hugo try to escape into space on a giant butterfly.
  • Světlonoš (Torchbearer). A trippy stop-motion animation that features what looks like an ancient Greek hero walking into a set of ruins filled with deadly clockwork traps operated by female statues. Female statues that feel pain when broken. And let's not get into the carnivorous rats that tear apart anything that dies within the ruins, or the mechanized flying creature that spouts artificial blood when defeated or the hideous machine at the end that needs human blood to keep the heavens running. Creator Václav Švankmajer took inspiration from the work of his father, surrealist Jan Švankmajer.
  • Everything by Ivan Maximov. For example this thing.
  • Almost everything done by Marcell Jankovics, but Son of the White Horse takes the cake with its vibrant colors and surreal artistic representation. Let's just look at the Big Bad (a gigantic supercomputer that walks on two legs) and his two lackeys (a Humongous Mecha and a three-headed rock monster), who all look completely out of place for what is supposed to be ancient mythology.
  • Armen Film Animated Shorts, directed by Robert Saakyantz. This short, for example, is about a constantly shapeshifting monster-magician in Turkish national clothes. And yes, this is a Soviet animation. It was animation adaptation of a children's story written by the famous writer Kwon Jeong-Saeng, and its meaning is quite clear: ''Anything, no matter how worthless it may seem, has its value.''
  • Later Soviet animation often descended into this. The 1988 Soviet adaptation of Treasure Island was mostly good, but often featured bizarre angles and Lovecraftian geometry.
  • Planetata na Sakrovishtata ("The Treasure Planet") is a 1982 Bulgarian animated film that gave Stevenson's classic novel the Recycled In Space treatment twenty years before Disney got around to it. The art style is really weird, to say the least.
  • A good number of arthouse animation master Rene Laloux's work. Short films in particular border on Faux Symbolism with hideously fascinating animation. Gandahar is unnervingly bizarre, and then there's Fantastic Planet...
  • Everything by Jan Švankmajer.
  • Porgu AKA Hell is most definitely this, starting out relatively sane and slowly descending into a nightmarish vision of man's debauchery.
  • Jak Dziala Jamniczek is an epitome of this. Or anything by Julian Antonisz for that matter, thanks to his unique animation technique.
  • György Kovásznai's Foam Bath. A trippy musical romantic dramedy with Medium Blending and wonky animation that lets its characters deform, shrink, fall apart or change art style in accordance to their (or each other's) emotions. The rest of the creator's works qualify as well, but this was his only feature film.
  • The 1980s Latvian cartoon Fantadroms is entirely composed of this. The extremely bizarre visuals are further accented by the lack of dialogue (in order to cross language barriers) and the near-constant synthpop soundtrack.

    Video Games 
  • Kingdom Hearts very much starts with this in each installment, with the protagonists experiencing bizarre sequences whose actual canonicity is unclear but generally involves a lot of clashing, disintegrating people, scattering doves, and sinking headfirst into fathomless water. Apparently, maturing into the power of the Keyblade does a number on the coherency of one's dream-state.
  • Cuphead is filled to the brim with this. Which makes sense, given that the game mimics the classic Max and Dave Fleischer cartoon style. Bosses undergo Voluntary Shapeshifting, physics are a non-issue, there are countless Anthropomorphic Objects (the protagonists themselves are cups with bodies), and there are projectiles everywhere.
  • Katamari Damacy gives you this impression right off the bat. After finishing the intro theme (which suspiciously involves lots of mushrooms), you'll already be wondering what drug the creators were on when they were making it. And it just keeps getting weirder from there. To start with, you play as a guy with a cylinder for a head rolling things up to make stars, and your dad, who is the king of the universe, by the way, pukes rainbows that work as a teleporting device. Right.
  • The intro to The Beatles: Rock Band. It starts off normal, going on a whistle-stop tour through their career. Then it reaches the halfway point and - *BLAM* - the drugs kick in. Duuuude.
  • This deliciously surreal Touhou Project fanvid which retells some of the story events of Silent Sinner In Blue combines semi-serious scenes with heartwarming nostalgia, art that is very on-model to the signature style of series creator ZUN, and many, many bizarre visual gags and memes. Also, Eirin dances!
    • The flash video for IOSYS's remixed remix of Reisen's leitmotif, It doesn't stop at the affected area, but goes deep inside and Aah Aaahn ~ The Final Udongein, is a completely surreal, semi-nightmarish glimpse into what you might see if she used her madness-inducing Lunatic Eyes on you.
  • Um Jammer Lammy can get odd sometimes. This part of the game will have you wondering whether someone spiked Lammy's pizza, or the Parappa The Rapper universe is just that messed up.
  • The Legend of Zelda CD-i Games
  • I. M. Meen
  • Tonic Trouble. It starts on top of a snow- and palm tree-covered mountain and gets crazier from there...
  • Yume Nikki. Most of the animation in question is walking loops. Still gives a lot of people nightmares.
  • Ib: The Carrie Careless and the Galette de Rois video (if you can even watch it). Puppet-like designs done in MS-Paint, creepy facial expressions and an extremely unsettling soundtrack (coupled with characters speaking nonsense).
  • Technically, Paul Robertson's works are animations, not games, but they're all done in the style of video-game sprites. Kings of Power 4 Billion% is possibly the most deranged.
  • Any colored cutscene in the Thief series.
  • The cut-scenes in Alice: Madness Returns notably the first scene which is...disturbing, to say the least.
  • In the final battles in Hellsinker as well as the extra stages, the graphic design goes from just weird to downright surreal.
  • Episode 11.5 of Asura's Wrath takes a Key Animator from FLCL, combines his talent with Studio 4°C, and mixes it with the already awesome nature of the game to bring some really insane animation that will make you go "What the Hell just happened?"
  • The opening of Persona 2: Innocent Sin is trippy. It starts with the main character's skin turning into a bunch of bright lights and textures, and then it just gets weirder. Most of it does make sense when you've actually played the game, and it's a fairly fitting opening for such a bizarre game.
  • The art style of Pizza Tower makes heavy use of intentional Off-Model, squash and stretch, and odd proportions. While not terribly disturbing in execution, it's still one of the most unhinged-looking indie games out there.
  • No More Heroes III cranks up the weird factor with the cutscene preceding the boss fight with Velvet Chair Girl, which is animated by AC-BU (of Bob Epic Team fame).

    Web Animation 
  • Agamemnon Counterpart (a.k.a. Let's Make a New Friend), what looks like a 70s educational cartoon reconstructed by aliens, with rapidly flashing and distorting faces and scenery, bouncing blue creatures, and the letters "a" and "o" appearing frequently. And a man with an Eyeless Face screaming throughout (audio from the French film A Cry From Within; music from The Human Tornado).
  • The Animutation genre of animation depicts random images moving around the screen, characters' heads on wrong bodies, fake misheard lyrics, subliminal messages, "singers" whose jaws fall off their face while they sing, all with no apparent plot.
  • The first two videos of the Arfenhouse series have random plots that make no sense.
  • Sonic Meets Bon Jovi, where the animator blatantly wasn't trying too much in terms of actually animating the characters. You may also lose sleep over the look on Rouge's face. Then the audio slowed down and became horribly distorted. And then the computer locked up completely.
  • Don't Hug Me, I'm Scared. If the first video is anything to go by, then deranged animation is either because of drugs or because you get too creative. As examples, it features creepy puppets and utilizes a really weird 3D animation sequence. Don't Hug Me, I'm Scared 2 only gets weirder. It has 2D animation parts and shows an impressive case of making dolls morph into...something.
  • YOLO and its sequel, YOLO 2. What should be a relatively normal girls' night out party turns very, very weird, with limbs randomly stretching, inexplicable superpowers, and general gross-ness (a guy takes "I'm gonna fuck your shit" a little too literally).
  • Most of Felix Colgrave's work follows this pattern, with surreal, warped figures and animation.
  • going to the store and its sequels are examples of deranged 3D animation set over real-life backdrops. Physics and bodily limits are entirely optional when you're a CG mannequin. And that includes your vehicles.
  • Story From North America: Both videos contain frequent grotesque and insane animation, although the second video exaggerates this compared to the first.
  • Something About mixes simplistic drawings with pictures of real life objects to create its characters and environments, resulting in scenes like several simply-drawn Nintendo characters fighting a villain composed of real pictures of an eye and crab legs.
  • Joel Guerra's ENA is animated in the style of an experimental Japanese-only PS1 game, with dialogue performed in cutscenes with characters glitching and performing strange animation loops, while the segments inbetween animate similar to a first person adventure game. The final result is charmingly unsettling.

    Web Original 
  • Thanks to the programs "Garry's Mod" and "Source Filmmaker" people can now make short films starring the various characters from Valve video games. Some of these are VERY deranged indeed. Some creators famous (or infamous) for this are the likes of RubberFruit, Eltorro64Rus and STBlackST.
  • Ratboy Genius is animated in Blender, with unbelievably ugly models, very poorly. The effect is both trippy and scary.
  • Cyriak. His works are very surreal and bizarre, using edited clips of real animals or objects to make them as Eldritch as possible.
  • Googlebrains has videos themed around this trope!
  • Cox n' Crendor Animated is pretty bizarre as far as animations based on podcasts go. Take a scene from this episode. Crendor flies off on tiny rocket chair, then it cuts to Crendor on the moon where he suffocates to death. Then Crendor appears inside of Jesse's mouth, falls out, and then is normal size again. None of this has anything to do with the topic of the video. All this is done without interrupting the flow of the original conversation. And this kind of thing happens all the time.
  • Pamtri: That’s the sole purpose of this YouTube channel.

    Western Animation Film 
  • Fantasia. It goes from musical instruments turning into abstract shapes, dancing flowers/fairies, and Mickey Mouse as a sorcerer bringing brooms to life to the evolution of the earth from the Precambrian to the Cretaceous with hyper-realistic dinosaurs, a cutesy version of Greek Mythology, anthropomorphic animals doing a ballet performance to finally essentially Satan summoning his undead and infernal followers before ending at a group of a religious sect going into a forest. No Really.
    • It's even lampshaded in real life. After the film became a hit among the "head" crowdnote  on college campuses in the late 60s and early 70s, somebody asked animator Art Babbitt (who animated the dancing mushrooms on that film) if he had been influenced by drugs. He jokingly admitted, "Yes, it is true. I myself was addicted to Ex-Lax and Feenamint."
  • "Pink Elephants on Parade" Or 'Why elephants shouldn't drink alcohol.' The phrase "pink elephants" refers to hallucinations from too much alcohol consumption.
  • The finale of The Three Caballeros ("Donald's Wacky Peyote Trip!") is the best representation of a drug-induced hallucination ever seen.
  • "Bumble Boogie" and especially "Blame It On The Samba" in Melody Time make delightful use of this trope.
  • The Heffalumps and Woozles song in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.
  • Genie's introductory song in Aladdin.
  • Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure, is the near-legendary Richard Williams' trippy adaptation of the classic children's characters. It includes such madness as a giant taffy-blob monster named The Greedy, who is constantly shoving globs of himself into his mouth, and a diminutive king who inflates whenever he laughs and is subjected to forced tickling which causes him to swell to immense size. That's not even scratching the surface; watch for yourself and find out...
  • A Christmas Carol (1971) as produced by Chuck Jones and directed by Richard Williams. It won an Academy Award for Best Short but is rarely shown on television, thanks to its trippy and nightmarish imagery. If the sight of the open-jawed Jacob Marley doesn't scare you, Ignorance and Want will.
  • The philosophical film Waking Life is less over the top than most examples on this page, as it is a series of vignettes where people monologue about dreams and philosophical concepts. It does get a bit trippy, sometimes.
  • The Point! has a musical number about a whale decomposing, a three-faced man, and a talking tree. Unlike most of the other examples, this one was made on drugs. Just watch it.
  • I Married A Strange Person!. Bill Plympton makes incredibly surreal animation more often than not. He must have started his career after reading a book listing all the rules for animating the human face (chiefly, "don't distort or transform things too much or you'll end up in the Unintentional Uncanny Valley"), then dedicated his life to breaking all those rules.
  • Street of Crocodiles. Stop motion animation that uses things like antique doll parts, machinery, and fresh meat. You have been warned. According to Mark Romanek, that short was one of his major inspirations for the music video of Nine Inch Nails "Closer".
  • Rock Odyssey from Hanna-Barbera productions, circa 1982, which was unreleased in the US. It involves a guitar dragon, army skeletons, siren headed policemen, the Beast of the Apocalypse, a talking jukebox, and a whole lot more.
  • Certain pieces of animation by Don Bluth in general qualify, as his aesthetic is largely based in what he learned while working at Disney — but tends to be a lot weirder and full of wacky moon-logic. This argument begins and ends with Rock-A-Doodle.
  • Frank Zappa worked with Stop Motion clay animator Bruce Bickford, producing a great deal of animation, which can be seen in Zappa's concert films Baby Snakes and The Dub Room Special, as well as in a film exclusively devoted to Bickford's animation, The Amazing Mr. Bickford. These videos contain images that include Zappa transforming into The Devil, explicit clay figure sexual intercourse and masturbation, mutilation, Gregory Peccary (a pig character from one of Zappa's songs), Zappa being attacked by monsters, and other weird imagery that fluidly morphs into other weird imagery. Bickford has done similarly weird stuff on his own accord. None of it was influenced by drug use, especially not the stuff he did with Zappa, who hated drugs.
  • While definitely not a animated film Twilight Zone: The Movie has a version of It's a Good Life segment that involves Anthony having powers to insert people into a Saturday cartoon nightmare as well as creating a terrifying rabbit and a goblin-demon that gets more deranged in design as it continues to pester the residents of the house.
  • It's just for one frame, but The Care Bears: Adventure in Wonderland has a moment where the wizard is drawn with freakishly deformed features.
  • The Mexican animated movie El Santos vs La Tetona Mendoza not only really have insane animated sequences but also relies a lot in gross-out humor as well.
  • Beavis' hallucination after he ingests some peyote from Beavis And Butthead Do America which is done in the style of a music video, it features among other things demons crawling out of Butthead's skin, themselves as zombies or demons, demonic creatures everywhere riding in mini cars or playing guitars, and a demonic Muddy Grimes (the villain of the movie) driving by in a curvy road and being eaten by a sand worm.
  • Mutafukaz features unconventional character designs and frequent art shifts. The main character has pitch black skin, a large round head, and massive eyes, and his best friend has a fiery skull for a head. Yet, all the background characters are realistically proportioned. That's not even going into what the alien architecture looks like.
  • In Turning Red, Mei's nightmare is like this including Devon as a mermaid prepared like sushi, 4*Town's faces on flowers emerging from school lockers and a snake emerging from a horse's mouth.

    Western Animation Shorts and Music Videos 
  • The cartoon short that concludes Winsor McCay's pioneering 1911 short Little Nemo: Characters stretch and shrink and materialize out of random lines; one character draws another.
  • Animator Jim Tyer is absolutely famous for this. Just check out any Terry Toons cartoon he animated on, like the opening of "House Busters", and you'll see some of the weirdest cartoon animation ever committed to paper!
  • The video for Radiohead's Paranoid Android.
  • Take one look at Woody Woodpecker's original design and see if that isn't one of the ugliest things you've ever seen.
  • The music video of the song joey by the band BOY is just begging to have an explanation.
  • Myriad Harbor by The New Pornographers gives a whole new meaning to the term "hair band".
  • Ready, Able by the band Grizzly Bear is absolutely insane, and watching it under the influence of any mind-altering substances is either a really awful, or incredibly great idea. The morphing depressed plasticine figures are scary, yet infinitely interesting.
  • The animation of Don Hertzfeldt. "My spoon is too big."
  • Quasi at the Quackadero. Highly regarded animated short from The '70s that was ranked as one of the top 50 Greatest Cartoons by members of the animation industry.
  • Face Like a Frog - with the special added bonus of Danny Elfman as a literal lounge lizard singing about the dangers of going in the basement, and a score by Oingo Boingo.
  • About 10 years of animated shorts for Sesame Street.
  • Every single thing in Nick's Random!Cartoons shorts collection, which was an attempt to capitalize on kids' obsession with surrealist humor and the non-sequitur.
  • The short "Now Hear This", which manages to look like a dialogue-free Disney Acid Sequence.
  • The climax of the short "Wearing of the Grin" is a bit unnerving, to say the least, with Porky Pig being forced to tap-dance in "the Green Shoes" through a surreal landscape as two leprechauns laugh at his misfortune.
    • The '90s short "Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers" starts out as a pretty standard "Body Snatchers" parody — then goes way off the deep end, using weird cheap animation for the invaders. (Though that was the point. Bugs himself called them "Robot Retreads" while thinking up a way to get things back to normal.)
  • Perhaps the strangest and most bizarre animated fare in all of Looney Tunes was "Porky in Wackyland". It's supposed to be bizarre, and they warn you ahead of time, but still, it was definitely over-the-top. The backgrounds for the cartoon's remake, "Dough for the Do-Do", are even MORE surreal!
  • Tex Avery's MGM short "The Cat That Hated People" has its title character taking a rocket to the moon and encountering a lot of really weird shit.
  • Destino is what happens when Disney lets Salvador Dalí do a cartoon. No, that is not a joke, Disney did have Dalí work on a short film back in the 1940s, but understandably never finished it. It was revived some fifty years later and unleashed in 2003 in all its surreal glory.
  • During most of the nineties and some of the early two thousands, there was an Argentine tv show shown and Sundays that was called Caloi en su tinta. In it, the titular Caloi, a recognized comic artist and writer for the country who sadly passed away in 2012, presented this kind of animation from all over the world. Most of the kids from that time would watch it and love it, even if it was scary sometimes, and Caloi was Savvy enough to walk right in front of the screen and cover it when something like a sex scene appeared. This was the opening to give you an idea of the show, and there are some shorts in YouTube as well.
  • The Offspring's "She's Got Issues," which features a young Zooey Deschanel seeing disturbed imagery around her.
  • The Italian music video La Serenissima (also known as "Venice in Peril") was one of several music videos set to music by Rondo Veneziano and animator Guido Manuli. This is probably most memorable for being shown as an interstitial (often sporadically at Otaku O'Clock hours) in many Western television markets, where viewers generally had absolutely no clue as to its origins or plot but were nonetheless drawn to the visuals. The animation depicts a giant spaceship of unexplained origin rescuing Venice from a watery grave. Also appearing is an animated version of the band depicted as faceless robots wearing baroque period clothing and playing classical instruments (which was a gimmick actually used by the Rondo Veneziano group in the early 80s, predating Daft Punk by almost two decades). At the time, Rondo Veneziano was mostly unknown outside of Europe but their style may be familiar, classical music with a rock/disco beat. The dreamlike visuals, catchy tune (one of Rondo's most popular), and apparent lack of story/plot explanation all made it an experience that many remember, despite seeing it only once or twice. Until the YouTube era confirmed its existence, many were convinced that due to their vague half-memories of this video (and the relative rarity of others having seen it), that it may as well have been from a dream.
  • Whatever this is, it's the official video for They Might Be Giants' song "Music Jail." It defies description, let alone explanation, with...creatures that consist of nightmarish amalgamations of people, machinery, and musical instruments.
  • The music video for Arctic Monkeys "Do I Wanna Know" starts of extremely simplistically with a sine wave moving in sync with the vocalist, but once the chorus starts it morphs into full animation which steadily gets more and more bizarre, until by the end of the video it's really freaking you out.
  • The music video for Dead Fox by Courtney Barnett features vehicular homicide and cartoon animals.
  • The music videos for "Are We Still Married" and "Can't Go Wrong Without You" by His Name Is Alive, both animated by the aforementioned Brothers Quay. They're both Mind Screws involving cryptic symbolism and Creepy Dolls.

    Western Animation Series 
  • Ćon Flux: The episodes made with no dialogue and with Aeon Flux dying in every episode make more sense than the later ones where she lives in the end and there is dialogue.
  • Downplayed in multiple BoJack Horseman episodes to show character's hallucinations or other mental problems.
    • One particularly notable example is in the episode Time's Arrow, where Beatrice's dementia makes the faces of many characters scribbled out, blends important images together, and even adds hellfire to a scene.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: One aspect that really makes it stand out is the deliberate usage of Off-Model, where characters often completely change appearance every shot. Add in liberal usage of Gross-Up Close-Up, a creator who has more than a few screws loose due to drug abuse and childhood trauma, and generally Family-Unfriendly Violence, and you have a show that ran on Nightmare Fuel. It had a huge impact on Nickelodeon in general.
  • Rocko's Modern Life is a more downplayed example as it isn't often very deranged, but it does include the kind of wild takes that wouldn't be out of place in a Tex Avery or Bob Clampett short.
  • Invader Zim. Everything is dark, full of sharp angles, dirty and neglected. The huge metropolis where the show takes place looks as uncaring and uncared for as the people that inhabit it. Some buildings look tall enough to look almost impossible. The characters, besides being darkly colored and being drawn with inhumanly sharp lines, are also disproportionate, with huge heads, triangle-shaped bodies, and noodle-like limbs.
  • The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat. Justified, as it's a 1990s revival of the old Felix the Cat cartoons.
  • Many silent-era and pre-Code cartoons from The Golden Age of Animation lived and breathed this trope, including the original Felix the Cat. Early Betty Boop like Bimbo's Initiation, especially had a tendency to dispense with any semblance of reality just for the sake of a laugh. Or, sometimes, for the hell of it, as when a squadron of fighter planes turns into a flock of birds and back again.
  • Some viewers of the claymation cartoon Gumby have assumed that its myriad surreal images were influenced by drug use. However, Gumby's creator Art Clokey claims that drugs were not an influence: "The strongest thing I've ever taken was coffee or orange juice." (The documentary Gumby Dharma reveals that Clokey did briefly experiment with LSD and other drugs in the late 60s, but this was after he made the classic Gumby shorts, and he had sworn off drugs by the time he returned to filmmaking.)
  • The intro to the '70s era children's PBS program Vegetable Soup, sixty seconds of uncannily tall and skinny cartoon hippies jamming.
  • Xavier: Renegade Angel: Between the intentionally low-quality CGI, the cast of eccentric characters, and the outrageously surreal storylines, it takes the cake as the most bizarre show [adult swim] has ever produced. It gets cranked up to the point of damaging the knob with "Damnesia You", the episode where the winners of a contest get their films shown in an Excuse Plot where Xavier goes to different dimensions to figure out his identity. Styles shown in the episode include:
    • Puppetry with Green Screening
    • Atari 2600-esque Graphics
    • Garry's Mod
    • Live-Action
    • 60's Style Animation like Yellow Submarine
    • Squigglevision done with paper and pencil.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Krusty Gets Kancelled", when Itchy & Scratchy are bought out by a rival show, Krusty tries showing an incomprehensible Russian cat-and-mouse cartoon called Worker & Parasite, a parody of the Gene Deitch Tom and Jerry cartoons and Eastern European Animation in general, which is known to be very surreal in nature. Naturally, Krusty's reaction is "What the hell was that?!"
    • In "El Viaje Misterioso De Nuestro Jomer" Homer's hallucinatory Dream Sequence due to the effects of eating chili so hot that he couldn't swallow it without coating his tongue in candle wax offers the animators many opportunities to show off surreal animation sequences. David Silverman insisted on animating this sequence in-house instead of normally outsourcing it to Korea to ensure it came out exactly how he wanted.
  • Adventure Time:
    • The episode "A Glitch is a Glitch," which is animated entirely in CGI and is purposefully made to look very, very buggy, as the entire world is a computer program that's been corrupted, resembling a bad video game beta. It has to be seen to be believed.
    • The episode "The Great Bird Man," in which the ex-goblin king Xergiok, while flying on what could loosely be termed a bird, re-inserts his eyes for the first time and begins a song that turns into a Disney Acid Sequence which stands out in a series peppered with them.
    • "Food Chain", which was guest-animated by Masaaki Yuasa, is a trippy little affair where Magic Man casts a spell that makes Finn and Jake live out the food chain as birds, bacteria, plants, and caterpillars. And on top of all that it's a Musical Episode too!
  • The Amazing World of Gumball, especially the episodes from seasons two and three, like "The Butterfly," "The Question," "The World," "The Void," "The Job," "The Countdown," "The Oracle," "The Pizza," and "The Finale." Season one is rather tame, but does have its share of deranged moments, such as Gumball's run of bad luck on "The Curse" or Nicole fighting Tina Rex's father in "The Fight."
  • The climactic Paraphernalia Wagon sequence from Halloween Is Grinch Night is several straight minutes of Surreal Horror, Dr. Seuss-style.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy's animation style is odd enough to provide a decent example of this trope, especially with episodes like "1 + 1 = Ed." The squiggly art design is certainly a bonus.
  • The Brothers Grunt: Its main characters (a race of ashen white, veiny, twitching humanoids) and its gross-out humor are deranged. The fact that its creator is also more known for the previously-mentioned cartoon up above is self-explanatory in its self.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force has an absolutely bizarre premise which would fit this trope on paper. And it would probably be more often if (A) they weren't animated immaculately in Flash, and (B) they weren't constantly aware of their deranged ways.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog features several Art Shifts of varying displays of animation. Also, the art style is a bit unusual considering an injury has the character let out a goofy expression complete with an idiotic laugh, which mostly happens to Courage.
  • Fanboy and Chum Chum's adventures are so bizarre and surreal they definitely fit this trope, but their status of "The Ren & Stimpy Show in CGI" is further strengthened by the very cartoony, Off-Model in a John Kricfalusi way art style.
  • Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?: The show looks something the people behind Schoolhouse Rock! did after they got bored with years of educational shorts and decided to do a middle-school Kafka Komedy about a robot.
  • The Problem Solverz, with its brightly-colored animation and strange character designs. The pilot episode "NeonKnome" is the epitome of weird.
  • Squidbillies. Dan Halen with all his weird schemes and nonsense he inflicts upon Dougal County would count alone but Early Cuyler's life cranks it up. He has a "truck-boat-truck", which is exactly what it sounds like and equipped with massive monster truck tires. Plus there's unrelated craziness like a snake boy, a boy with sticks for arms and legs, and a field full of sheriff clones.
  • KaBlam! lives and breathes on this trope. Only a few shorts (and by "few", we mean enough to count on one hand) were grounded.
  • The Mushroom Samba sequences in the "Mayhem Night" episode of Motorcity are some of the trippiest of its kind, and rarely anything seen in a kid's, much less Disney, cartoon.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is generally tame with its animation, but whenever Discord shows up and creates a World of Chaos, stuff like talking piles of apples, herds of eyeless rabbits with spider-like limbs, and pies appearing from thin air only to fall into the sky becomes commonplace. Not that there aren't any Nightmare Sequences without him.
  • Teacher's Pet, which probably has the most deranged animation out of any Disney show ever made.
  • A number of episodes of certain shows fromThe Disney Afternoon that were animated by Walt Disney Television Animation Australia such as Darkwing Duck, Goof Troop (their biggest one), Bonkers and Timon & Pumbaa (their second biggest) and even some later episodes of Adventuresof The Gummi Bears tended to have that, after their competent but rather uninspired work on The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, their first project.
  • Crashbox is made of this trope with the most deranged animation coming from segments like "Distraction News" and "Eddie Bull."
  • Hank's nightmare sequence from the King of the Hill episode "The Man Who Shot Cane Skretteberg", in which Hank, Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer are being chased by giant versions of Cane and his friends while people they know with multicolored skin laugh at them, soon the people start looking more bizarre and cartoony with bulging eyeballs and elongated jaws with crooked teeth like something out of a Tex Avery cartoon or an Ed Roth painting, and the sequence ends with Hank and his friends being shot with paintballs and drowning in pools of paint.
  • King Star King is the absolute epitome of this trope, with every single scene being a grotesque orgy of drug-fueled surrealism.
  • The Real Ghostbusters sometimes used this, especially as far as the design of the ghosts is concerned. "Knock, Knock" in particular uses this like nobody's business. What's more, the accompanying toys were just as shockingly weird as the series' moments!
  • Batman: The Animated Series usually stuck to its realistic, Dark Deco style, but it used some truly weird animation to great effect. Notable examples: Clayface's first demise, and any time the Scarecrow appeared.
  • Invoked with Urpgor from The Dreamstone, to accentuate his insanity. In terms of animation, he's by far the most dynamic character in the show.
  • The footage used in Off the Air leans mostly towards this, though they have no shortage of bizarre live-action clips as well. Some examples:
  • Teen Titans (2003) would constantly distort reality to better convey the emotion of the scene, or for the sake of a gag. Characters change size and proportions depending on mood, Imagine Spots can be physically interacted with, gravity only exists when the creators want it to, and the line between "metaphor" and "reality" is all but non-existent. Basically, imagine the most odd-ball animation of both Looney Tunes and FLCL, and you've got Teen Titans.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Squeaky Boots", It's taken Up to Eleven during Krabs' Sanity Slippage; his facial expressions go all over the place but are consistently terrifying.
    • So far, every episode from season 10 onwards has had this.
  • Jellystone!: As seen in the trailer, the characters and locations are purposely exaggerated for the sake of jokes. One scene in "Grocery Store" features Augie Doggie dancing among dancing cheeses in a vaporware backdrop, while elongating her mouth to severely chomp on one of them.
  • The animation in the earlier episodes of Rugrats, especially in the pilot episode "Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing", were much tripper and surreal than the more grounded animation later on.
  • Oggy and the Cockroaches is like Tom and Jerry on drugs. Enforcing the Rule of Funny and Rule of Cool means that Reality Is Out to Lunch. Oggy's house is an TARDIS-esque liminal space full of Alien Geometries. The ventilation system is an Eldritch Location with an entire civilization. A forest grows in the living room. The nearby city is used as a set of bowling pins. Normal-ish looking cartoon animals live alongside bizzarely mishapen humans. Gross-Up Close-Up also comes into play at least once an episode. Oggy meets a cross-eyed Elmer Fudd knock-off chasing a kangaroo Roadrunner. Everyone speaks in animal noises or gibberish. It was probably not made on drugs.
  • Love, Death & Robots is an anthology with animated shorts in varied styles ranging from live-action quality CGI to the downright bizarre. A prime example of the latter is "The Witness", in which a girl sees a guy kill a girl, gets chased by the killer through a psychedelic city, kills the guy, then starts chasing a guy who witnessed it. And for extra Mind Screw, there's only one girl and one guy — they're somehow chasing and killing each other in a weird loop.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Demented Animation


Beavis' Peyote Trip

Beavis' peyote trip. First Butt-Head melts into four miniature demonic versions of himself...and then things just completely go off the rails from there. Beavis turns into a zombie, all kinds of monsters dance around to hellish and macabre backgrounds, and Beavis and Butt-Head turn into assorted monstrous versions of themselves and at one point shake the skin off their skulls. It's so unlike anything else in the series and it Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / DerangedAnimation

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