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Live-Action Adaptation

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From ink and paper to flesh and blood.
"There's no better way to make a decent creation look stupid than to make a real guy dress like it!"

In the West, many animated series have to run against the Animation Age Ghetto; one way to get around this and attract a wider audience is to do a live-action version of something originally animated. Even if it utilizes CG and special effects, this will sometimes strip the show of its perceived "cartoonishness". This is also a common device when a live-action movie adaptation is made, which will already be accused of leeching ideas from an older show.

Depending on how the adaptation is done, it may be successful. However, some suffer from Special Effect Failure and end up the film equivalent of a Porting Disaster.

A noticeable example is the Super Hero genre, where the outlandish, colorful nature of the genre seems most fitted for animated form. Yet despite animation gaining a bit more respect nowadays, most theatrical adaptations of superheroes are live-action, with varying levels of success.

One thing that has dramatically changed since the CGI creation of dinosaurs in Jurassic Park is the ability to visualize things that would have only been realistically possible in animation, such as Humongous Mecha.

Contrast Animated Adaptation.

Examples (sorted by the original media):

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    Anime & Manga 
  • A feature-length live-action movie of After the Rain (2014) was released in 2018, not long after the main series ended.
  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon pulled off the adaptation quite successfully, though it's somewhat inspired by the more odd Sailor Myu theater musicals performed since the original show ended and had a vastly different plot from the anime and the manga.
  • You're Under Arrest!, which had a fairly 'normal' setting. It only lasted nine episodes, but short Japanese dramas are fairly common and this length does not mean that the show failed.
  • City Hunter:
    • Jackie Chan starred in a 1992 live-action version, which includes the famous Street Fighter II fight scene.
    • Two other unofficial adaptations were made in 1991 and 1996, the 1996 version despite changing a lot of names, is commonly considered as the most faithful to the original.
    • A Korean TV adaptation, titled The City Hunter, aired in 2011, lasting 20 episodes.
    • The sequel manga, Angel Heart, also got a live-action TV adaptation in 2015 which aired for 9 episodes.
    • City Hunter: The Cupid's Perfume is a French-made adaptation of City Hunter. With French actors and many of the oddities of the anime's invokedSo Bad, It's Good 1990s French dub, such as the names (the protagonist is named "Nicky Larson", for instance).
  • ADV Films and WETA worked on one for Neon Genesis Evangelion in 2003, but after languishing in Development Hell for years upon years, chances of it actually manifesting became even more slim in 2011 when Studio Gainax quietly withdrew ADV's rights to adapt the material. The only actual trace of the project was concept art by WETA workshop, but that was it.
  • Zac Efron expressed interest in producing an adaptation of Full Metal Panic!!, drawing a lot of hate from those who only knew him from High School Musical and didn't know or care that he loves the series himself. Eventually he said "it's more than likely not going to happen," which is unfortunate since FMP is a franchise which could actually work as a Hollywood movie.
  • Gokusen, about a school teacher who is the daughter of a yakuza boss.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka has two 13-episode live-action adaptations, one in 1998, the other in 2012. It also had a 4-episode miniseries set in Taiwan in 2014, and an 11-episode series set in Japan later that year. There was also a live-action film released in 1999.
    • The prequel series Bad Company and GTO: The Early Years also had live-action adaptations: Bad Company got a film in 1998note  and GTO: The Early Years got two miniseries, one from 1995-1997 (5 episodes) and one on Amazon Prime in 2020.
  • Cutey Honey
    • The live film adaptation — the live-action directorial debut of Evangelion's Hideaki Anno — was actually pretty good, although it had always been a bit deliberately campy.
    • Followed by a live-action television series; the same can be said for it.
      • A second live-action movie titled Cutie Honey Tears was then produced in 2016.
  • Maison Ikkoku
  • Saikano was given a live-action film in 2006.
  • Boys over Flowers. Also available in Mandarin, South Korean, and Thai.
  • Wicked City had a live-action version produced in Hong Kong that uses little from the original aside from the Vagina Dentata scene.
  • Nana had a live-action version before the 2006 anime version. It's also been a feature film and a manga series... and was #1 in Japan for all three simultaneously.
  • A live-action stage production of Revolutionary Girl Utena led to the line "Live-action is no substitute for the real thing" in a fan-made music video.
  • Death Note:
    • It was adapted into two successful movies before the anime went into production. A third movie was released that focused on L. A fourth movie called Death Note: Light Up the New World, not based on any existing source material and set years after the original series, was released in 2016. The movies are in a radically different Alternate Continuity from the manga and anime.
    • There is also a Japanese TV show in its own continuity.
    • An American film adaptation has been released, directed by Adam Wingard. A sequel is now in the works.
    • It has even been adapted into a musical, with music written by Broadway composers Frank Wildhorn and Jack Murphy. This adapts the first four volumes of the series, but comes up with a new ending out of the other volumes.
  • James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez produced and directed a partially live-action version of Battle Angel Alita. Though there are live-action actors, Alita and other cyborgs were created using Mo-Cap CGI.
  • A live-action version of Sukeban Deka hit theaters in Japan in September 2006 (and was imported to the United States under the title Yo-yo Girl Cop). There are also three live-action Sukeban Deka TV series, and a Made-for-TV Movie.
  • Case Closed has a 13-episode live-action series (2011) and four stand-alone specials (2006, 2007, 2011, and 2012) that feature the teenage Shin'ichi solving cases. The series and the 2006 specials take place pre-manga and the 2007 special involves Conan temporarily returning to Shin'ichi form.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi got one in 2007. Its quality is still up in the air.
  • Golgo 13 starred in two live-action films before he even had his first anime. The first one was released in 1973, where he was played by Ken Takakura, which was followed by a 1977 sequel titled Golgo 13: The Kowloon Assignment, which replaced Takakura with Sonny Chiba.
  • Detective School Q had a live-action series in 2007.
  • Video Girl Ai adapted into a Hong Kong film (which used a laser disk instead).
  • Lupin III: The first movie (Strange Psychokinetic Strategy) is available on DVD in region 1 from Discotek Media. A second film was released in 2014, for the 40 year anniversary of the first film.
    • A live-action spin-off TV series has also been released in Japan that focuses solely on Inspector Zenigata.
  • A live-action Robotech movie has supposedly been in the works. Nothing's substantial come out of it so far, though.
  • The live-action version of Nodame Cantabile was about as popular as the (later) anime.
  • Dragonball Evolution, a project that languished in Development Hell for years before finally being released in 2009. Fan reaction was pretty much "No, really, you shouldn't have." It somehow made enough money to justify a sequel (yet considering the backlash, it seems highly unlikely). There are also two much older and obscure unofficial films: the Taiwanese Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins, based on the movie Curse of the Blood Rubies, and the more faithful Korean Dragon Ball: Fight for Victory, Son Goku!.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry:
    • Higurashi has a live-action adaptation, covering the first chapter of the game/anime. (Demoned Away chapter / Keiichi's chapter). The second movie comes out soon; it covers the answer arc to that arc, which is the last arc of the first season. (Atonement chapter / Rena's chapter) Sound novel/anime-wise it's the second in the second season (Kai).
    • It was adapted again into an hour long TV drama.
  • In the weirdest example of Multinational Shows, Hana-Kimi received two almost simultaneously live-action adaptations series in Japan and Taiwan.
  • Speaking of Taiwan, this country has seen releases of drama series based in manga, being the most notorious the ones who adapted:
  • There are also several manga that were remade into Korean live-action series: Boys Before Flowers, City Hunter (both had Lee Min Ho as lead), Dr. Jin, and Playful Kiss (which also had a Japanese and a Taiwanese version). Hana-Kimi will have one starting in August 2012.
  • Speed Racer got an extremely trippy live-action adaption in 2008, courtesy of the The Wachowskis. Despite a massive ad campaign banking on the popularity of the show and attempts by the film to pull in both the American and Japanese fanbases (right down to including clips of both the Japanese and American themes), it became a huge disaster at the box office, putting the brakes on yet another potential franchise revival.
  • Two other Tatsunoko Production shows saw Japanese film adaptations — Neo Human Casshern and Yatterman. Science Ninja Team Gatchaman was set to get one as well, but had languished in development hell for years while Imagi's CGI version was announced. After the CGI film plans fell through, Nikkatsu's live-action version went into production in late 2012 and was released in 2013.
  • Honey and Clover has been adapted into a movie and two TV dramas (in Japan and then Taiwan).
  • Cromartie High School has a live-action movie. Different from most in that it does not try to stand on its own, but rather is only there to show how much more ridiculous the entire thing would look in live-action.
  • La Blue Girl has one, proving nothing is off-limits.... It's all of three episodes long, and not exactly similar to the anime (which also came from a lesser-known manga). Exhibit A: Yaku is almost indistinguishable from the other girls.
  • Fist of the North Star
    • It got an Americanized live-action debut starring Gary Daniels as Kenshiro and Costas Mandylor as Shin. The film was dubbed in Japanese with Akira Kamiya and Toshio Furukawa reprising their respective roles from the anime series.
    • There were also a few unlicensed live-action versions made in Taiwan and Korea. They make the American version look passable by comparison.
  • Slam Dunk, retitled as Kungfu Dunk. The only thing in common is the sport.
  • The Prince of Tennis got a live-action film in 2006.
  • Detroit Metal City features Kenichi Matsuyama, previously in the Death Note movie mentioned above. It also features Gene Simmons.
  • Crying Freeman, which had both American and Hong Kong feature film adaptations.
  • The Guyver has had two. The first one had Mark Hamill in a supporting role and the second with David "Solid Snake" Hayter as Sean Barker (a stage name he almost used in MGS).
  • Gundam had one. It was a far-future UC title called G-Savior. It was made in Canada. Needless to say, it wasn't that good. Even Tomino officially denounced it. It doesn't help that it was funded in Yen (Canadian dollar is worth a lot more), featured unknown Canadian actors to be dubbed in Japanese, was ham-tastic in terms of acting, and the tech looked on par with that of nearly two-hundred years prior. Not to mention that it was TOO realistic.
  • The anime of Boogiepop Phantom confused many American fans who had no idea that it was actually the sequel to a live-action film adaptation of a series of light novels. Of course even after viewing the film or reading the novels, the show still tends to make little sense...
  • The Rose of Versailles, despite never airing in English and being virtually unknown in the English-speaking world, had an English-language film made anyway... by the French. Most fans like to forget it ever existed. It was actually made a year before the anime debuted, so it didn't even have a fanbase in the west that could have saved that clunker from sinking like a stone.
  • 20th Century Boys was turned into a live-action movie trilogy that is among the most expensive (and successful) Japanese film projects to date. However, it has been said that it is difficult to follow if you haven't read the original manga, as the films try very hard to be faithful to it, which means trying to cram 24 volumes into three (albeit long) movies.
  • Hotaru's Way has a "drama" adaptation.
  • Kaiji has one with Live-Action Light as the title protagonist.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • The show had, in America and a few other countries anyway, a stage adaptation of the anime simply called Pokémon Live!. Team Rocket is more treacherous, and Mrs. Ketchum at one point lets slip out that she had a fling with Giovanni of Team Rocket. Canon Discontinuity through and through, but the "Who is Ash's father?" Epileptic Trees only had richer soil to grow in.
    • An unofficial fanmade trailer, titled Pokémon Apokélypse, has received much attention and was even purported to be real at some point. However, it has since been proven to be a fan project. While there are no plans for an actual fan film, the producers had stated that the possibility is not entirely ruled out.
  • Hell Girl got a Live-Action Adaptation that was set within the timeline of the first anime season, retaining the anthology format while notably averting the anime storyline. At a mere 12 episodes, there wasn't much room for them anyway.
  • Paprika is getting the live-action treatment from Wolfgang Petersen; this shouldn't be too difficult since A) all of Satoshi Kon's movies are shot as if they are live-action and B) we've already seen that American film audiences can handle trippy dream plots.
  • Cowboy Bebop had a live-action movie in the works, which was later dropped. Netflix then made a live-action series, but cancelled it mere weeks after the first season premiered, turning a cliffhanger finale into a major Downer Ending.
  • Little known (in the West) manga series Kyō Kara Ore Wa!! (Today, It's My Turn!!) somehow managed to get a film version after a six-episode OVA series proved to be somewhat popular. The main characters' defining traits (their yankee hairstyles, blonde perm for one and HUGE spikes for the second) were carried over as well as the makeup budget would allow, and the comic violence remained, though toned down somewhat to allow for real world physics.
  • A big-budget live-action adaptation of Space Battleship Yamato hit the big screen in Japan back in December 2010.
  • Warner Bros. made a live-action movie out of Bleach in 2018.
  • It was recently announced that Fruits Basket would be getting a Hollywood adaption. Little is known about it, but they're apparently going to try to make it more realistic. A lot of fans are worried about how that is going to work out.
  • A Last Exile film may or may not be happening; an as-of-yet unnamed producer from New Line Cinema has been eyeing the series since at least 2005, and there was a piece of concept art that was leaked onto the Internet before it was removed, so there may be hope yet.
  • Ouran High School Host Club got the live-action drama treatment in July 2011. The fandom pretty much exploded in glee. It also got a live-action movie in 2012.
  • Gantz was made into a two-part affair, released in 2010-11. Kenichi Matsuyama count: 3.
  • Arakawa Under the Bridge got a live-action TV series and film.
  • One Pound Gospel
  • Noir has been put into production for a TV series with Starz Network.
  • Kochikame has a live-action TV series. Basically a live-action cartoon.
  • In early December 2011, Ranma ˝ got the live-action treatment, with Yui Aragaki playing Akane Tendō, Kenta Kaku and Natsuna playing male/female Ranma, Kento Nagayama playing Kunō, Maki Nishiyama playing Nabiki, Kyōko Hasegawa playing Kasumi, and Yuta Kanai playing Gosunguki among others (full list here). Sadly, early reports from translators suggest that it rates at best a 2 on the Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification.
  • IS: Otoko Demo Onna Demo nai Sei has had a TV drama adaptation.
  • Life (2002) by Keiko Suenobu has a live-action drama, that for some reason she cuts her hair instead of arms.
  • A live-action version of Rurouni Kenshin premiered in Japan on August 2012, to rave reviews and box office success (grossing over $36 million). The film was subsequently released in 60 other countries, where it went on to earn more than $60 million worldwide. Many fans and critics have hailed it as one of the best live-action adaptations of a manga/anime series ever made. High praise was given for its fantastic action sequences and stellar cast (particularly Takeru Sato as Kenshin). You can watch the trailer here on YouTube.
    • Because of the success of the film, two sequels were released in 2014. They are Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno and Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, both adapting the manga's most famous storyline, The Kyoto Arc.
  • Assassination Classroom had a successful film adaptation in 2015, which got a sequel titled Assassination Classroom: Graduation the following year.
  • Josei manga in general are much more likely to be adapted into live-action than anime, considering their target audience might not be that much into cartoons. Most 20+ volume series, like Waru, Galboy! and Keirinyarou, were adapted into live-action shows.
  • The Liar Game manga got a live-action adaptation that has run as a two-season drama and two full-length movies so far.
  • A live-action movie of Tomorrow's Joe, with Tomohisa Yamashita as Joe Yabuki, was released in 2011.
  • Gigantor has a 2005 live-action movie.
  • Team Medical Dragon had a two-season live-action adaptation.
  • Black Butler is having a live-action movie, tragically, the only character from the series that will be present is Sebastian; the main character being a descendant of Ciel.
  • After four years of Troubled Production, including creative differences, the director quitting, and the movie being split into two parts, the Japanese Attack on Titan movie premiered in 2015 - the first part in August, the second one in September.
  • A live-action Princess Jellyfish movie being released in December of 2014, starring Masaki Suda from Kamen Rider Double.
  • There is talk of a live-action Cyborg 009 movie in the works, with F.J. DeSanto (who is also writing the modern adaptation of the series) producing it.
  • In Japan, there are sometimes live shows for children done using costumes that look like the actual anime characters called "kigurumi" or "animegao" that are usually 30 minutes in length. Anpanman, Shima Shima Tora no Shimajirō, Sailor Moon, Naruto, Yume no Crayon Oukoku, Himitsu no Akko-chan, Ojamajo Doremi and Pretty Cure are just a few of the shows to get this treatment.
  • Bunny Drop had a live-action movie released the same year as the anime adaptation. Like the anime, it only adapts the pre-timeskip portion.
  • Kin Kyori Rennai has one, which was well-known for having ticket sales outnumbering the HappinessCharge Pretty Cure! movie on its opening weekend.
  • Orange will have a movie adaptation on December 2014.
  • Ano Hana got a live-action adaptation in 2015.
  • Spoofed in-universe in the 77th episode of Yo Kai Watch, where Jibanyan says that Next Harmeowny is making a Sailor Pears film of this type.
  • Naruto will be getting a live action film adaptation produced by Lionsgate.
    • An unlicensed live action Naruto movie was made in China in 2017; however, it was given poor reviews.
  • Kite was adapted in 2014, starring India Eisley from The Secret Life of the American Teenager as Sawa and Samuel L. Jackson as Detective Karl Aker, Sawa's legal guardian.
  • An adaptation of Ghost in the Shell was released in 2017, starring Scarlett Johansson as Major Kusanagi, Pilou Asbćk as Batou and Takeshi Kitano as Chief Aramaki.
  • A live-action adaptation for Tokyo Ghoul was announced on June 17th, 2016. Word of God reports that his Hypothetical Casting for the protagonist became reality.
  • Sgt. Frog: Parodied (but of course!) at the end of episode 293. The platoon's reaction is what seals it.
  • A live-action Voltron movie has been talked about since 2006, but lawsuits over the franchise rights blockaded it from happening. It's seen some steady progress since then, with the most recent rumor as of November 2016 being that Universal had inherited the Voltron film rights from DreamWorks Animation and that David Hayter was being tapped to write the movie.
  • Hell froze over when it was announced that, of all things, One Piece would be getting a western-produced live-action TV series adaptation.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has a film adaptation directed by Fumihiko Sori released in December 2017.
  • Gintama got two live-action movies released in 2017 and 2018 adapting the Benizakura and Shinsengumi Crisis arcs respectively, along with two webseries side-stories.
  • I"s and Video Girl Ai, both of them mangas by Masakazu Katsura, will both be receiving a live-action TV adaptation in 2018.
  • Thriller Restaurant got one in 2010. Oddly though, it was one part animated before the second half went live-action.
  • Screaming Lessons got one despite never really having an anime.
  • Saki and its spin-off Saki Achiga-hen each got four episodes, a TV special, and a movie, airing over the course of 2016 to 2018.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War got a live-action film in 2019, and a second in 2021. The latter actually adapted the culture festival before the anime did, and Tsubame shares an actress in both adaptations.
  • Boys over Flowers is known for its overdose of this kind of adaptation, as seen here:
    • A 1995 film.
    • A 2005 TV series that got two later seasons in 2007-2008.
    • A two-season Taiwanese adaptation in 2001-2002, and its later 2018 remake. Has the Market-Based Title Meteor Garden.
    • A 2009 Korean adaptation.
    • A 2018 adaptation of its sequel manga Hana Nochi Hare.
  • What Did You Eat Yesterday? received a live-action show adaptation in 2019.
  • The Mitsuru Adachi series Hiyatari Ryoko received a live action Japanese TV show adaptation in 1982.
  • A Japanese YuYu Hakusho adaptation was announced by Netflix in 2020.
  • The Way of the Househusband had a live-action adaptation starring Kenjiro Tsuda in 2020.

    Asian Animation 

    Audio Play 

    Board Games 

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 


    Puppet Shows 
  • Although the original was not, strictly speaking, animated, the live-action film adaptation of Thunderbirds is very much in the same spirit. Though confusingly, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction refers to the original as an animated puppet series, apparently defining animation broadly as giving the illusion of life rather than the usual definition.

    Theme Parks 

  • Bratz, though it was based on dolls anyway. Little to nobody saw it, and that's probably for the better as even the fans hated it.
  • Monster High was supposed to get one in 2012, which has been Saved from Development Hell (albeit now part of the franchise's second reboot) and came out in 2022.
  • The 2000s-2010s Transformers Film Series directed by Michael Bay, adaptations of the Franchise/Transformers toyline.
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which had aims to start a franchise along the lines of Bayformers. It also had a sequel in the form of 2013's G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
  • A Masters of the Universe live-action movie was released in 1987. It bombed at the box office, and plans for a sequel fell through.note  A new Masters movie has been in Development Hell for the past several years, though recent news suggests that casting might be starting soon.
  • A Gormiti movie was supposed to come out, but ended up not happening (unless we cound the Chinese bootleg Gormiti: Ace Mission).
  • And then there's even a live-action Barbie movie in the works.
  • The American Girls Collection also had a share of live-action films released to mixed or positive reception, starting with a Made-for-TV Movie based on Samantha Parkington's stories in 2004, and was followed by Felicity: An American Girl Adventure (2005), Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front (2006) and the 2008 theatrically released film Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, as well as films based on Girl of the Year characters like Chrissa Stands Strong (2009). McKenna Shoots For The Stars (2012) and Saige Paints the Sky (2013).
  • A Jem and the Holograms (2015) movie was released in 2015 and bombed, ending up with the worst opening of the year. It was a very loose adaptation of the Jem cartoon and toy line.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Japanese film director Takashi Miike (of Ichi the Killer fame) released a live-action version of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney in 2012. Trailer. The movie, despite darker and more serious tones compared to the game (which deals with murder cases on a day to day basis, but still) was received warmly and achieved modest success from audiences and reviewers. It helps that the Narumiya/Saitou pair (Naruhodo or Phoenix/Mitsurugi or Miles) wasn't too hard on the eyes and that Miike wasn't shy in having fun with the gravity-defying hair as well as the special effects.

  • A live-action adaptation of the Krakow Studios comic Spinnerette has progressed far enough to post trailers on YouTube.
  • The Korean webtoon Itaewon Class has a completed live-action TV adaptation with the same name.
  • The prologue of the popular Korean webcomic Weak Hero got adapted into a short 8-episode series titled Weak Hero Class One.
  • All of Us Are Dead is a Netflix adaptation from a 2009 webcomic of the same name created by Joo Dong-geun.

    Western Animation 
  • Scooby-Doo, the first film which heavily parodied the original and featured the title character (and The Scrappy himself) as CGI creations. A theatrical sequel (Monsters Unleashed) and two direct-to-video prequels (The Mystery Begins and Curse of the Lake Monster) followed, and a spin-off starring Daphne and Velma was released in 2018.
  • Yogi Bear, which features the characters from the show as CGI creations. It's basically the cartoon in live-action, unlike other adaptations that take the In Name Only approach.
  • The Flintstones has two live-action films, one featuring a star-studded cast of John Goodman as Fred, Elizabeth Perkins as Wilma, Rick Moranis as Barney, Rosie O'Donnell as Betty, Elizabeth Taylor as Wilma's mother and even saw Halle Berry in a small role before she was truly famous. While poorly reviewed, it was a financial success and seemed destined to spawn a franchise... except that the eventual sequel languished in development hell so long that the entire cast moved on. The later prequel, trying to tell how Fred and Wilma fell in love, came out six years later and became a Box Office Bomb despite receiving better critical reviews.
  • The Rocky and Bullwinkle show spawned several live-action films from its numerous segments.
    • Boris and Natasha was a made-for-television film (though it eventually got a theatrical release) that had little to do with the show thanks to rights issues, but starred the titular spies. Instead of Rocky and Bullwinkle, the duo had to contend with Agent Moose and Agent Squirrel.
    • The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle eventually got made almost entirely because Universal had the film rights and needed to make the film. It had languished in Development Hell for years beforehand. Since the resulting film had No Fourth Wall, it made hay out of this as the plot begins when FBI Agent Karen Sympathy has to climb a lighthouse and literally greenlight the entire film herself.
    • Dudley Do-Right put Brendan Fraser in the title role, not long after he had just donned a loincloth to play George of the Jungle, another Jay Ward creation. Unlike that film, however, this one tanked.
    • The horrible performance of both the Rocky and Bullwinkle film and Dudley Do-Right killed production on a live-action Peabody and Sherman film. The project was revived as a CGI film at DreamWorks Animation instead...which, despite positive reviews, also became DreamWorks' lowest-grossing animated film, costing DWA $57 million.
  • Speaking of George of the Jungle, it had two live-action films, one with Brendan Fraser that was a massive success for Disney and one that went straight to DVD. As both films operated on the principle of No Fourth Wall, the second film engaged in Lampshade Hanging over the cast change.
  • Inspector Gadget had Inspector Gadget (1999), starring Matthew Broderick. Though the film was a critical disaster and despised by fans, it made enough money to spawn a direct-to-DVD sequel, Inspector Gadget 2... starring French Stewart. Ironically, the latter was more faithful to the cartoon show that spawned it.
  • Casper the Friendly Ghost had three live-action film adaptations, with Casper released in 1995 and was the first to have a fully CGI character in the lead role, and was followed up by two direct-to-video prequels: Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997) and Casper Meets Wendy (1998) that don't follow the same continuity as the original.
  • Josie and the Pussycats moved into Charlie's Angels-esque Action Girl-style.
  • Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids got Fat Albert, starring Kenan Thompson as the lead character and used a plot in which a depressed teenage girl ends up summoning the characters from the cartoon into the real world.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender got an M. Night Shyamalan adaptation in 2010 — The Last Airbender. (The name was changed to avoid confusion with James Cameron's Avatar; they agreed to change it even though Avatar: The Last Airbender came first.) They condensed the first season into a movie, hoping to make another two movies based on the other two seasons. However, the film was a disaster (largely because of the original creators not being involved as well as changing a number of things around) dashing any hope for more movies despite the film ending on a Sequel Hook. In 2018, Netflix announced a live-action version of the series with show creators DiMartino and Konietzko as executive producers until they backed out of the project.
  • Ben 10: Race Against Time, with Lee Majors as Max Tennyson and Sab Shimono and Robert Picardo in supporting roles. The second movie, Ben 10: Alien Swarm was based off the Sequel Series, Ben 10: Alien Force.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks got one with CGI chipmunks in 2007, and had a sequel in 2009, a third in 2011, and a fourth in December 2015.
  • A movie based on Dora the Explorer, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, came out in Fall 2019. Of course, the non-human characters were animated in CGI, since the original series had a cast of animate objects and funny animals. The plot revolves around Dora and Diego as teenagers.
  • Winx Club was adapted into Fate: The Winx Saga, which premiered on Netflix in January 2021, with a second season already in the works.
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    • A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner! is a live-action film starring Drake Bell as a twenty-three-year-old Timmy Turner still in the fifth grade; he still has his fairies due to acting like a kid since if he does, he gets to keep them. However, Timmy winds up falling in love with a beautiful, twenty-three-year-old Tootie, who threatens to break them apart since it's a rather adult thing for which fairies aren't needed. The movie was so popular that it got two sequels—one about Christmas summer vacation and the other about summer vacation, except it ends up with Timmy becoming a fairy at the end. This was yet another in a long line of attempts to bring an end to the series.
    • The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder is a live-action series set eight years after the animated series, with an adult Timmy Turner passing on his fairies to his cousin, Vivian.
  • Kim Possible was adapted into a Disney Channel Original Movie over a decade after it ended. The Kim Possible film came out in 2019.
  • Code Lyoko was adapted into a live-action(/3D) sequel series, Code Lyoko: Evolution, released in early 2013.
  • The Electric Company (1971) is probably the Ur-Example for this trope relative to Western Animation, as it occasionally remade its own animated sequences into live-action skits, sometimes Lampshading and Parodying the original. Either way, Hilarity Ensues.
  • Robert Rodriguez and Sony are currently making Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta's Fire & Ice into one.
  • While SpongeBob SquarePants and The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie contain live-action sequences, The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water is a rather strange example of this. Only the last 20 minutes and part of the beginning could be considered this trope, despite the trailers saying otherwise.
  • A spin-off series of VeggieTales titled Os Amigos Vegetais was released exclusively in Brazil, showing the veggies as live-action characters.
  • The Loud House:
    • A Loud House Christmas is a live-action film released in November 2021 on both Nickelodeon and Paramount+.
    • The Really Loud House is a live-action series that premiered November 2022, with most of the above film's cast reprising their roles.


Netflix's Cowboy Bebop

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / LiveActionAdaptation

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