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Sometimes, a live-action TV show or movie starts doing cartoonish things, such as characters not getting injured or killed from something that would normally injure or kill someone, characters getting flattened, or characters engaging in over-the-top cartoon-style violence.

A Live-Action Cartoon relies on tropes commonly found in zany cartoons, although some may use tropes that originate from anime, being somewhat of a live-action equivalent of Animesque. The style was itself inspired by Slapstick, which has inspired several early animated shorts. Watching old silent comedy films you'll notice a lot of elements reminiscent of Looney Tunes or other old-school animation.


Not to be confused with Roger Rabbit Effect, which is when live-action or realistic human characters interact with cartoon characters.


  • Ronald McDonald had commercials like these, even having an opening similar to classic animated shorts like Mickey Mouse and Looney Tunes.
  • Kool Aid commercials in the 1990s depicted a variety of live action kids in these situations.


  • Animal House becomes this near the end when the Delta House members disrupt the parade. Examples are the band members blindly marching into the alley, Bluto showing off his pirate gymnastics moves, and the Death Car ramming the stands and knocking the spectators into the air.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is like a live-action comic book (after all, it is based off a comic book) and a cartoon, with written sound effects, text, and yelled-out lines appearing on-screen, video game elements occurring in the real world, the titular character not showing any injuries or pain from things that would normally injure someone in real life (e.g., thrown hundreds of feet into the air, thrown through walls, repeatedly kicked by stunt doubles, his head being slammed on a table), and more.
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  • Disney's live-action adaptation of George of the Jungle takes this to ridiculous heights, with Amusing Injuries, Cartoon Physics and an Interactive Narrator all around.
  • The Mask manages to pull zany cartoon humor in live-action quite well. It helps that the main character is played by Jim Carrey and that his character is a fan of old cartoons like the ones by Tex Avery. (The sequel, Son of the Mask also attempted to do this, with far more underwhelming results.)
  • Speed Racer fully embraces the camp of the anime it's based on.
  • Kill Bill is like a live-action anime.
  • Just about anything directed by Mel Brooks, especially Blazing Saddles, which has many antics and sight gags similar to a Looney Tunes cartoon, no fourth wall, the villain drives off-set at the end, and more.
  • Hudson Hawk is basically like a live-action, Americanized version of Lupin III. It has things such as using a skateboard to bypass museum security, using a fishing pole to swipe Leonardo Da Vinci's artwork, and the villains coming across as a comedic rogues' gallery.
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  • Many of Frank Tashlin's works. After all, he did start off working for Looney Tunes.
  • The Villain was designed to be a live-action cartoon western. (More specifically, a Wile E Coyote And The Roadrunner western..)
  • The traps in the Home Alone movies are very cartoonish, and get more cartoonish in each new installment.
  • The Three Stooges is one of the earliest and best examples, made at a time when animated cartoons themselves were still relatively new.
  • Batman: The Movie had Written Sound Effects during fights just like the 1960s Batman series.
  • The live-action movie adaptation of Cutey Honey has animated battle sequences using pictures of the characters moving in ways and manners that are only possible in anime. The campiness and zany tone of the show is taken Up to Eleven.
  • Sucker Punch would make another good example for this under the film category, being yet another Live-Action film that feels more like an anime than anything else, from the aesthetics -That include Sailor Fuku- and the amusing injuries the girls took and gave like nothing.
  • The early films of Tim Burton have a definite cartoony feel, due to him being a former animator. Special mention should go to his first two, Pee-wee's Big Adventure and Beetlejuice (the latter having an Animated Adaptation), and later films such as Mars Attacks! and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road is a rare non-comedic example. George Miller initially had intentions to make it an animated film at certain points during its insanely long pre-production cycle before finally settling on live-action.
  • Zazie dans le Métro: Most of the film, but especially the chase scene between Zazie and the creepy older man, which plays exactly like a life-action version of a Tex Avery cartoon. Zazie produces a stick of dynamite out of nowhere, and an old-fashioned bomb with a wick, both of which she flings at the pedophile. At one point she turns into two different Zazies. She shoots him in the face with a gun, and he gets Ash Face. At another point in the sequence, the pedophile is chasing her through a marketplace, when she repeatedly gets him to stop by...producing cameras out of nowhere and getting the pedophile to stop for photos.

Live-Action TV

  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide does this in a very cheesy manner, like characters making Offscreen Teleportation, or being blown up in the face and get their faces covered in ashes and taking Amusing Injuries of every kind.
  • Pee-wee's Playhouse.
  • Get Smart. Not only was it like a cartoon, but it even inspired one!
  • The 1960s Batman series had comic book sound effects appear on-screen during fights.
  • The Pitts. There was even an episode in which the Dumb Blonde daughter had a huge piece of pipe through her head and suffered no ill effects.
  • The Benny Hill Show, as even its creator and star has confirmed.
  • The Goodies
  • The Grand Tour did one as a promo, "James May is Alive", in which May goes about his normal day while barely dodging death, including a literal Anvil on Head. After he goes to visit his co-presenters Hammond and Clarkson in hospitalnote , he gets into his car and promptly gets a dumpster dropped on it. His reaction? A deadpan "ow."
  • Green Acres could possibly be the trope codifier. The series routine made use of incredibly slapstick and outlandish situations and gags that would otherwise be implausible in the real world (characters being knocked through solid walls, or falling off telephone poles without even getting hurt, for example), not to mention that each character had such Limited Wardrobe that they literally wore the exact same outfits for all six seasons (save for Oliver and Lisa), that it could very well be the poster child for a live-action cartoon.
  • Hogan's Heroes. The first season, really. The show always relied on broad humor, but as the season progressed, the humor became more subdued and sophisticated. The first season, however, really showcased considerable amounts of cartoonishly slapstick humor that the wartime sitcom could almost be offensive; such as Klink jumping out the window from his burning office, expecting to be caught in a blanket flimsily held by Newkirk and Carter, but they walk away at the exact moment Klink jumps.
  • Married... with Children got into this territory at times, with Al especially suffering various bouts of cartoonish violence.
  • The Monkees: For this reason, reruns were shown on Saturday mornings in the 1970s and Nickelodeon in the 1980s.
  • Police Squad! and its spin-off movie franchise, The Naked Gun, take an ordinary Police Procedural and add silly dialogue and wacky sight gags that would not be out of line in a Tex Avery cartoon.
  • The Young Ones- Complete with talking animals and inanimate objects, over the top slapstick violence and an abundance of irrelevant jokes and cutaways sequences (years before Family Guy!).
  • LazyTown
  • This happened with the recent Toei tokusatsu productions such as Kamen Rider and Super Sentai.
  • The Cartoon Network Out of Jimmy's Head and its Pilot Movie, Re-Animated, are in the style of a cartoon as well as using the Roger Rabbit Effect.

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