Follow TV Tropes

Following

Medium Blending

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gumball_tina.png
We're just scratching the surface with this show.
Advertisement:

Similar to Art Shift and Art-Style Clash, but instead of styles blending it's the blending of animation/filming techniques used to tell a story.

This can come in a lot of flavors like live-action in cartoons, animated segment, or animation warping.

Live-action in cartoons is pretty straightforward: it just means there's a filmed part in a cartoon with live actors. An animated segment is the exact opposite, where a live-action show or movie gets a part that's given some traditional 2D, 3D, or stop-motion part. Animation warping technically keeps an animated show animated, but with a different style than the norm, like traditional 2D animation into 3D. It's probably easier to just list them all as Medium Blending for the moment, as some examples can get tricky with multiple different varieties.

Advertisement:

This is the exact opposite of how traditional special effects are used. Instead of supplementing a medium with material of a different source that is meant to blend in, this is meant to stand out. Proper examples of Medium Blending make it blatantly obvious it is different, and it sticks out on purpose.

This can happen with a dose of Medium Awareness sometimes, as well. Has nothing to do with making coffee, either.

A Super-Trope to Roger Rabbit Effect. See also Animated Credits Opening, Medium-Shift Gag and Sudden Video-Game Moment. Compare 2D Visuals, 3D Effects and Sprite/Polygon Mix.


Advertisement:

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • A UK Beck's commercial featured a stop-motion character, a string puppet, a hand-drawn character and a real human being all performing the same simplistic dance with the slogan "only ever four steps".
  • The M&M's commercials by Laika do this a lot.
  • Keds' color-changing Magic Rays shoes had a commercial in which live-action children play in an animated garden, where they catch some of the literally magical shoes frolicking and flying around. The girl's floral-printed Keds appear entirely live-action, while the boy's bug-patterned Keds also boast cartoony dragonfly wings.
  • Kellogg's has been featuring an animated Tony the Tiger (for Frosted Flakes) in a live-action universe since the mid 60s.
  • In a 2001 spot for the National Cheese Board, a city (live-action with live citizens) is getting decimated from an alien invasion. The citizens look into a window pleading for help. The figure they're pleading to is Mighty Mouse, who motions for them to wait until he leisurely finishes his cheese snack. The spot was pulled soon after as many thought it was too close after the 9/11 attacks.
  • A printed ad for Admiral televisions in 1958 featured a live Arthur Godfrey interacting with Ruff and Reddy over the set's features.
  • A Chilean ad for Bata shoes featuring The Transformers has live-action kids interacting with the animated Transformers characters.

    Anime & Manga 
  • FLCL:
    • There's a whole live-action sequence used in the credits in which Haruko's yellow Vespa moped is seen riding itself around a city. (It actually belonged to character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.)
    • There also two short scenes in which the animation reverts to manga.
    • And a shift to South Park-style cutouts when Amarao gets a haircut.
    • Amaro's eyebrows aren't drawn like everything else, they're made by scanning processed seaweed and digitally adding them to his face.
  • The End of Evangelion shifts to a short live-action sequence around the middle of the second half, showing shots and pans of cityscapes, crowded streets, and a theatre, set to the serene tones of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by Johann Sebastian Bach. What is notable is that it even slyly plays a bit further with the trope by inserting quite a few fictional elements into the otherwise "real-world" shots; one of the cityscapes contains several buildings that are taken straight out of the fictional Tokyo-3's skyline, and one of the crowded street shots has Misato, Rei, and Asuka's voice actresses in cosplay as their characters with their backs to the camera.
    • Originally a longer and more story-driven live-action sequence was planned, wherein Shinji is shown an extremely mundane (and somewhat melodramatic) alternate world where neither the Evangelions, the Angels, or NERV exists, but with the further twist that he himself doesn't exist either in this world. In this world, Asuka is in her mid-twenties and romantically involved with Toji, Rei is a normal Office Girl who's possibly sleeping with her boss, and so on.
    • In the Gainax Ending to the series, some of the photos shown as Shinji's self-hate is discussed are also live-action.
    • The ending of ''Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time shows Shinji and Mari leaving a train station to Ube, complete with a real life shot of the city.
  • Honey and Clover's first intro is composed entirely of real food.
  • Ergo Proxy's intro has little live-action pigeons flying about in it.
  • Magician's Academy has claymation Censor Boxes.
  • Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan has the photograph-headed monkey and dog characters.
  • Desert Punk has a bizarre live-action opening wherein some guy cosplaying as the title character cavorts about a sandy landscape with apparent glee.
  • The opening sequence of Puni Puni Poemi features Poemi's seiyuu Yumiko Kobayashi singing along to the opening song, dancing, and running along the beach, intercut with animated scenes.
  • The Gravitation television series begins its first episode with a live-action sequence following the main character as he runs somewhere. It lasts for only about ten seconds before switching to the anime version of the scene, and is never used again.
  • His and Her Circumstances is notable for this. One episode showed everyone as puppets.
  • A School Rumble episode had Harima turn 3D when he parodied The Matrix.
    • And Akira when she went on vacation.
  • Practically a Signature Style of Studio Shaft. Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has several live-action pictures in the background, and Bakemonogatari has both this as well as CGI. As does Puella Magi Madoka Magica, during battle scenes in the labyrinths.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt:
    • The series is done almost entirely in Thick-Line Animation, but when the Monster of the Week blows up, the show cuts to a blatantly obvious live-action model on an equally obvious city set, possibly as a reference to Super Sentai.
    • In the last episode, Panty and Stocking's ultimate attack is the live-action lower half of a women (possibly their mother and/or God) wearing lingerie coming down through the clouds to stomp Corset to death. Unlike the ghost explosions, this was shown together with the animation, which a DVD extra shows was quite difficult to produce.
  • Texhnolyze: after ending song, we can see Mind Screw shots like this.
  • Tsuburaya Dinosaur Trilogy: Dinosaur Squadron Bone Free is done via vehicle puppetry, Stop Motion dinosaurs and anime models (animated by Sunrise). The sequel Dinosaur War Izenborg keeps the puppetry and anime characters, but changes the dinosaurs to People in Rubber Suits.
  • The Venus Wars animated movie has a few outdoor landscape scenes where the landscape is actual live-action landscape with the animated characters driving through it.
  • Lilpri has the second opening and ending themes. Both feature the live-action idol group the show is based on.
  • Shugo Chara Party! had live-action segments in between the anime segments.
  • Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream has live-action segments at the end of each episode.
  • In K, the show's preview clips had quite an impact for their art, most notably the different mediums. There's the traditional stop-motion anime style for characters and objects in the foreground, but there are also live-action segments for some backgrounds and certain motion sequences. The styles blend in a strangely appropriate way and are conducive to the somewhat ephemeral and uncanny premise of the show.
  • The ending sequence of Macross Dynamite 7 is made travelogue-style footage of places and cultures around the world with Basara's animated self inserted there in some way, singing the ending song.
    • The first ending of Macross Delta consists of heavily filtered and slowed down footage of a Japanese high school, on top of which Freyja is animated.
  • Cyber Team In Akihabra is animated, but real-life pictures and photographs are shown as Christian's very long life flashes before his eyes.
  • The majority of Mini Moni The Movie: Okashi na Daibōken! is all-CGI animation, with live-action footage at the beginning and end of the movie.
  • The anime based on High Score Girl, a story that is all about 90s arcades and video games, renders in CG the author's designs and features a lot of actual video game footage. So we have some decidedly surreal moments, such as when the protagonists are playing Mortal Kombat: two super-deformed cel-shaded CG Japanese people controlling 2D sprites of digitized real-life American people, which look "more real" than them despite the graininess.
  • Olympia Kyklos is from the same author of Thermae Romae and has the same premise: guy from ancient Greece goes back and forth from his village to 1964 Tokyo, home of the Olympic Games. The anime adaptation is made in a blend of stop-motion and CG animation, on top of that all the Ancient Greek character are claymation puppets made to look like statues, and all the Japanese characters are flat paper cutouts made to resemble kamishibai (paper theater) characters. There's also a bit of live-action here and there, mostly for Zeus' appearances.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Starting with 5d's, the characters' ace monsters are typically animated in 3D, while the rest of the show is animated in 2D.

    Asian Animation 
  • 3000 Whys of Blue Cat uses a mixture of 3D animation and 2D animation. The characters are all animated in 2D, while some of the objects and environments are rendered in 3D.
  • Lamput: The horror film Fat Doc watches in "Sleepwalking" is live-action footage of animated puppets interacting with each other, in contrast to the rest of the show being 2D animation.
  • The classic Motu Patlu series mixes CGI-animated characters with live-action footage. Backgrounds are either rendered in CGI or live-action recordings.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Around the World in 20 Days'' is about the characters exploring the world expo in Shanghai. The series incorporates real photos of the expo and the countries featured while still featuring the normal animated characters.
  • Hero & Amy: 3D models are mixed with 2D backgrounds.

    Comic Books 
  • Issue 346 of Motu Patlu includes a maze with Patlu. Patlu has a CGI head and a 2D body.
  • An issue of Marvel's Count Duckula book featured a cover where Duckula interacts with a live Geraldo Rivera.
  • The Outside Circle: During a speech about the Residential School program, the comic shows photos taken from Residential Schools of kids praying in their beds, and taking part in a group photo.

    Films 
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit is probably the most famous example of this (hence why the Roger Rabbit Effect trope is named as such). The entire plot focuses around living cartoons being filmed in the real world instead of being animated.
  • The biopic about American Splendor integrates comic book aesthetics in its presentation, like showing drawn scene transitions, comic book-style caption boxes or using an animated Harvey Pekar in a live-action backdrop, or when Harvey is annoyed by a jewish lady keeping him stuck in the line at a convenience store with an animated version of himself expressing his thoughts and trying to convince him to take action.
  • Anchors Aweigh has Gene Kelly dancing alongside Jerry the mouse from Tom and Jerry. They wanted to use Mickey Mouse but Disney wouldn't go for it.
  • In Jean-Jacques Annaud's The Bear, after the bear cub eats some dubious mushrooms, the ensuing Mushroom Samba is a Dream Sequence in stop-motion animation.
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks involves the lead witch characterthe youngest of the little kids transporting the main characters into a cartoon fantasy world where they were still live-action. The effects in this film won the Oscar that year for Special Visual Effects.
  • An unusual example in the French movie The Brain (Le Cerveau, 1969). The eponymous Brain (played by David Niven) is exposing to his henchmen his plan for a future train heist... with the projection of a short animated film, starring himself. The real heist goes much less smoothly that the one shown in the animation, of course.
  • Chicken Little has a scene where characters are watching Raiders of the Lost Ark in a theater. Fridge Logic ensues when you think not only how can a live-action flick be filmed in an animated world, but also what is Harrison Ford doing in a World of Funny Animals.
  • Clown Kill: When Jenny manages to escape from Charlie Boy's party with the corpses of her coworkers, we see a little stop-motion animated bit about Charlie Boy's doll, Charlie Boy Jr.
  • In The Congress the first third of the film is in live-action, then the rest mostly stays in a trippy 2D/rotoscope animated realm created through the use of chemical drugs, that give people some kind of collective hallucination.
  • Cool World is kind of the poor man's perverted Roger Rabbit, which featured a cartoon character who wanted to become real and succeeded by having sex with a real person to do it.
  • Dangerous When Wet also has a scene where Esther Williams swims alongside Tom and Jerry.
  • The Pixar Short Day & Night uses hand-drawn animation for the two title characters and CGI for the landscapes visible inside them.
  • Dinosaur, Disney's first non-Pixar CGI-animated film, actually used CGI for mostly characters and props, and live-action for the backgrounds (though with some CGI objects added).
  • The Emoji Movie features some live-action internet memes in a predominantly animated world, including Pen Pineapple Apple Pen.
  • Ghatothkach is usually in 2D but some musical numbers in the movie are rendered with CGI.
  • A rare live-action example is "Zilla" (a.k.a. "GINO") who was officially put into Godzilla canon in Godzilla: Final Wars, faithfully rendered in full CGI unlike the other monsters. The sheer cost of rendering him might explain why it's also one of the shortest battles in the series, though cynical fans loved the idea of Godzilla taking him down within a minute. It's also worth noting that the CGI used in the above scene is of lesser quality than the 1998 film. Take that as you will.
  • The Happiness of the Katakuris is a live-action film that switches to claymation during at least one action sequence.
  • Happy Feet is mostly CGI, but near the end, live-action humans are superimposed into the scenes.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 has an animated segment for "The Tale of the Three Brothers", the legendary story of the Deathly Hallows. It is CGI that looks like The Muppets meets The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello meets The Nightmare Before Christmas.
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch has an animated segment for the song "The Origins of Love", and some of the flashback scenes of Hansel growing up.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie, this happens during the Improbability Drive shift, ending in Stopmotion.
  • During Peter's backstory from Hook, he meets Wendy while trying to catch his traditionally-animated shadow.
  • Horton Hears a Who!! shifts from CGI to Dr. Seuss-style cel animation when Horton imagines the people living on the speck, and then to Animesque (or, more accurately, Teen Titans-esque) when Horton imagines that he's a heroic ninja.
  • The film version of James and the Giant Peach starts out as live-action, then switches to stop-motion when James goes inside the peach. It returns to live-action in the end, with only the bug characters done in stop-motion. Furthermore, there are hand-drawn effects animation, and a Dream Sequence done in cut-out animation.
  • The gunbarrels of James Bond from 1962 to 1989 were live-action, but a cartoony blood dripping special effect was applied after the shot is fired.
  • Karel Zeman works wonders with this trope:
    • The Fabulous World of Jules Verne combines live actors with all sorts of animation techniques to evoke the original illustrations in Jules Verne's books. He returned to Verne with The Stolen Airship and On the Comet, with a generous dash of Art Nouveau for good measure.
    • The Fabulous Baron Munchausen and A Jester's Tale use the technique to pay homage to the eminent illustrators Gustave Doré and Matthaus Merian, respectively.
    • Journey to the Beginning of Time blends live-action with stop-motion, cutouts, and even puppetry, much of it in direct tribute to the great paleo-artist Zdeněk Burian.
    • Krabat, Adventures of Sinbad the Sailor, and The Tale of John and Mary are predominantly cutout animation, but weave in other techniques now and then for the pure visual splendor of it.
  • The Kick-Ass movie references its origins by integrating some comic book aesthetics. There are occasional caption boxes on the screen saying stuff like "Meanwhile..." and Macready's backstory is told entirely in drawings, which is framed as a character reading a comic-book adaptation of the tale.
  • Shinya Ohira's anime sequence in Kill Bill Vol. 1, that details the violent Back Story of O-Ren Ishii.
  • The third-person narratives in the Kung Fu Panda universe are hand-drawn in contrast to the CGI used for the rest of the films.
  • The fireworks scene from Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N. contains animated firework effects.
  • Mary Poppins and Mary Poppins Returns have the main characters interact with animated characters inside Bert's paintings.
  • Although The Mind's Eye series is meant to showcase advances in computer animation from the '90s, a handful of sequences use live-action videos.
    • In the RadioShack version of The Mind's Eye (specifically the segment "Civilization Rising"), there appears to be a person magically creating a carousel of animals. The way the clothes move would have been cloth simulation too advanced for the early 90s.
    • Beyond has a few instances of this.
      • “Afternoon Adventure” is mostly a walkthrough of a forest with its animated components (a small bee and a larger hornet) set up to appear as if one is chasing the other.
      • "Too Far" features some faceless eyes watching a TV, which appears to be showing a live-action soccer game. There are also stylized musicians which appear to be playing in front of monochrome clouds.
      • "Windows" shows a string of live-action images moving into an eye.
      • "Theater of Magic" has some live-action faces on the walls of what seems to be a museum. Seconds later, a "painting" shows a live-action shot of a building getting demolished, along with smoke that persists into the next shot.note 
    • The Gate's “Valley of the Mind’s Eye” features an actor appearing for a few seconds inside a computer-generated building at two different points.
    • Odyssey's “Unstoppable” features Richard Strange (who appeared as background characters from Batman (1989), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) interacting with a computer-generated security terminal.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail, just like Flying Circus, has a few segments animated by Terry Gilliam. Sometimes the animated elements interact with the live-action, as with God or the Legendary Black Beast of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh.
  • In 9 to 5, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton get stoned and fantasize about killing their boss. All three fit the Art Shift trope, as the fantasies are filmed in distinctly different styles from the rest of the movie, but Lily Tomlin's features adorable animated wildlife surrounding her in the office kitchen as she poisons his coffee.
  • The 1979 Japanese stop-motion animated feature Nutcracker Fantasy has two art shifts — the dance interlude for Clara as she makes her way through the grandfather clock, and a Dance of Romance for her and Franz that takes place in a Dream Within a Dream at the 11th hour. Both feature live-action dancers representing the characters in question. Notably, they don't resemble their animated counterparts in costume or race — the dolls are designed as German Caucasians, but the dancers are Japanese! What keeps these from being Big Lipped Alligator Moments or Disney Acid Sequences is that the invocation of the trope is clearly the filmmakers' way of working actual ballet into the film, as the stop-motion figures wouldn't have the required range of movement.
  • Osmosis Jones:
    • The movie features live-action humans with animated inner space cells and viruses, "Fantastic Voyage" Plot style.
    • Drix is animated in cel-shaded CGI to intentionally give him more artificial-looking movements (as he is, after all, a manmade cold pill).
  • Though most of Our Friend Power 5 is live-action, action sequences such as space-battles are done in 2D Animation. At some points, the live-action mixes with the animation, or the characters are added into the scene via rotoscoping.
  • The Pagemaster is all about a real boy who got seemingly trapped in an animated storybook world where he not only experiences common fantasy elements of childrens' stories, but has GENRES follow him around in the embodiment of living books.
  • Pete's Dragon (1977) has the Dragon animated while the rest of the movie is live-action.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth begins as real-life footage, then switches entirely to an animated movie, only returning to real life all the way at the end.
  • At the end of Princess the deceased protagonist can be seen on a beach with his sister and niece in live-action.
  • The animated Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977) includes a live-action wraparound featuring Marcella.
  • In the film of the musical for Reefer Madness, there was an animated sequence where Jimmy sings about how special his brownie is.
  • Revolver (2005), from Guy Ritchie of Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. fame, has one scene in which the events and aftermath of a heist are shown in cartoon form, on a TV, during the heist!
  • Run Lola Run regularly switches to showing the title character's actions in an animated form.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World has segments animated in the style of the comics, usually during Ramona's flashbacks. The movie also features Written Sound Effects and video-game style effects, taken straight from the comics.
  • Song of the South has the animated segments for "Brer Rabbit Runs Away", "The Tar Baby", "Brer Rabbit's Laughing place", and the end of the film.
  • Space Jam has the Looney Tunes line up come to the real world to ask for Michael Jordan's help in a basketball game versus alien monsters.
  • The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water:
    • When the characters come to the surface, they turn from 2D to CGI, with live-action for everything else.
    • When SpongeBob and Plankton meet Bubbles the dolphin, they remain 2D while Bubbles is animated via stop-motion.
  • Team America: World Police is mostly filmed using cheap marionettes, but the sharks in Kim Jong-il's Shark Pool that devour Hans Blix are living nurse sharks (which are about one, maybe two, feet long), and the "panthers" that come close to eating Sarah and Joe are played by two black house cats. Kim Jong-il's true "alien form" is also played by a live cockroach and Kim's giant statue of himself is actually portrayed by a "living statue" mime.
  • The Disney animated film Treasure Planet, in the same vein as other animated works at the start of the new millenium such as Titan A.E. and Atlantis: The Lost Empire, utilized both traditional and computer generated animation in almost equal measure to truly impressive effect. While nearly all of these movies bombed at the box office, few would argue it was due to their animation not looking nice enough. What made Treasure Planet particularly remarkable was that the character of Cyborg John Silver had all his cybernetic parts like his leg, arm, and eye, rendered in CG while the rest of him was traditionally animated. The end result is nothing short of breathtaking. Sadly, due to the collapse of the theatrical hand-drawn animation market that took place soon thereafter, the concept of blending pure CG with hand-drawn animation never really had a proper chance to prove itself.
  • The very first case of a movie blending live-action with CGI is, of course, Disney's TRON. Note that, given the limitation of computers at the time, a good part of said animation was still hand-drawn or hand-colored.
  • UHF features a dream sequence where "Weird Al" Yankovic imagines a CG version of himself playing a Psychedelic Rock Cover Version of the theme from The Beverly Hillbillies.
  • WALL•E is another variation. The videos we see of humanity's past are in straight live-action. The future humans of the Axiom, obese and with barely any bone mass due to a completely sedentary lifestyle, are CGI.
  • The Wall by Pink Floyd switch back and forth between live-action and Deranged Animation.
  • In Waltz with Bashir, the majority of the film is in two-tone, dreamlike animation until the protagonist remembers encountering a procession of women lamenting their slain husbands and children. At that point, the film switches to real footage of the aftermath of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, making it all too real for both the protagonist and the audience.
  • The Water Babies (1978) was mostly animated but made use of live-action Bookends.
  • The Wind in the Willows (1995) is mostly animated but has live-action Bookends. Its sequel The Willows in Winter (1996) did exactly the same thing.
  • The Yatterman live-action film turns animated for a little while, oddly referencing another anime series and not itself: Tonzura's dream is a parody of Tiger Mask and one of his most famous fights, the one against Mr. NO (renamed Mr. YES for the occasion).
  • The cartoon portion of Yellow Submarine concludes with a slow dissolve to the live-action Beatles. Also, the end of "All Together Now" shows photographs of a person's head flying through the air, the scene where the Beatles escape Pepperland features a montage of photographs, and George's entrance features him standing in front of tinted live-action clouds. (In case you can't tell, it's a rather odd movie!)

    Literature 
  • Ezra Jack Keats and his books, such as the Snowy Day and Whistle for Willie, were done with different media. Collage with different papers were combined with paints and even ink spattered with a toothbrush!
  • Miles Taylor And The Golden Cape: Whenever Miles became Gilded, the book would change from a novel into a comic.
  • Moby-Dick: Owing to the obvious Shakespearean influence on the novel, some of the chapters are written as a play script.
  • The illustrations in One Cool Friend are in ink, ink wash, and colored pencil. A few pages mix in photos, scientific diagrams, and text.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played with a few times in 30 Rock. Every once in awhile, we'll see the world through the eyes of various characters, with Kenneth seeing everyone as a happy puppet. He also appeared as a puppet with a HD camera, playing with his happy-to-an-inhuman-level attitude.
  • Angel also has a Puppet Angel episode.
  • This was done a lot in episodes of Big Bad Beetleborgs, most notably some of transformation sequences from the first season and Metalix. Also done whenever Flabber brings one of Art Fortune's drawings to life.
  • Community has multiple episodes showing the characters as 80's animation, handpuppets or 8bit video game characters.
  • The Doctor at Large episode "Change Your Partners" switches to panels from a soap operatic comic book for a confrontation between Mike Upton and Dick Stuart-Clark over the latter's romantic interest in the former's employer's daughter.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder: The trailer is primarily in live action. However, Cosmo, Wanda, and their associated "poof!" effects are still animated in 2D, like the original series.
  • Daffy Duck appears in the cold open of one episode of The Drew Carey Show.
  • The Farscape episode "Revenging Angel" not only has several Warner Bros.-esque full animation sequences, it also mixes animated characters with live-action (e.g. the Genie-like morphing Aeryn). Thanks to Crichton having a semi-lucid dream while in a coma, and Scorpius is not amused at being turned into a Looney Toon with anvils dropped on his head.
  • In the Fringe episode "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide", Walter, Peter and William Bell enter Olivia's mind. The world switches from live-action to a rotoscoped, cel-shaded cartoon as soon as Walter and Peter reunite with William Bell.
  • Groundling Marsh: The show was generally done using live-action puppets. However, whenever someone would start narrating a story, it would be told using animated still images.
  • From Hanna-Barbera:
    • The short-lived but memorable NBC series The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn had Huck, Becky and Tom fleeing a vengeful Injun Joe across time, space, legend and fiction. The three were live-action - almost literally everything else they interacted with was animated.
    • The studio won an Emmy for its live-action/animated take on the story ''Jack and the Beanstalk." It was produced by and starred Gene Kelly.
    • The Banana Splits in Hocus Pocus Park (1972) transitions from live to animation as the Splits track down a little girl who wanders off from an amusement park (where the Splits are tour guides) and into a magical land where she is in the clutches of a witch.
  • Home Improvement has the show's logo in stop-motion during the cold open. One episode has a dream sequence done in stop-motion with wooden figures.
  • House season 6 episode 3, "Epic Fail", has a 3D-video-games designer as Patient of the Week, and thus features several sequences animated in full CGI. Notably a Deep-Immersion Gaming moment between Thirteen and Taub, with their in-game avatars seen discussing the diagnostic while blasting monsters. Later, the patient also hallucinates the decors and characters of his game supplanting the hospital and staff, respectively.
  • An episode of Kamen Rider Wizard has a sequence where Nitoh tried to catch a lost bird with birdseed, only to be completely mobbed by pigeons while a bemused Haruto looks on. The entire sequence was played out as colored manga panels with voice-overs, presumably because depicting that scene in live-action would be a bit expensive.
  • Life on Mars has a claymation sequence where Sam and Gene appear in the '70s children's show Camberwick Green.
  • Much of the premise of Lizzie McGuire centered around Lizzie's cartoon self (voiced by Hilary Duff) commenting offscreen on the live-action happenings of Lizzie's life.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus roughly alternates between animated and live segments. On average, there's probably more continuity between adjacent segments when they're of different media than when they're not.
  • Moonlighting had a claymation sequence in one episode.
  • This also happened in an episode of My Name Is Earl, where Randy accidentally took a hallucinogenic substance and started seeing everybody in claymation style.
  • The 1969 NBC sitcom My World...and Welcome To It was based on the prose and art of James Thurber. Its protagonist, James Monroe, interacts with Thurber art in animation (from the DePatie-Freleng studio).
  • The Nanny has a whole animated Christmas Episode in the same style as its usual Animated Credits Opening.
  • In the Power Rangers Dino Thunder episode "Drawn into Danger", the Dino Thunder Rangers were trapped in a comic book, which was actually rotoscoped Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger footage.
  • The cartoon Whammies on Press Your Luck appear in front of the contestants' score and perform little skits to wipe their scores to zero.
  • In an episode of Red Dwarf, the characters were temporarily done in Claymation-style.
  • In The Stanley Dynamic, Luke is a cartoon while everything else (including his twin brother Larry) is live-action. This is justified In-Universe, since his father Lane is a cartoonist.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Season 8 episode "Avatar" has the characters inside a virtual reality showing up as video-game CGI on the screens.
    • Season 10 episode "200" has a whole segment re-imagining the show with marionettes.
  • Supernatural episode "Scoobynatural" transitions from live to cartoon when Sam, Dean and Castiel are sucked into the Scooby-Doo episode "A Night of Fright is No Delight."
  • In the That '70s Show episode "Afterglow", the scene in the circle is animated in the style of 70's Scooby-Doo after Fez says that he wishes that he was like Scooby-Doo.
  • Vision On featured several segments, each made with different techniques. The Humphrey the Tortoise segments, for example, were basically just a slideshow of pictures, while the segments featuring a miner named The Digger were fully animated, and there were several Stop Motion segments as well.
  • One episode of Warehouse 13 has rotoscoped segments when the characters enter a video game.
  • Zoboomafoo is typically a live-action wildlife show, however, the segments where Zoboo describes his adventures in Zobooland are stop-motion animated with clay models, and the "Who Could It Be" segments are in hand-drawn animation.

    Music Videos 
  • The music video for Dire Straits' Money For Nothing switches between a (very primitive) CGI cartoon and a live performance of the band itself with added rotoscoped effects.
  • The Gorillaz video clips make heavy use of Medium Blending from the very beginning.
    • The first one, "Tomorrow Comes Today", uses real backgrounds behind the 2D characters.
    • Later clips, starting with "Clint Eastwood", mix traditional animation with many CG elements. In "19-2000", the Gorillaz themselves are in 3D for wide shots, though still 2D for close-ups.
    • Likewise, "Rock the House" has several CG-animated characters, including Del the Ghost Rapper and the inflatable gorilla cheerleaders.
    • "Feel Good Inc.", "Dare" and "Dirty Harry" add live-action to the mix (with guest stars De La Soul, Shaun Ryder and Bootie Brown, respectively).
    • Later clips have the characters more and more often in 3D, including for "live" performances. The MTV European Music Awards 2005 in Lisbon had the three-dimensional Gorillaz on stage, thanks to an updated version of the old Victorian parlour trick named "Pepper's Ghost." Repeated for the Grammy Awards 2006 in Los Angeles, this time alongside Madonna as guest-star.
    • In the latest phase, the clip for "Stylo" is almost entirely live-action with just three of the Gorillaz in quasi-realistic 3D (and Bruce Willis as the antagonist).
    • "On Melacholly Hill" returns the characters to 2D (save for Cyborg-Noodle, who stays CG-rendered to keep her apart from the real Noodle) amidst plenty of 3D vehicles, creatures and backgrounds.
    • The clip for "Saturnz Barz" also has the group in 2D, 3-D demons interacting with them and very realistic backgrounds.
  • Michael Jackson's wacky video for "Speed Demon" depicts the singer and other live action actors interacting with claymation/stop motion characters. In the second half, Jackson himself becomes stop motion when he dawns a costume rabbit head and leads several of the animated characters on a chase while riding a motorcycle. It ends with Jackson, back in live action form, having a dance off with his animated rabbit doppelganger on a desert highway.
  • Tom Petty's "Running Down a Dream" video is a tribute to the works of Winsor McCay. What appears to be classic hand-drawn animation is often jarringly invaded by bits of obvious flash animation and even some CGI. All sandwiched between live-action bookends of Tom Petty opening and closing a storybook.

    Pinball 
  • The Pink Panther pinball combines the iconic cartoon Pink Panther with a more realistic-looking female jewel thief.
  • Deadpool's display usually uses a 16-bit video game style, but occasionally dips into more standard Limited Animation or CGI (which is sometimes overlaid on top of an 16-bit scene).
  • Downplayed in Godzilla (Stern). The game's display switches between CGI animation and clips from Showa-era Godzilla films, but the two very rarely mix (an exception being the CG Xiliens broadcasting on top of a live-action exterior shot).

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street is mainly a puppet show, but regularly intersected with animated sequences. This alphabet segment utilizes different art styles and writing techniques.
  • Les Guignols de l'Info is a French puppet show, but has used some animation on occasion, like with a South Park parody, "Droite Park."
  • Big Bag, being by the creators of Sesame Street, primarily consists of puppetry but also has animated segments.
  • The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss used a mix between live-action puppets and props and CGI settings, despite only coming out less than a year after the first Toy Story movie.
  • Waldo C. Graphic on The Jim Henson Hour is a CGI "virtual puppet" who interacts with the regular Muppets. The same technique was used for the mosquitos in Muppet Treasure Island, Tizzy Bee in The Animal Show, and Horace D'Fly in Kermit's Swamp Years, all of which were far too small to be normal puppets, and the Wizard's disguises in The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, which were "special effects" in-universe.
  • In Donkey Hodie, Gregory the Elephant's eyes appear to be digitally animated rather than normal puppet eyes.
  • Bear in the Big Blue House was mostly a puppet show, but used animated elements to show things from character's imaginations or to show the word of the day from each episode on the screen. Up until the fourth season, there was also a regular segment in which real kids talked about stuff related to the theme of the episode. Additionally, Shadow was a shadow puppet instead of the normal puppetry and presented Shadow stories in this style.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Battle Arena Toshinden 2's intro sequence has sequences with Eiji, Ellis and Sofia portrayed in live-action.
  • Brütal Legend's pre-title screen (and title screen-slash-menu) are live-action starring Jack Black (presumably as himself in this case) showing you the Brutal Legend album. The rest of the game uses a stylized style.
  • Command & Conquer is famous for sticking with using live-action cutscenes when other companies gave up on it years ago.
  • Cuphead is usually animated like an old cartoon from the '30s and '40s with flat-colored characters on top of watercolor backgrounds. Certain bosses like Djimmi and Grim Matchstick instead are set against rotating model backdrops, an homage to Fleischer Studios' "stereoptic process" used most famously in Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor.
  • Done masterfully with several of the minigames in Daughter for Dessert, in which elements of well known video games and mobile games are inserted into the gameplay. This is especially true in the video game arcade scene when the protagonist takes either Heidi or Veronica there, and plays a faithfully reproduced 80s video game (the player has a choice between Pong, Asteroids, and Centipede).
  • Funtime With Buffy has footage from old Betty Boop cartoons playing on the TV.
  • Control-wise, Kentucky Route Zero is an Adventure Game, but all its text, dialogue, and descriptions are written in stage play format and the areas have a distinct theater set design to them, and portions of the game are played as Interactive Fiction.
  • Max Payne uses graphic novel panels for between-level cutscenes.
  • Metal Gear Solid will often make use of live-action clips due to its storyline's engagement with political history. As for the two PSP titles, the cutscenes are depicted in comic book-style so they wouldn't take up as much space on the UMD as 3D ones would.
  • Mirror's Edge makes use of 2D Flash animation in its cutscenes, which also serve as loading screens, just before each level, which tends to come across as a sharp contrast to the actual in-game character designs and first-person cinematics.
  • The Multi-Platform revival of NBA Jam (for the Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3) by EA Sports uses digitized heads on 3D bodies.
  • Painkiller makes use of a graphic novel-style intro.
  • In [PROTOTYPE], the Web of Intrigue videos are mainly stylised live-action with a bit of game footage here and there.
  • Poker Night at the Inventory: Strong Bad, Pom-Pom and Tycho are cel-shaded to match the artstyle of the websites they're from, but everyone else is in their standard 3D style. Same goes for Claptrap and Brock Sampson, who appear in the sequel.
  • Grim Fandango is a regular Sprite/Polygon Mix with 3D character sprites... except for the few scenes in the Land of the Living, which look like a weird photo collage. That's right, the Land of the Living is an Acid-Trip Dimension (though it does have a somewhat appropriate in-game acronym "LOL").
  • Lollipop Chainsaw's artstyle tries to look like a '70s or '80s comic book as much as possible, and succeeds in doing so. All character models have outlines around them, and the game uses a very unique and stylish shading technique in order to achieve this look. Several times, the game even shifts to a comic book illustration, like on the menus, loading screens, game over screen, character profile cards, etc.
  • InFAMOUS adopts a comic-book style for its cutscenes. The game also does this in its world building. Finding a TV will show a news anchor for USTV who recounts every one of your story mode missions, only omitting a mention of Cole / Delsin and instead claiming that the problem was solved by the government.
  • We Happy Few uses live-action black-and-white videos for Uncle Jack's shows, as is appropriate for the time period.
  • We Know the Devil uses hand-drawn character sprites over photo backgrounds for a lo-fi 80's horror aesthetic.
  • Grand Theft Auto 2: The live-action introduction movie.
  • Undertale is done in a 16-bit style, like something out of a SNES game. But then you encounter the final boss of the Neutral run, a fully colored, non-pixelated Botanical Abomination that looks like someone took various parts of plants and industrial machinery and stitched them all together in Photoshop, earning it the nickname "Photoshop Flowey".
  • Due to the variety of settings featured in Kingdom Hearts, this is prevalent throughout, but particularly apparent in Kingdom Hearts II. The environments and characters from Timeless River, Halloween Town, Space Paranoids, and Port Royal are all designed as closely to their source material as possible, whereas the rest of the game has a fairly standard 3D style. In the case of the first three worlds, even Sora and other original characters are redesigned to match their respective styles. The realistic designs from Pirates of the Caribbean don't quite blend as well, however.

    Web Animation 
  • Brain Dump has the backgrounds and the host Max G animated in CG, with 2D Flash animated side characters Goofball and Burnbot.
  • Mario Brothers blends 16-bit and 8-bit sprites with layers in Flash animation.
  • Homestar Runner uses several different varieties of Art Shift meant to resemble different techniques, but most of them are all still just animated in Flash and don't count. The most notable genuine example of Medium Blending would have to be the puppet segments. Also, the Peasant's Quest Movie Trailer, Strong Mad's claymation short "Doug the Dino" in the email "the facts", and the music video in "death metal" (with a live-action intro and stop-motion "creeping, rusty meat").
  • The season 6 finale of Sonic for Hire suddenly shifts to a live-action background with the characters drawn in a crudely animated style as reality breaks apart. The sequence after that has the characters back to normal but the background consists of live-action Stock Footage.
  • Mr Plastimime has the characters animated in Claymation style (with their faces being animated in 2D style), while the backgrounds are all CG.
  • Animator vs. Animation takes place in a realistic computer, and the original trilogy is about drawn stick figures coming to life and fighting the Animator, exploiting (and wrecking) the computer interface in the process. This trope even applies to other stick figures, as in the fourth video, the stick figures from an internet website look very different from the stick figures drawn by The Animator.
    • And then there are video game crossovers, particularly in Animation VS Minecraft and the following AVM Shorts series.

    Webcomics 
  • Erfworld is almost entirely drawn in 2D — except for the Arkentools, which are rendered in 3D CGI.
  • Grim Trigger is made entirely in Flash and has interactive elements similar to a Point-and-Click Game.
  • Homestuck is usually a normal comic (at least in terms of art), but often shifts into animated GIFs, Flash animations, and the occasional RPG-like interactive sequence. The latter two have "[S]" before the page name; seeing [S] in an update usually indicates an inbound Wham Episode. Later, the webcomic takes this further with the introduction of Claymation.
    • The Loose Canon Paradox Space story "A Fun Day For Jaspers" starts with two still panels, but ends an animated gif showing Rose talking as her speech becomes incomprehensible to Jaspers.
  • GastroPhobia mixes standard comic panels with animated gifs in this strip and the following one.
  • One episode of Mountain Time has 2D, black-and-white stick figures turning into 3D, full-color clay models. (Their speech is still in 2D text bubbles, but it's Japanese.)
  • This Is Not Fiction uses digitally painted panels for its pages, but the chapter covers are all photographs of hand-drawn paper cut-outs of the characters.
  • morphE is designed with this in mind. It's a webcomic made to click through (and occasionally play like) a visual novel. The reason why is that the creators envisioned the project as a visual novel but wanted to make the project a gradually updating medium. The compromise was to make a visual novel that updated 3 times a week and add interactivity elements where possible. Recently they added their first "cut scene" cinema sequence.
  • Wapsi Square uses this trope rather effectively when showing the Calendar Machine. You can tell that this thing does not belong in this world, because 3-D models (or possibly photographs) do not belong in a 2-D cartoon.
  • 8-Bit Theater started out being entirely 8-bit, but as the years went on and it found its voice, it gradually became this trope, with 8-bit characters (mostly) and real world photographs and paintings for backgrounds.
  • Blitzcrafter features animations and flashes, along with scenes rendered using predrawn sprites instead of the typical artwork.
  • Megaman Sprite Comic is a Stylistic Suck Sprite Comic, except for one strip, where Dr. Dad "changes the world", making everyone poorly-crafted 3D models.
  • Sonichu occasionally has this happen. Most notably the first part of Issue #6 with "One Lucky Dog" (Chris-Chan's strange tribute to his beloved real-life dog, Patti, who had recently passed away. He turned her into an anthro, SailorMoon-esque cartoon superheroine in his comic). It's actually oddly and surprisingly sweet if you overlook the vague creepiness, vague inadvertent Bestiality Is Depraved vibes (the anthro-pup looks too 'sexy') and the fact that it's....well....Chris-Chan and Sonichu.
  • Crystal Heroes consists mostly of normal comic pages, but there is one scene consisting of a mini RPG made in RPG Maker.
  • Mr. Boop: Has live-action video segments featuring interviews with Alec.

    Web Videos 


 
Feedback

Video Example(s):

Top

Richard becomes a cartoon

After being knocked out, Richard wakes up to find himself being transformed into an illustrated cartoon by a dragon made of paint, along with the rest of the scenery.

How well does it match the trope?

4.86 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / MediumBlending

Media sources:

Report