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Medium Blending

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Similar to Art Shift, 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.

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.

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


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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dinosaur War Aizenborg was a collaboration between Tsuburaya Productions and Sunrise, utilizing both anime and suitmations/models. Same goes for Dinosaur Squadron Bornfree.
  • 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.
  • 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 Daiboken 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.

    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.

  • 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.
  • Annie Hall has a brief animated Imagine Spot with Alvy and the Wicked Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, after he says that he always goes for the wrong woman.
  • 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.
  • 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 has 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, 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 Book-Ends.
  • The Wind in the Willows (1995) is mostly animated but has live-action Book-Ends. 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.

  • 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.

    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.
  • 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.


    Puppet Shows 

    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.
  • 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 and looks something like this.
  • 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. Then we get to Flowey's boss fight...
  • 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 and Strong Mad's claymation short "Doug the Dino" in the email "the facts".
  • 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.

  • 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. Recently, the webcomic has taken this further with the introduction of claymation.
  • 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.
  • The 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.
  • 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 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: Robert Mandell being a pioneer of this back in the early and mid 1980's, the show mixes CGI in with cel animation. The CGI was justified by having it be on computer terminals and as the avatar of A.I. units.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball (pictured above) has this as a founding artistic element: Some characters are two-dimensional, some are CGI, some are stop motion, some are Paper People, and there's even a couple people that are in some way live-action (one character is a chinface, for example), etc. The backgrounds are photographs with some alterations added in CGI, while vehicles and objects may be CGI or two-dimensional. Footage shown in-universe is sometimes completely live-action. However, the most apparent example would have to be at the end of "The Money". As the Wattersons begin to lose everything they have, they start to lose themselves, starting with Gumball losing his colours. As they attempt to recover their money, they start to warp the world around them, until only the storyboard is seen and they appear drawn on Post-it notes. After they sign the contract, the world returns to normal, but Gumball remains drawn in a Post-it because he refused to sign.
  • An episode of American Dad! has a shift from traditional animation to CGI after Roger eats an exotic bird, which sends him on a drug trip.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force has a live-action episode that held open tryouts for a Carl lookalike in a contest. The winner of said contest: here.
  • Arthur:
    • The episode where D.W. manages to trick Arthur into taking her to a science museum had her and The Brain watching the TV educational documentary Nova (produced by the same PBS affiliate, WGBH) that had live-action sequences on the animated TV screen.
    • Also, the special "It's Only Rock and Roll" opens with Muffy and Francine watching a live-action Backstreet Boys music video. Strange, since in the special, the group is caricatured as anthropomorphic animals.
    • This show's Spin-Off, Postcards from Buster, shows Buster in animated segments and has him record live-action footage for his video postcards.
  • The Beatles episode "Paperback Writer" had the group performing in concert with flesh-and-blood photos of them in the rear.
    • The opening of season three had a still photo of each Beatle transition to their cartoon likenesses.
  • The Nick Jr. show Bubble Guppies have characters with CGI bodies and Flash-animated facial features. It also has some segments with Flash characters and backdrops.
  • Bump in the Night has stop-motion animated protagonists Mr. Bumpy, Squishington, and Molly Coddle living in a house that is filmed in live-action and owned by a family played by human actors.
  • Chowder:
    • The show is typically traditionally animated, but it frequently makes usage of stop-motion and puppetry.
    • In the episode "The Deadly Maze", there is a brief instance of a dancing CGI... creature that everyone finds very creepy.
    • There's also the infamous scene in "Shopping Spree", where Chowder, Mung and Shnitzel accidentally spend the animation budget on frivolous items. The scene then shifts to the voice actors, trying to figure out how to get the animation back.
  • Code Lyoko:
    • Follows the formula of going from 2D animation in the "real world" to CGI animation in the Cyberspace of Lyoko and the Digital Sea.
    • Code Lyoko: Evolution changes the 2D element to live-action.
  • The Grand Finale of Codename: Kids Next Door is done as a Whole Episode Flashback with the Framing Device of the main characters being interviewed years later as adults: the flashbacks are animated as usual, but the interviews are done with live-action actors and sets. And when Father reveals himself to be the one interviewing them, he's in CGI.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog:
    • An episode where Muriel gets sucked into a computer, and when Courage goes in to save her, the first segment of the computer world has Courage animated in CGI.
    • A handful of monsters were shot in a different medium like claymation or CGI, which had the effect making them look like they were dredged up from the deepest, darkest crevasses of the Uncanny Valley. Special mention goes to King Ramses, because of the simple effectiveness that came from the awful CG that was used to animate him.
  • The Crayon Box: Whenever stories are told, it sometimes switches between live-action puppet segments, and 2D animated segments.
  • Doug: Skeeter, while staying at Bebe Bluff's house as part of a Trading Spaces bet among the friends, watches the TV at her house and notes that she has a lot of channels (at least one of which is distinctly shown in live-action).
  • Drawn Together had an inversion of the typical "live-action show enters magical cartoon kingdom" thing, with Wooldoor finding a cow in "The Live-Action Forest". The cow then proceeds to wreak havoc all over the cartoon world, eventually getting into a "fight" with the "Live-Action Squirrel with Big Balls".
  • Duffy's Dozen was an unsold pilot Hanna-Barbera was pitching in 1971 for a prime time spot. It focused on Ted Duffy, his wife and their ten adopted children travelling across the country with still photographs of noted landmarks as backgrounds.
  • Ella the Elephant uses 3D characters and objects against hand-drawn environments.
  • The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants will regularly shift to either felt puppets or live-action costumes for flashbacks, Imagine Spots, and the "(blank)-O-Rama" presentation of the Incredibly Graphic Violence Chapter of each episode.
  • Family Guy:
    • Live-action is used on numerous episodes like with Conway Twitty; Peter freaking out at the sight of himself in live-action, Alyssa Milano telling her lawyer to sue the show for a "cheap shot", and a live-action man repeating what Brian said to Meg while shouting.
    • At the end of the Y2K episode, a spoof of Dallas.
      "What's Family Guy?"
    • Dancing Jerry scene is taken directly from Anchors Aweigh, with Jerry replaced by Stewie.
    • Peter meets Scrat the squirrel from Ice Age, rendered in 3D as usual.
    • "Road to the Multiverse" features scenes in a stop-motion universe based on Robot Chicken, one done in hyper-animated Disney style, as well as one of a live-action Brian and Stewie.
    • In "Back to the Pilot", after screwing up the timeline in the past, Brian and Stewie go five years into the future to find that everything is done in "slicker" CGI and the writing has gotten lazier.
  • Fish Hooks: The fish are animated, but everything around them is photorealistic live-action.
  • Freakazoid!: The Relax-o-Vision scenes consist of live-action footage.
  • Get a Horse!, a 2013 Mickey Mouse short, involves the characters emerging from their 2D black-and-white world and into our color CG world beyond the theater screen.
  • An episode of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law has the staff being seen through surveillance footage, which is all live-action footage. Some other episodes also have short live-action sequences, mostly featuring Birdman.
  • The Hollow: At the end, when its revealed that the show is actually a video game and the characters finally manage to leave, the series' shifts to the live-action set of the titular game show.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
    • An intro has live-action Jackie Chan getting spliced into the animation.
    • Each episode ends with Jackie answering questions in the flesh.
  • Jake and the Never Land Pirates ends its episodes with music videos by "The Never Land Pirate Band".
  • The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour and its sequels:
    • The Fairly OddParents: Channel Chasers features scenes made with paper cut-outs, anime, cel-shaded stop motion, and puppetry.
    • Given that The Fairly OddParents uses Thick-Line Animation and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron is CGI, characters are Medium Blended when crossing into the "other" show's universe. This is referenced through Timmy's usage of the adjective "bulgy" in Jimmy's world (itself a Shout-Out to "Homer3") and Jimmy and Sheen falling like cardboard pop-ups upon arriving in the FOP world.
    • In the third Jimmy Timmy Power Hour, the Big Bad of the movie creates "Retrodimmsdaleville", which is depicted as a bizarre mix of both animation styles; that is, the FOP art style in a papery 2½D void.
  • Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures has the main characters venturing into "Quest World", a place where their traditionally 2D animated selves became 3D.
  • In the KaBlam! episode, "The Best of Both Worlds!", Henry and June want to go into the real world (a.k.a. "The Legendary Third Dimension"), and when they make it there, the show becomes live-action, with Henry and June being played by actual kids (their voice actors did them speaking to avoid viewer confusion).
    • The Life With Loopy shorts were made with a mixture of stop-motion animation (the main characters as well as various other human characters appearing), puppetry (non-human characters), and live-action (for other human characters).
  • Lalaloopsy's cartoon adaptation frequently blends live-action and Flash-animated elements.
  • Animated short Leisure features crude line drawings of a cartoon man, as well as still photos used in Stop Motion collage style a-la Terry Gilliam. Sometimes they mix, as when the cartoon man interacts in the photo collage world.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack has the same production company as Chowder and follows its example with a lot of stop-motion segments. There's one in the opening credits, even!
  • Muppet Babies (1984) regularly had the babies interacting (in their imagination) with scenes from live action films, or occasionally specially recorded live action celebrity cameos.
  • Muppet Babies (2018) doesn't use this gimmick as much, but did once show the babies time travelling to the opening credits of The Muppet Show, and another episode featured them talking to the puppet version of Dr Teeth on a video screen.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "A Friend in Deed" features a segment of Pinkie's imagination, animated in felt. In the very next (normally animated) scene, she holds up a piece of felt from the animation.
    • In "Pinkie Pride", a song duel includes two live-action cutaways (the first one to a rubber chicken dancing on strings, and the second one to a serene baby alligator).
    • Invoked in "Make New Friends But Keep Discord", when Discord threatens to banish Tree Hugger to an alternate dimension. What we see of it consists of a cheaply-made sock puppet and a crayon drawing.
  • The 1992 Disney short Off His Rockers has the settings and objects, including the rocking-horse character, be computer-animated while the young boy is traditionally-animated.
  • Out of the Inkwell from Fleischer Studios is one of the first, if not the first example of medium blending. It involves a live-action artist (Max Fleischer) drawing animatednote  characters as they leak out from an inkwell in the silent era of film.
  • The cartoon version of Paddington has the title character animated using a stop motion puppet, the other characters were coloured paper dolls, and the backgrounds were black and white static drawings.
  • Pickle and Peanut does this excessively for many of its gags including live-action, puppetry and photorealism.
  • Each episode of Popetown has a live-action introduction featuring a Catholic school class before the animated part. Theoretically tied-in with the episode content, but rather pointless.
  • Popeye: Made possible by the "stereoptic process" (of Fleischer Studios, invented in the 1930s), panning across 3-dimensional backgrounds in their cartoons.note  For an example of the effect, watch Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor.
  • Two Looney Tunes cartoons with Porky Pig affected this. "You Ought to Be in Pictures" combined still photographs as backgrounds along with cutting from an animated figure to a live-action figure (Porky and the studio gate cop) to the Roger Rabbit Effect (Daffy Duck and Leon Schlesinger). "Porky's Pooch" from a year after exclusively used live photos as backgrounds (subverted in the 1967 redrawn edition—those backgrounds are hand painted).
  • The Powerpuff Girls was to have had an episode, "Deja View," in which the girls are transported to an alternate version of Townsville where they are the bad guys and the alternate Mojo Jojo is the hero. The alternate universe scenes were to have been in CGI. But it went over budget and was running into deadline issues, so the story was given to DC Comics to be made into issue #50 of the PPG comic book.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (2016): In the episode "Once Upon a Townsville", Buttercup's beatbox solo segment features live-action stock photos for the background.
  • The Pumuckl television series creates the main kobold character using the Roger Rabbit Effect.
  • The animated short Rabbit and Deer creatively blends hand-drawn 2D Stick Figure Animation and 3D Stop Motion.
  • Robot Chicken:
    • A very bouncy live-action woman acts alongside the show's traditional stop motion. The Excitebike, parts of the Pac-Man/Matrix, and Space Invaders parodies were all done in ways that looked close, if not identical to their video game counterparts.
    • The Golf Jam sketch combines a stop-motion Tiger Woods with 2D DiC characters.
    • The Boglins sketch has the creatures themselves as live-action puppets, while the other characters are stop-motion.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The famous "Homer3" segment on the Halloween Episode "Treehouse of Horrors VI", where Homer winds up in the "third dimension" where he's animated differently in 3D CGI. The episode ended in Homer getting teleported to the real world, while still being computer-animated. "Homer3" aired before Toy Story came out, and was animated by future Pixar rival Pacific Data Images.
    • One of the Couch Gags in a later season is the normal title sequence filmed in live-action, which was originally a commercial made for the syndicated broadcast on the U.K. channel Sky1 (the parts with the car were flipped so they were in line with the way cars and roads are in America).
    • Maggie's dream in the 2010 Christmas Episode, with the Simpson family and Mr. Burns as Muppets, and Katy Perry appearing live-action.
    • The special LEGO episode "Brick Like Me" combines CGI (mimicking stop-motion photography) with the show's usual traditional animation.
  • South Park
    • The Emmy-winning World of Warcraft episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft" has some sequences taking place within the game; these were animated using a modified version of the WoW engine.
    • Real photographs of people every now and again (like Saddam) wade into the territory of the pseudo paper cut-out technique of the show.
    • A two-part episode that features live-action guinea pigs attacking cities in an obvious Cloverfield parody.
    • In the episode where Tweek fights Craig, the shop teacher's late girlfriend is seen in flashbacks as a live-action actress.
    • In "Funnybot", Funnybot is cel-shaded.
    • The "Faith Hilling" episode has a live-action cat saying "Oh long johnson". (The clip was borrowed from America's Funniest Home Videos, of all shows.)
    • "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining" has the last segment done as a dramatization by live actors, and the X-ray/inner body shots are made with CGI.
    • In some episodes, the houses look as if they are 3D.
    • Season 2 episode "The Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka" uses live-action historical Stock Footage of Vietnam for Mr. Garrison's Imagine Spot and Stock Footage of helicopters for Jimbo's rather... bizarre recollection of the Vietnam War.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Live-action is used from time to time as a gag. Basically, anything that takes place in, or comes from, the surface world is live-action, while everything underwater is animated.
    • Any special episode presented by Patchy the pirate.
    • The episode "Frankendoodle" starts with a live-action segment presenting the story of the "Sea Artist" and his pencil sinking to the bottom of the sea is what kickstarts the plot.
      • This episode may also count because all of the things drawn with the magic pencil are represented in a crude 2d art style.
    • In the episode "Pressure", all the characters become live-action puppets when they come out of the water and step onto land.
    • In the episode "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy", Patrick laments the seniority of the former heroes and SpongeBob replies that senior citizens are full of wisdom and experience, cut to a live-action old man smiling to the camera shouting: "Yes, experience!", while giving a thumbs up.
    • In The Movie (Which was originally intended to be the Grand Finale), SpongeBob and Patrick are still animated when they venture on land, but only become "real" when they are dried out under a souvenir maker's heat lamp. Conversely, they and all the other dried-up fish turn back into cartoon characters when the sprinklers go off in the stand.
    • "Krusty Love" introduces the "Imported pianist" a live-action human piano player completely with diver suit, goggles and snorkel.
      • In the same episode we know the fate of Mr. Puff in a live-action scene of a pufferfish lamp being turned on.
    • When Plankton sees Krabs's mom for the first time in "Enemy-In-Law" we are treated to a scene of a live-action crab walking underwater.
    • The final scene of "Band Geeks" takes place in a Super Bowl-esque event with live-action human audience and everything.
    • In "Sandy's Rocket", "Big Pink Loser", "Bubble Troubles" and "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost", the characters remain animated when they emerged from the ocean's surface.
    • In "SpongeGuard on Duty", SpongeBob goes to the beach, where he gets jealous of Larry. He imagines what it would be like if he were a lifeguard, cutting to live-action footage of someone in a SpongeBob mascot suit in a lifeguard tower.
    • "Truth or Square" has a new, very trippy opening sequence, remade in stop-motion, and with a new rendition of the theme by Cee-Lo. "The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom" also uses this.
    • "New Student Starfish" ends with a live-action baby chick hatching out of an animated egg.
    • In "Frozen Face-Off" the characters are pursued by a stop-motion monster.
    • SpongeBob and Patrick's escape through the perfume department in "Shanghaied."
    • The live-action man in a gorilla suit from the end of "I Had an Accident".
    • In the climax of "SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One", the Flying Dutchman is sent to Davy Jones' Locker where he is met by a live-action Davy Jones (of the Monkees fame).
    • The second movie combines live-action, traditional animation, and computer-generated animation.
    • The 20th anniversary special "SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout" features SpongeBob and Patrick taking an animated tour across the live-action universe.
    • "Wormy" features a close-up of a buzzing horsefly when the butterfly lands on characters' faces.
    • "Life of Crime" has SpongeBob mention that running is good for the buns and thighs, then it cuts to a live-action shirtless man who says "Ja, buns and thighs!" in an Austrian accent.
    • The third movie features the characters talking to human actors in an animated world.
    • The beginning of "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV" has SpongeBob pressing through the wall of the kitchen when he hears that Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are at the Krusty Krab, his indentation rendered in CGI before he rips through.
    • In "Code Yellow", one of the new noses that SpongeBob gives Squidward is a live-action squid.
  • The 2003 incarnation of Strawberry Shortcake, for the Sweet Dreams Movie, shifted the series from 2D animation to 3D CGI.
  • Sunny Day features Flash-animated characters with CGI settings and accessories.
  • Superjail! has a dream sequence where Jailbot and The Warden are seen fishing together while animated in 3D CGI. This episode and another end with The Warden as a hobo in the real world.
  • Team Umizoomi regularly has live actors interacting with the computer-animated characters and environments.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) tends to mix 2D and 3D animation (such as flashbacks being done entirely in "motion comic" format), and the show's camera angles, effects, shading, and character designs are reminiscent of comic books.
  • Thunderbirds 2086: CGI is mixed in with cel animation.
  • In the Van Beuren Studios Tom & Jerry short note "Plane Dumb", the opening has a live-action waterfall superimposed behind it, for reasons unclear.
  • Uncle Grandpa: The amply named Giant Realistic Flying Tiger. Live-action Stock Footage was also used.
  • Where the Wild Things Are: In the early 1980s, Disney planned to make a featurette version that would have had traditionally animated characters moving around in a computer-animated environment. The plans fell through due to costs, but a 30-second test of What Could Have Been can be seen here.
  • Your Friend the Rat (from the Ratatouille DVD): CGI are used for the framing scenes of Rémy and Émile. Traditional animation is used for the rest, with a stop-motion scene and a couple of live-action Stock Footage shots.
  • As of season 5 of Winx Club, the show combines traditional animation with CGI animation, usually when the fairies move to some plane that can not be reached normally without some very specific transformation.
  • The humans in Firehouse Tales are animated in regular 2D animation, while the firetrucks and other vehicles are animated using CGI.
  • The Felix the Cat short "Felix Saves The Day" has characters running up real buildings. It also features real shots of trains and people watching baseball.
  • Sunny Day: The characters are animated with 2D, but everything around them is rendered in 3D CGI.
  • Christmas Carol: The Movie opens with live-action footage before switching to animation.
  • Both Rose Petal Place specials have a live-action flashback telling the origin of the garden, while the rest is animated.
  • CBeebies series Razzledazzle frequently had the CGI-animated character Razzledazzle appear alongside live-action actors.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine:
    • The third season episode "Buzz, Buzz" features cel-animated bees alongside the live-action models.
    • The twelfth season, the final season of the model era, combined live-action models with CGI faces, characters and certain "props".
  • The animated adaptation of El Chavo del ocho, features characters made in Flash in CGI backgrounds.
  • The Doodlebops Rockin' Road Show features the characters interacting with live-action children discussing their problem before they are transported to their world.
  • VeggieTales videos produced in The New '10s have the letters the characters recieve replaced by video chats featuring real children.


Video Example(s):


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?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / MediumBlending

Media sources:

Main / MediumBlending