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Special Effect Failure / Western Animation

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  • In the Finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the airships are Conspicuous CG rendered at a noticeably low and choppy framerate that gives the impression of a Super Nintendo Entertainment System Super FX game.
    • Sequel Series The Legend of Korra doesn't escape either. In "Turning The Tides", the Humongous Mecha are incredibly slow-moving and poorly-rendered CGI. The mecha look fine in previous episodes, and their deficiencies only become obvious when they're attacking in broad daylight as opposed to a darkened corridor. This is especially bad, given the exact same episode has traditionally-animated airships that look quite good.
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  • Batman: The Animated Series has one noticeable one. In the episode "Clock King", there's a scene with Batman and Alfred in a Rolls Royce, normal quality animation except the only thing visible through the car windows is pure white. This is a failure for two reasons — no background, and the series is known for having backgrounds created on black paper.
  • While Transformers Energon may have had some very ugly CG on its own, Beast Wars (the first fully CG Transformers entry) also has several. The most glaring examples appear throughout season 1, in which the models most of the animal forms are nothing more than separate body parts, Dinobot also has a very visible seam in his Velociraptor form's chest, and each time Megatron bends his knees, the kneecaps get distorted. There's also an obvious lack of shadows throughout most of the show's run.
    • The other seasons may (and do, at some points) fare better, but they too have their own share of failures, such as Rattrap in his pre-Transmetal body at the end of Code of Hero, Rampage's disappearing tank treads in Transmutate and him swapping legs with Depth Charge in Changing of the Guard. It also (somehow) manages to slide into Conspicuous CG, as a couple of characters (namely Rhinox, Waspinator and Inferno) never receive any upgrades (in-universe or behind the scenes) between seasons.
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    • Transformation sequences, especially for the original characters, turn out particularly bad-looking in a few shots. Dinobot's may be the worst: at times, his robot torso simply sprouts out of his beast mode, while his robot and beast limbs all clipped through each other, and his raptor head floats down to form his chest-plate. But sometimes, he just deforms into all sorts of weird shapes.
      • Rhinox's is equally bad — no wonder, they only faintly resemble their toys, so their transformations cheat a lot. In Rhinox's case, this involves his rhino mode's back legs deforming into giant shapeless blobs before being replaced by his robot legs.
    • One closeup of season 1 scenery (episode Possession) has leaves, branches and random tree-parts floating in air. They could have focused the camera on a better rendered tree easily.
      • In the same episode, when the Maximals "surrender" to Starscream, Optimus' head is stretched out and his mouth doesn't move as he talks.
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    • In the episode Double Dinobot, Dinobot runs past the screen and his head clips through the camera. During the scene of the two Dinobots fighting, they randomly have strange bulges coming out of the bottom of their animation model. Dinobot actually suffers from animation failures a lot, because his dinosaur design isn't well suited for all the wild movements he has to make, and often even such simple motions like rearing his head back can reveal these shortcomings.
    • Dinobot II, in Feral Scream, Part 2, has his normally solid beast-mode crotch-plate stretching in unison with one of his legs.
  • The sequel Beast Machines generally fares much better due to the heavily stylized CGI. At the same time, light and fire effects tend to cast shadows and behave like solid objects (see the torches carried by the proto-humans in Waspinator's flashback), and there is an infamously lousy shot at the end of the final episode when the reformatted Transformers appear to be sliding across the landscape as they run.
  • Parts of Captain N: The Game Master episode "How's Bayou?" were not completed when it first aired, and as a result, several shots are missing their backgrounds, effects are missing, and some dialogue and animation seems off. Reruns of the episode are the final product, with the backgrounds intact, effects added, dialogue that seems rerecorded, and a redone music score. Oddly enough, the DVD set with the episode uses the original, unfinished version, as does the version found on Jaroo (the "Hulu for kids' shows" site).
  • In-Universe in the Doug episode "Doug's Nightmare on Jumbo Street", when Doug and his friends go see a scary movie and Doug panics and shuts his eyes when the monster, who was previously using Nothing Is Scarier, finally appears. When Doug starts having nightmares about the movie, he keeps going to see it but can't ever manage to keep his eyes open to see the monster. On his one last chance to watch it, Doug finally succeeds in keeping his eyes open during The Reveal... and the monster looks completely silly, being a guy in a cheap-looking, ugly-colored costume with an obvious zipper on the back. When he tries to laugh about this with his friends, the rest of them admit that they closed their eyes too.
  • In the Family Guy episode "He's Too Sexy for his Fat", Chris in one scene is grabbed in a bear's mouth and is shaken repeatedly. The bear and Chris are seen in the reflection in the river, and there's a difference in the animation speed between the characters and the reflection; the reflection's animation is at normal speed, while the animation of the bear and Chris suddenly doubles and is out of sync with the animations in the reflection because of it.
    • Another episode has Peter being chased around by a dog before he climbs up a wall and into a window. The dog keeps up with Peter, but then suddenly runs slower than normal, making it look like Peter is able to outrun the dog by miles.
  • In a Joe Oriolo Felix the Cat episode "Felix The Cat Suit", The Professor is running past whats supposed to be a Wraparound Background, but the background is clearly way too short—so short, in fact, that you can clearly see the cutoff point where the background is supposed to loop over and over again!
  • Parodied in an episode of Freakazoid! that introduces the invisible Egyptian wizard Invisibo: The narrator announces that the special effects aren't very scary, and asks the viewers to pretend they are. For the next couple of minutes, Invisibo is represented by a rod suspended by very obvious strings. After this goes on for a while, the narrator announces that they've embarrassed the network executives into giving them a bigger special effects budget, after which Invisibo's rod actually floats and glows.
  • Parodied in the Futurama episode guest starring (and spoofing) Star Trek, where the energy-being Melllvar looks like the standard bad effect used in the original 1960s series. He even Lampshades this when told that he looks like a cheap effect by screaming that he's not and electrocuting a redshirt. Again.
  • G.I. Joe: Renegades has horrible effects to show slow moving falling debris around the start of the Tomax & Xamot episode. It's very embarrassing.
  • Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus sports animation that would have embarrassed Hanna-Barbera in the '60s - skies changing colour between shots, chronic scale problems between creatures and people, character design that somehow makes Gabrielle look ugly...
  • Despite the otherwise high quality of the show, Justice League Unlimited is infamous for its low-framerate and ugly CG.
    • The CG intro for the first series is pretty jarring and, frankly, just outright ugly. The Unlimited intro uses more traditional animation and better CG effects.
  • Life with Loopy: You can see the wires and stuff for some of the puppets, but it could just be Stylistic Suck. It could also be Nickelodeon pacing the production company for the short (all the shorts for the show were made in separate studios, save for Action League Now and the Henry and June shorts, which were made in-house), causing them to have less time to edit in order to get the finished short to Nickelodeon on time.
  • Deliberately invoked by the 1947 Tex Avery cartoon Lucky Ducky; during one chase scene, the two dimwit hunters and the duck they're chasing run past a "Technicolor Ends Here" sign, beyond which the characters and scenery lose all their color. One of the hunters gets run over by the other one right next to the sign as the chase resumes, leaving him half in monochrome and half in color.
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk
    • One episode revolves around rescuing the farm animals to save the vikings, which are enduring a blizzard. Said animals, yaks, chickens, and sheep, consist of fewer than thirty animals. Seriously, there are only three sheep, a handful of chickens, and twenty yaks would be a rough estimate, yet it is treated like the entire fate of the vikings and their dragons is on the line if these animals are not brought back. Thousands of people and dragons are expected to live on thirty or so animals and what little milk and eggs said animals can produce, or at least need them enough to bother going out into a freezing storm with no coats, risking freezing to death, to retrieve them.
    • The episode "In Dragons We Trust" has a similar problem. At one point, all the dragons are banished to a island. The vikings are supposed to have hundreds of them, but we see only the main kids' five dragons. The shots make it unlikely that they all would be all off screen, to the point of it being contrived if they are.
    • "In Dragons We Trust" has another problem. At one point, the antagonist of the episode throws a couple of items into the ocean. The ocean has ripples in it, but it's creepily motionless.
  • In the Mickey Mouse cartoon "The Duck Hunt" (1932), there are two scenes where the background is panning diagonally, and its really obvious that they just tilted the background—how, you ask? Because you can clearly see the bottom of the background in the bottom right corner of the screen!
  • In an episode of Muppet Babies spoofing Star Trek, Captain Kermit gives orders to activate the Warp Drive. The dialogue implies that the warp drive is warping everything else, but for some reason somebody forgot to warp the video.
  • The animation for The Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa was made on a homemade software program in the early 2000's by a tiny company... and it shows!
  • Redakai has a scene in episode 10 where Lokar supposedly shows off amazing dodging skill by dodging a series of shockwaves sent his way. However, a closer look shows that he is dodging into the blasts, rather than away from them.
  • A few times in Rocket Power in-universe:
    • The main characters make a movie with some of the most laughable special effects ever, an example of Stylistic Suck.
    • "That was just ketchup on the walls!" in reference to a halloween party.
  • Rollbots has had a few.
    • Anytime Spin runs the training course, at the end he throws four laser cuffs, but one of them disappears before hitting a target.
    • At several points in Prophecies and Guesstimates, once Spin's 11th-Hour Superpower activates, Spin is not glowing when he's supposed to be.
      • In the same episode, when Bunto confronts Spin, the blockade he's set up disappears after a few seconds.
    • In Vett, when Spin and Vett are fighting at Xendover Stadium, at one point Vett is knocked onto his back by a hit but flips up instantly, in a very broken-looking moment.
    • The Ajax Trax from Ajax make no sense whatsoever, with a vague, choppy sort of teleportation.
    • In Inferno, Macro's flamethrower flames seem very solid...
    • The crazed Zurasho who attacks Spin and Octo in #044 has the same problem in her blowtorch that Macro has with his flamethrower.
    • Botch's laser from Scorched seems very choppy.
  • The Simpsons parodies it in the episode 'Last Tap Dance in Springfield', when Lisa is watching short films of Vickie Valentine from the 1940s. Vick and her butler begin dancing, which supposedly "cures" her cat's illness. The cat reacts by rubbing her eyes, which are clearly off-camera hand props waving around in front of the cat's eyes. This is likely a reference to the bare-bones special effects of early-1900s film.
    • Another parody is an educational film in "Lisa the Iconoclast" showing the history of Jebediah Springfield has a phony buffalo moved by stagehands and a rail, an obvious stunt double for Troy Mclure riding a real buffalo in stock footage; and an obvious boom mike when Jebediah tells a young boy that "a noble sprit embiggens the smallest man".
    • That said, however, Cape Feare has a notable one in which Sideshow Bob gets trampled by a parade. The parade is pretty clearly drawn on another layer resulting in them going right in front of Bob, who is drawn on a different layer. This does however contribute to its hilarity.
  • In the South Park episode "Faith Hilling", when the cat leader is shown inside a cage, you can clearly see the background from the video inside the cage. But then again, this is South Park, so it's probably just Stylistic Suck.
    • A few episodes have parts of the characters remain onscreen after leaving the scene.
    • Parodied in "Spookyfish"; whenever Cartman and his alternate counterpart share the screen together, a line is seen dividing the screen in two and the background is uneven on both sides. This is a jab at the old film-splice effect of having one actor appearing as two people onscreen (where an obvious seam can easily be visible if the effect isn't properly done).
    • Also parodied with the San Diego commercial at the end of "Butterballs", where mayor Jerry Sanders is surrounded by a green blur in a parody of cheap greenscreen effects.
  • In Speed Racer: The Next Generation, the Conspicuous CG would be somewhat impressive in the 1980s, not so much for a show made in the 2000s-2010s. Combined with the obvious Flash animation, it's almost hilariously jarring when the CG races transition to the animated people and backgrounds.
    • Several portraits of other characters from the original series are also shown... drawn in the style of the original anime. It looks almost comically out of place when you see a character drawn in the artstyle of the show nearby them.
  • A running gag in Spongebob Squarepants. Any time something live-action appears on screen, it's either done with unconvincing puppets or badly green-screened.
  • The infamous crash scene from the Thomas the Tank Engine episode "The Flying Kipper". Pay very close attention during the scene when they show Henry crashing into the freight train head-first.
    • The show seems to have some problems with putting on the face models at times, as scenes occasionally have them slipping off or using the wrong emotion (eg. scenes of an engine narrated as being worried or cross while having a cheerful face on). This is more prominent in early seasons, where budgets limited the number of models more.
  • Transformers Prime, being made close to a decade after the end of Beast Wars, fares a lot better, but it still has some very clear times when the animators screwed up. One of the better examples can be found in Darkness Rising: Part 1, in which the Autobot logo on the floor of the Autobot base is the same one used in the live action movies. However, unlike most examples, this was fixed for future airings. Bumblebee's eyes and Arcee's pink accents change constantly throughout the series, as well.
    • One Shall Rise Part 2 has Miko being dragged away from the base with very jerky animation and poor lighting.
    • The creepiest goof comes from the S2 episode Orion Pax, Part 2: Deformed Ratchet. The animators apparently forgot to turn on a couple animation layers, resulting in the Autobots missing random parts of their bodies. Among others, Bumblebee lacks his chest-headlights, Arcee is bare-chested note , and Ratchet is missing his face, but his teeth and eyes are still floating there. It's a split second thing... thankfully!
  • Voltron: The Third Dimension has pretty lame CG already, but it actually has a disturbingly glaring flaw kept in the Stock Footage! When the Lions' control sticks slide into place, you can actually see them clip through the pilot's knees, and they keep this every time the sequence is shown!
  • Like the CG in Winx Club isn't mostly mediocre and overused already, sometimes it even shows bad technical failures. Examples taken from the second season follow.
    • In one of the earlier episodes, we see a shot of Sky and Brandon riding their motos to Alfea, and the trees on the sides of the road disappear suddenly, before "going down" the horizon.
    • When some of the characters go to Sky's home planet to save Diaspro, there's a shot of their ship practically going through two asteroids from one animation frame to the next.
    • When the fairies go to Cloudtower, and the Trix take temporary control of the school (which is basically a living castle), the entire building shakes and even rotates slightly. When doing this, it clips through the rock of the mountain it's built on.
    • In the last episode of the season, there's a scene with rocks falling in water, rendered in an atrocious way.
  • While the CG in Fleabag Monkeyface is already subpar, a special mention has to go to the Smugley twins, where you can easily tell that they used the same model for the girl due to the fact that there's a noticeable line where the long hair was attached to the other model.


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