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A special effect intended to show live-action, flesh-and-blood performers interacting with animated characters within the context of a work of fiction. If the story is a comedy, and it usually is, the characters tend to be Genre Savvy and recognize each other as belonging to either category. This is one of the oldest special effects in Hollywood (the 1914 animated film, Gertie the Dinosaur, actually had creator Winsor McCay interacting with animated Gertie in real time on a vaudeville stage), and has been done several times with varying degrees of realism, though it was probably perfected by the 1988 Disney / Amblin film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
A sub-category of this trope is any story where cartoon characters are real and exist independently from "real" human beings (which may or may not be set in Toon Town). Since this is such a visual idea, it's not very common in forms of media that lack a visual aspect, although the odd duck does exist.
Another subtrope is to have human characters be live-acted and other animals be animated.
- While most Orangina commercials feature all CGI characters, though they have some that include live-action humans, like this one.
- Those e-surance commercials in which famed pink-haired superspy and nerd heartthrob Erin Surance "draws" various customers to their auto insurance.
- Many cereal mascots frequently hang out with live-action kids.
- Several commercials for Cartoon Network's old Cartoon Cartoons show have the characters that originated from the block interacting with the real world, such as this intro, entitled "[Cartoon Cartoons: Always On The Run]".
- The American Express extended spots featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Superman.
- This NSPCC advert uses this trope to dramatic (and very disturbing) effect.
- This commercial for Lotte Gum, featuring Haruhi Suzumiya.
- The Honda commercials featuring Mr. Opportunity do this often
- That car commercial featuring The Simpsons.
- That Burger King one show the opposite.
- Homer and Bart Simpson receive this treatment in this [1990 Fall promo for Fox]
- A French Car Commercial
- It's not so much a commercial, but a 1991 PSA encouraging children to read starring Fievel Mousekewitz was aired after a showing of ET the Extraterrestrial. Fievel suddenly appears in the live-action home of a family that just finished watching the aforementioned movie and tells them all about how great reading is, while various celebrities hi-jack the family's TV, all the while the family acting like it's an Unusually Uninteresting Sight. The animation was cheaply lifted straight out of An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, and what Fievel is saying doesn't even match up with his mouth movements.
- Also done (arguably much better) in a commercial for Fievel Goes West on VHS. This time they bothered to use original animation.
- The Team Rocket trio's Meowth did this in a Japanese commercial for Pokemon Yellow. See it here.
- Many of the commercials for Jak and Daxter as well as the racing game it later spawned, Jak X: Combat racing, had the titular characters interacting with live action people.
- Michigan J. Frog appeared in commercials for the WB block staring in 1995 and closing in 2006.
- The Transformers did this several times in the later toy commercials and this shoe commercial.
- Parodied in this 1998 Sprite Commercial (directed by spike jonze), where a mascot pops off the label of the bottle of Sun Fizz as a mom served it to her two Kids.
- The MetLife insurance company has a contract that allows them to use the characters from Peanuts for this advertising, allowing them to run commercials like Lucy and Charlie Brown trying to argue with a MetLife actuary to sell insurance for five cents.
- Betty Boop appeared in commercials for Hypnose alongside Daria Werbowy.
- The Nesquik Bunny has a commercials with peoples in the real world.
- In 2002, Honey Bear and chocolate syrup fighting with the eggo waffles.
- Chuck E. cheese has a commercials with the people's in real world.
- There was a series of pretty cure commercials for the Japanese restaurant "Joyful"
Where the characters interact with diners eating there.
- Some Japanese commercials for shoujo anime such as Ojamajo Doremi and Shugo Chara! have people dressed like the characters talking to the animated characters.
- Phineas and Ferb made a Special guest appearance in a commercials or the Los Angeles marathon.
Anime and Manga
- The opening of Excel Saga briefly features Excel, Hyatt, Nabeshin, and a few other characters running through a real-world environment. However, they do not interact with any live-action performers.
- Twilight of the Cockroaches is a rare Japanese example of the first type of Roger Rabbit Effect. A live action character lives in an apartment with a society of anime roaches.
- The wall calendars for Yotsuba&! feature Yotsuba drawn into color photographs, sometimes interacting with real people.
- "Mom" in Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt
- A storyline from Astro City featured an animated lion character, Loony Leo coming to life and discovering the ups and downs of Hollywood stardom.
- Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew, inhabitants of the DC Universe's Earth-C, a World of Funny Animals. Occasionally, they lend a hand to characters such as Superman and the Teen Titans.
- Just to clear things up, he's not that Captain Carrot.
- Dorothy, a Photo Comic adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, mixes photos of human models with illustrated creatures and environments for the Oz scenes.
- Howard the Duck
- The Warren Strong episodes of Tom Strong.
- A section of the second volume of the comic book Promethea by Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III is done with photographs of the action rather than drawings.
- An issue of a Superman comic had Mr Mxyzptlk step out of the comic as it was being drawn and discuss the storyline with the staff of DC Comics. The sequence was done with photographs of the actual staff in their actual office, with a still-toony Mxyzptlk composited in.
- Issue #8 of Count Duckula (Marvel, based on the Cosgrove-Hall TV cartoon) has Duckula conversing with a live Geraldo Rivera on the cover. The Geraldo in the body of the story is drawn.
- The Trope Namer, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
- Ralph Bakshi's Heavy Traffic, Coonskin and Cool World. The latter gave this trope its alternate title, Noids and Doodles.
- Monkeybone, which was called a ripoff of Cool World by Film Brain, used this concept with stop-motion animation.
- Looney Tunes Back in Action and Space Jam
- Before that, Bugs Bunny teamed with Michael Jordan for a series of Nike commercials.
- Even earlier the Looney Tunes appeared in a Doctor Pepper commercial.
- Decades earlier, Bugs had cameos in the live-action films Two Guys from Texas and My Dream Is Yours.
- And earlier still, Porky and Daffy jump of their animation paper and interact with humans in You Oughta Be In Pictures.
- The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle did this, with the title characters remaining animated and nearly everyone else portrayed by live actors.
- Lampshaded in the trailer, where the announcer brags about the film being "a groundbreaking blend of animation and live action." One of the characters says, "isn't that just like that Roger Rabbit movie?" To which Fearless Leader angrily replies, "NO! This is TOTALLY DIFFERENT!"
- Rock-a-Doodle, the only Don Bluth film to actually feature live actors.
- Lola Rennt belongs in the second category, wherein the Art Shift goes unexplained. Three times in the film, the actress runs down the stairs from her apartment to the street below and inexplicably transforms into an animated character for a few seconds. Earlier in the film, she shares the screen with a cartoon man, a boy, and his dog.
- As for why, it was a pretty low budget movie. Animating that sequence saved them the cost of a dog handler and a stuntwoman.
- Disney used this for decades, starting with the "Alice" series, which started in 1923, and kept right on going through The Reluctant Dragon, So Dear To My Heart, the eternally un-re-released Song of the South, Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Pete's Dragon. They're still using it today.
- There's also The Three Caballeros, Walt Disney's "celebration" of Latin American culture featuring Donald Duck (American duck) teaming up with José Carioca (Brazilian parrot) and Panchito Pistoles (Mexican rooster). At one point, Donald and José do a little dance number with live-action entertainer Aurora Miranda.
- Although the animated segments in Fantasia are kept separate from the live-action intros, there is one scene in which Mickey Mouse runs up to the podium to shake Leopold Stokowski's hand. This is carried over in Fantasia 2000, where Mickey then goes over to talk to James Levine.
- In the original Fantasia it wasn't possible to combine animation with live action in color for technical reasons (three-strip Technicolor cameras couldn't be used for animation, so Disney came up with the "sequential exposure" system using conventional cameras), which is why Mickey only appears in silhouette. Of course, in Fantasia 2000 he then runs into the light.
- Enchanted features the latter, with an Animated Disney Princess ending up in live action New York as a flesh and blood person.
- In Osmosis Jones, cells and germs are animated while the people in which they live are played by live-action actors.
- The obscure film E.P.I.C. : Days Of Dinosaurs, the characters, who were animated, were placed in videos or pictures of real or realistically painted environments to a somewhat bizarre but charming effect.
- Fred Willard and an ensemble of live-action extras share the screen with CGI animated robots on WALL-E. Although in this case, they are only seen in footage of the past and thus never interact with the current-day cast.
- Word of God says the two styles are indicative of the (d)evolution undergone by humanity in the intervening centuries.
- The climax of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, as a continuation from the series, establishes that the cartoon characters are simply living in an otherwise live-action world when they get to the surface. The movie introduces the point that when the characters are dried up on land, they die and become live-action, inanimate sea objects- enough moisture will bring them back to their cartoony life.
- Detective Whiskers in The Last Action Hero is a cartoon cat in a detective outfit, but nobody but Danny sees anything weird about him.
Jack Slater: He was supposed to be back. He was only suspended for a month. Now shut up!
- The Italian Affectionate Parody Allegro Non Troppo features more interaction with the cartoon characters, who periodically disrupt the live-action.
- Anchors Aweigh features a dance number with Gene Kelly and Jerry.
- Family Guy had a parody of this, with Stewie Griffin replicating the scene short in its entirety, standing in for Jerry with Gene Kelly after an airplane rental service claimed to accept payment in the form of "cash, check, or a jaunty tune."
- Both Tom and Jerry appeared with Esther Williams in a Dream Sequence from Dangerous When Wet.
- Back to Kelly again; his anthology film Invitation To The Dance features a segment based on Sinbad the Sailor set in an animated Middle Eastern fantasy world.
- Gene Kelly would take part in this trope again in the 1967 musical film "Jack and the Beanstalk".
- The Mask presents an interesting case. The titular artifact transforms anybody who wears it into a bizarre living cartoon until daybreak, but although they convincingly defy reality in the way you'd expect from a Tex Avery cartoon, they're still portrayed by live-action performers. Otis the dog (from the sequel, Son of the Mask) becomes all-CGI if he wears the magical mask, but Milo in the original only had a CGI head over the real dog's body.
- In the film version of The Phantom Tollbooth, Milo becomes a cartoon after crossing the tollbooth. This leads to an amusing sequence in which he goes back and forth in disbelief until the tollbooth's voice tells him to Get On With It Already.
- The movie of James and the Giant Peach uses stop-motion for the scenes in the peach, with James turning into a puppet version of himself upon entering it, due to the effect of the crocodile tongues. Within these scenes there is a Dream Sequence done in cut-out animation.
- Son of the Pink Panther opens with one of these, and several of the other films in the series end with one.
- Some may agree that The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and The Tigger Movie would apply here. Both of them open in Christopher Robin's bedroom, and tour the young boy's room, looking over all the toys and stuffed animals, before approaching the book, while the narrator...er...Narrates.
- The Don Knotts vehicle The Incredible Mr. Limpet has a bit of this.
- The 1974 Swedish film Dunderklumpen! has a live-action setting with mostly animated characters. Camilla, Jens and their father are practically the only characters in the movie played by real-life actors.
- The main character of the short film Badly Drawn Roy is a cartoon while everyone else is live-action, including his parents. In-universe, this occurrence is a genetic improbability similar to white parents giving birth to a black baby and while remarkable, isn't considered unbelievable.
- The theatrical movie of Phineas and Ferb has been planned as this, although as of this posting it's still in the very early development stages.
- The opening of the "Best of Disney-50 Years of Magic" documentary shows Michael Eisner interacting with Mickey Mouse. Roger Rabbit and a few others also appear.
- The Smurfs is about smurfs ending up in the live-action human world. Also, Gargamel and Azrael are live-acted, and sequel The Smurfs 2.
- In The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas, cavemen are live-acted while dinos and other animals are animated.
- In Nine to Five, cartoon forest animals appear in Violet's fantasy vision of doing in Mr. Hart (where she is dressed like Snow White).
- Happy Feet has animated animals and live-action humans.
- Five Hundred Days of Summer has a scene with animated birds.
- Who Censored Roger Rabbit? (Literature) by Gary K. Wolf and the sequels, not-quite-sequels, spiritual successors, and short stories it spawned, (not to mention a much more famous film adaptation) featuring an alternate 1947 Hollywood where the animated stars are just as real as the live-action film stars. Sadly out of print, these books are hard to get a hold of, but one of the short stories is available for free at Mr. Wolf's website
- Interestingly, unlike the movie, the book presents the Toons as comic-strip characters (talking via speech balloons, for instance) rather than animated cartoons. If memory serves, one scene has Eddie attempting to reattach Roger's nose first with tape and then glue.
- The Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel The Crooked World implies this -- the Planetville du jour is inhabited by cartoon characters. However, none of the protagonists seem to notice that the people they're interacting with are strangely coloured, although they do notice they're generally odd-looking and don't seem to work according to the normal laws of reality, biology, and so on, and the (ridiculous-looking) cover features a cartoon of the Doctor, so it's not clear exactly what is going on.
- In Simon R. Green's Shadows Fall, cartoon creatures are among the many inhabitants of the titular town of fictional and legendary beings. When the town is invaded by outsiders, some find out just how dangerous it is to fight semi-mutable creatures that always bounce back when injured...
- Walking with Dinosaurs has CGI (or sometimes puppet) dinosaurs on live-action backgrounds, complete with footprints, splashes in water, kicking up dust, and even urinating.
- Also, sometimes live-acted animals interact with animated ones, like animated Australopithecus watching live-acted vultures.
- Back in 1968, Hanna-Barbera released a short-lived series called The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which featured live-action actors as Huck, Tom Sawyer, and Becky Thatcher, being pursued through various cartoon milieux by an animated Injun Joe.
- For the live action intro, Injun Joe was played by Ted Cassidy (a.k.a. Lurch from The Addams Family).
- The series occasionally attempted some ambitious effects, such as having the human characters dance around their animated partners, first in front then behind.
- For the live action intro, Injun Joe was played by Ted Cassidy (a.k.a. Lurch from The Addams Family).
- Out of Jimmys Head
- Lizzie McGuire used a cartoon of the titular character to represent her thoughts.
- The Cold Open for one episode of The Drew Carey Show had Daffy Duck trying to apply for a job at Winfred Lauder.
- Similarly, a brief gag on Night Court features Wile E. Coyote as a defendant.
- The Disneyland anthology show often had Walt Disney interacting with his cartoon creations.
- Greg the Bunny had a sentient puppet species a la Avenue Q.
- A Hanna-Barbera TV special based on Jack and the Beanstalk has a live-action Jack and Gene Kelly (again) going up the beanstalk into an animated world.
- Vague example: The BBC version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe had animated characters coexisting with live action, but there was no distinction intended - the animation effect was apparently due to Japanese influence on the production, leading to odd scenes like live-action characters riding an animated dragon.
- The dragon was animated sometimes, and a practical effect in other shots. It's a bit jarring.
- A similar example somewhere between television and movie, is the original Superman Serials in which characters would become animated when flying, and return to live actors once on the ground.
- The Dancing Baby in Ally McBeal.
- If we're including Greg the Bunny and Avenue Q, then mention must be made of The Muppets. Both in their own show and everyone else's.
- On one episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, as Mrs. Premise and Mrs. Conclusion question how to put down dead budgies, one of Terry Gilliam's cut-out animations from the previous link strolls by (it's really a blow-up on a large piece of board being carried around). The two old ladies greet it with a hearty "Good morning, Mrs. Cut-Out!"
- This was only one of many invocations, as the animations were often required to link together the live action sketches.
- Pumuckl: The kobold protagonist of a German children's TV series. Everything else is live action; Pumuckl is animated.
- Done in an episode of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. Ned gets occassional help from The Fairly Odd Parents, justified since it's an episode about daydreams, they're just hallucinations.
- Beavis and Butthead once appeared "live" at the MTV Music Awards via this technique.
- Mickey Mouse appeared in The Muppets at Walt Disney World and Here Come the Muppets.
- The Nickelodoen Kids Choice Awards is the first Nickelodoen specials, In 1991, Bart Simpson is the first animated character to accept an award when he represented for Favorite TV Show, The Simpsons.)
In 1997, Rugrats characters appeared in kids choice awards, Fetauring Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, and Angelica. In 1998, Tommy, Chuckie, and Angelica appeared in kids choice awards to promote new Nickelodeon Movies' The Rugrats Movie. In 1999, The Rugrats characters appeared in kids choice awards featuring Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Susie, Angelica, and Baby Dil are winning The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats.
- The Argentinian soap Mi familia es un dibujo tells the misadventures of a family in which a pregnant woman has cartoon cravings in the last months of her pregnancy and then gives birth to a readheaded, freckled and hyperactive cartoon boy (!). It even spawned three movies! More information in the other wiki (in Spanish).
- Sesame Street and it's spinoff The Muppet Show, where puppets interact with humans.
- A music video for The Apples in Stereo song "Signal in the Sky (Let's Go!)" features the band members playing their song in a cardboard recreation of the city of Townsville while The Powerpuff Girls fly around in the background beating up a guy dressed as the orange fish monster with the many eyes. You know the one.
- The video for "Opposites Attract" famously has Paula Abdul dueting with MC Skat Kat, a cartoon cat.
- Continued in the video for MC Skat Kat's single "Scat Strut".
- The video for "Breathless" by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds has cartoon foxes, rabbits, and other animals running around.
- The video for Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" has Gabriel next to stop-motion characters.
- Blending was actually made more believable by stop-motion animating Peter Gabriel himself as well.
- The video got A-ha's "Take On Me" featured a pencil-sketch character "drawing" a live-action woman into his life.
- Gorillaz occasionally interact with live-action performers; during a concert, their computerised selves performed alongside Madonna. Within the canon, it varies as to whether they know they're cartoon characters; 2D once said he's pleased to be a cartoon character because "Paternity suits don't stick 'cos I don't have any DNA." (Apparently they do stick when the mother is another cartoon character, as shown by the existence of 2D's numerous illegitimate children.) Murdoc also shrugged off a potential murder charge after the El Manana The Plan in which he used the crashing windmill to kill off a stalker of his, on the grounds that "I don't even have fingerprints."
- Murdoc claims Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, the actual band creators, are their producer and photographer/video producer, respectively (although, as he further stated, "it's all bull because Damon mostly sits around playing his banjo or looking up 'ethnic instruments' on Google, and Jamie's mainly designing his beard"). Then there's this, to prove the point visually. There was also the interview with Franz Ferdinand that had a "photoshoot" with both band's members.
- Hatsune Miku did this during her during her "live-action" concert in Los Angeles. Each time a member of her band was introduced, she would turn to them, smile, and wave. In fact, the entire concert was an example of this. A virtual diva in the real world? Sweet!
- The French pianist Richard Clayderman has a clip, "Smiling Joey", where for some reason he's at his piano in a boat floating down a river while various animated woodland critters are playing the parts of the orchestra.
- Disney's Princess Kesha
- Avenue Q, in the tradition of Sesame Street, combines puppets with live actors on stage. This is brought to its logical conclusion when, for Broadway Cares, the cast of Avenue Q teamed up with the revival cast of Fiddler on the Roof to sing a song about the Puppets and the Humans unable to get along on "Avenue Jew."
- As Gertie the Dinosaur was originally a vaudiville act with a man performing live on stage with a cartoon character, it fits here.
McCay would stand on stage in front of a projection screen, dressed in a tuxedo and wielding a whip. He would call Gertie, who appeared from behind some rocks. He then instructed her to perform various tricks, similar to a circus act. He would appear to toss a prop apple to her — McCay palmed the apple while Gertie caught an animated copy of it...
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl, insofar as Solid Snake can be considered a normal human being. Or, for that matter, Link, Samus, and any other "normal" human characters.
- And the coexistence of Link and Toon Link.
- Sort of an odd case. In Melee, one of the Event Matches pits you against what the game calls the "realistic" characters, presumably contrasted with the "cartoony" characters. But the supposedly realistic characters include the anthropomorphic animal Fox. Go figure.
- To be fair, Fox & friends are space aliens who just happen to look like a bunch of Funny Animal cartoon characters.
- And the Final Destination stage's changing background is meant to show the characters actually traveling from the video game world to the real world.
- In the original Super Smash Bros the plot was that the characters are toys belonging to the kid whose hand is Master Hand, and after bringing them to life (magically I guess?), the toys are fighting for their independence from their owner. So beyond the videogame crossovers and cartoon animals combined with realistic people, there is also the juxtaposition of the toy world and the real world, as manifested in Master Hand (and in Melee, Crazy Hand).
- Go! Go! Hypergrind!
- Toonstruck, wherein the real world animator Drew Blanc (played by Christopher Lloyd) gets sucked into the toon world.
- Similarly, Comix Zone for the Sega Genesis.
- Consider the mere existence of a Pirates of the Caribbean world in Kingdom Hearts II. It is a bit jarring, because it's done in a more realistic, grittier style than the anime/cartoon styles of the rest of the game. it's even Lampshaded. The protagonists are baffled upon landing on Port Royal and immediately comment that the world looks different. The same game also included a world inspired by Tron, though the only live-action-style characters in that world were Tron himself and Sark.
- One TV special with Backyard Sports characters had Chuck Downfield (animated) talking with live-action NFL stars.
- Cosmic Osmo has a framed photo of himself with Jethro from The Beverly Hillbillies.
- Nicktoons MLB features both Nickelodeon characters and real MLB players.
- Some of the G-mod videos that have realistic characters interacting with cartoonish characters (i.e. Left 4 Dead characters interacting with Team Fortress 2 characters) could count as this.
- Sam Sprinkles, from Zebra Girl, comes from an alternate dimension inhabited by cartoon animals (literally; they are the cartoons of the main ZG universe). In the process of saving his dimension, he ends up trapped in Sandra's.
- Love Me Nice takes place in a Who Framed Roger Rabbit?-like world where toons are a whole different species with Rule of Funny bred into the blood (it's apparently regarded as the toon equivalent of nigga behavior, judging by an argument Mac and Claire have on the subject), and cartoons are live productions made with toon actors. There's even a "Toon Quarter" (outside which items like bottomless handbags are contraband), but it's implied to be more like a toon ghetto.
- The Platypus Comix story "True Believers" portrays such comic characters as Spider-Man as actual people, and such editors as Joe Quesadilla as both their bosses and their gods (any possible comic-world occurrence they write down instantly happens to the characters).
- The Gaming Pixie does this when she travels inside the games she reviews.
- El Origen del Miedo [How Fear Came] is a school video based on one of Rudyard Kipling's Second Jungle Book stories, in which some of the animal characters are played by kids in costumes while others are CGI. Obviously the animation is a bit crude, but you have to give them credit for ambition.
- Animated Analysis on Mr. Coat and Friends consists of a human reviewer, and a sentient drawing of a face who floats around.
- AniMae from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe is a "living anime" Action Girl superhero who possesses all the usual Magic Girl / Action Girl abilities, with the added benefit of being really hard to injure permanently because she's a cartoon.
- Law-Abiding Engineer and The Demo Knight are the trailers for Law Abiding Citizen and The Dark Knight, but with the Team Fortress 2 characters superimposed into them.
- Winsor McCay's animated short, Gertie the Dinosaur, despite being one of the oldest animated films, successfully used this trope in live performances. McCay set up a projector on a vaudeville stage and interacted with the animated Gertie, commanding her to do tricks, tossing her an
applepumpkin (he palmed the real one while she caught an animated one), and ending the show by climbing into her mouth and being carried away. All this in 1914, making the trope Older Than Radio. Sheesh!
- The Looney Tunes cartoon You Ought to Be In Pictures.
- Bob Clampett's Eatin' on the Cuff ends with a live-action narrator getting his pants eaten by a cartoon moth.
- Zig-zag: The 1941 cartoon Porky's Pooch used live photographs as backgrounds.
- Done in Behind the Scenes segments of the original Woody Woodpecker Show. Due to the low budget animation however, it's botched pretty badly to say the least.
- Even earlier than the original Woody Woodpecker show, Walter Lantz briefly tried this out with an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short, and used this even earlier in his Silent Age Dinky Doodle shorts.
- The Disney series Bonkers is similar to Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, treating cartoon characters as actors. The titular bobcat is a washed-up cartoon star working as a cop in the "real world". If you're wondering how they pulled that off in pure animation, "Real" things and people were painted in a shade darker than "Toon" people and objects, as well as having a much more subdued range of motion and especially reaction. Humans were also drawn with five fingers, which becomes a plot point in one episode.
- The characters seemed to be aware that different physics applied to 'toon characters, and even referred to them like an ethnic minority.
- Disney's Alice Comedies.
- Max and Dave Fleischer's Out of the Inkwell shorts. This and the Alice Comedies are especially notable for being one of the first attempts at playing around with animation / live action blending.
- Briefly in the opening of Jackie Chan Adventures.
- Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi features an episode in which the live-action J-Pop stars sit on a couch with their animated manager, while the animated versions of the girls wonder who those two women are and who would want to watch them.
- One time, the Nega Chin beat up Patton Oswalt, although the interaction between them comes off as looking pretty fake due to the cartoon's comparatively stiff animation.
- A later episode has the characters appearing at Scott Hamilton's house. It's a wee bit more convincing there.
- In addition, Cosmo and Wanda made a special guest cameo in a fantasy sequence on Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.
- The series finale Grow Up, Timmy Turner is live-action, but the fairies are animated.
- Infrequently done for comic effect on SpongeBob SquarePants when the characters go on land. In one episode, they were all portrayed as crude puppets. In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, part of the climax even involves Spongebob and Patrick receiving help from an Adam Westing David Hasselhoff.
- During the first year of Kids WB, the stars of the sitcoms on The WB appeared in promotional spots and bumpers depicting them hanging out at the animated version of the Warner Bros. studio lot (as seen on Animaniacs).
- Many of Tex Avery's cartoons used live action:
- "TV of Tomorrow" has live action for all the televised images.
- Who Killed Who starts with an onscreen presenter introducing a murder mystery, and in the end the murderer is unmasked and revealed to be the very same presenter.
- "Señor Droopy" ends with Droopy sitting on the lap of '50s actress Lina Romay.
- In "Three Little Pups", the dog-catcher swears he'll "go into television" if his final scheme to catch the dogs doesn't work. It doesn't, and as the cartoon ends he shows up in the (live-action) western the dogs are watching.
- The Peanuts special It's the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie Brown has Snoopy's brother Spike becoming infatuated with the live-action title character (played by Charles Schulz's daughter, Jill).
- Phineas and Ferb made a special guest appearance in this commercial for the Los Angeles Marathon.
- Then there was the Disney Channel's music video of "It's On" from Camp Rock 2, in which the Phineas and Ferb characters are depicted dancing with the network's live-action stars.
- The spin-off Take Two with Phineas and Ferb has the title characters hosting a talk show where they interview real world celebrities.
- The ill-received and swiftly-cancelled Out of Jimmy's Head.
- Homer³, one of the Three Shorts of Treehouse Of Horror VI in The Simpsons, ends with 3D Homer being transported into the real world (if you can call Los Angeles real). "Mmm... erotic cakes!"
- If you pay attention to the people around him, they seem very well aware that the strange, yellow man walking down the sidewalk isn't normal. None of them seem to do anything more than stare, however.
- In March of 1959 Cambria Productions came up with the show Clutch Cargo, which used the then cutting edge idea of combining animated characters with live-action mouths superimposed onto their faces, called "Syncro-Vox", this show had the distinction of horrifying its target audience and inducing more childhood nightmares than H. R. Giger could ever dream of. Cambria struck again a year later with Scott McCloud: Space Angel and also prepared a pilot based on the comic strip Moon Mullins (which did not get optioned as a series). Both used the Synchro-Vox technique.
- South Park had a two-parter featuring giant, real-life guinea pigs "rampaging" through town.
- In a truly bizarre example of this trope, in the late 40's, when Columbia Pictures was making live action Superman serials, in order to save money on the flight effect, they actually had Superman turn into a cartoon version of himself when he flew!
- NBC's preview of the Atom Ant and Secret Squirrel shows in 1965 had the titular characters conversing with their creators, Bill Hanna and Joseph Barbera.
- CBS's ill-fated attempt to mimic Disney's Wonderful World Of Color was 1956's CBS Cartoon Theater in which Dick Van Dyke hosted and interacted with Terrytoons characters (who appeared on a TV set).
- On the 100th episode of Arthur, the segment inbetween the two parts has the animated characters being interviewed by a live Larry King.