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Synchro-Vox is an extreme form of Limited Animation: A mostly obsolete technique in which footage of the actor's mouth is superimposed upon an otherwise non-moving image. See the other Wiki. Can look pretty unnatural. Used only for comedic purposes in anything newer than the 1960s.

Just as primitive Rotoscoping has given way to Motion Capture, the great-great-grandson of this technique can be found in the advanced facial performance capture techniques used in Avatar and LA Noire.

Examples of Synchro Vox include:

Film - Animation

Film - Live-Action

  • Young Butch is watching Clutch Cargo in the flashback scene in Pulp Fiction.
  • Used in Batman to mask the lips of the recent victims of Joker's toxin in order to "advertise" his Brand X. Which, in turn, was the Joker toxin that he was going to release at the Bicentennial celebration of Gotham City's foundation.


  • In Timbuk3's video for "The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades" this is used.

Television - Live-Action TV

  • Conan O'Brien has used it quite a bit.
  • Used to simultaneously terrifying and heartrending effect in Abed's student film in Community.
  • Rory Bremner used this with photographs of politicians he was imitating back in the late 1990s.
  • The intro to the 1988-89 version of The Newlywed Game used this on early 20th-century wedding photos, the lips moving in synch to "The Book of Love" by The Monotones.
  • Used in an episode of Good Luck Charlie when the family makes a short, comedic "interview" with the titular child - who can barely speak - using a deliberate English accent.

Television - Animated Shows

  • A couple of TV series done in the late 1950s and early 1960s: Clutch Cargo and Space Angel
  • Used in the opening of SpongeBob SquarePants with "Painty the Pirate", who starts the theme song.
    • Also used in one episode, where Spongebob was discussing actors in the Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy movie.
  • In the 1992 Looney Tunes short "Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers", clone!Daffy has this for a brief moment.
  • This technique has been used in Courage the Cowardly Dog, though unlike some of the other examples here "comedic" isn't what they were going for.
  • In The Simpsons episode "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Marge" Marge is declared insane. On the "Krusty the Clown Show" Krusty does Conan O'Brien's bit, asking an image of Marge who her favorite Native American warrior is. "Crazy Horse." Krusty realizes the bit is getting old and calls for the Mad Marge dancers[1].
  • One episode of Family Guy used this as part of Brian's mushroom-induced hallucination.

Web Original

  1. cf. the "Judge Ito dancers" on The Tonight Show during the OJ Simpson trial
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