While I adore The Amazing World Of Gumball, the show lacks a unifying style. Mixed-media is an excellent tool but it runs the risk of looking messy. TV is overrun with “random” kid’s cartoons. So I’ve compiled a list of animated shorts that have integrated mixed-media while maintaining a readable art style.
The different elements in Le Dauphin Dauphin complement rather than clash with each other. The environments contain CG and practical elements while the characters and environmental effects are hand drawn. Additionally there aren’t too many weird elements. There’s a prince who has been turned into a dolphin and that’s all. By limiting the scope and narrowing the focus, the audience can really appreciate the mixed-media.
While I found the plot of The Seven Red Hoods to be lacking, I think it has the cleanest use of mixed-media. It features practical sets with hand drawn characters in a grounded setting. This is the sort of style I’d like to see for an animated True Detective show.
Super-Macho Fighter uses the opposite approach to the other videos in that the characters are stop-motion puppets and the environments are rendered as 2D drawings. Jorge R. Gutierrez’ unique art style unifies the disparate elements into a cohesive vision. Gutierrez has experimented in 2D, 3D, and even Virtual Reality, so we may see some more mixed-media projects from him in the future.
Amaro and Walden’s Joyride mixes live-action footage with 2D animation. The main appeal is the two mischievous characters. I’d like to see a full Adult Swim series starring Amaro and Walden.
Todor & Petru uses live action actors animated in stop-motion with 2D visual effects. The end result is a visceral world that I couldn’t stop re-watching.
The Missing Scarf, narrated by George Takei, is about a cute little squirrel helping his friends with their emotional problems. This short proves that creators don’t need to show a lot on screen to have a huge emotional impact.