Disney may have "invented" it, but here are ten examples where live action footage blended with animation to become a cinematic statement all its own.
Let's get one thing straight right up front: we clearly recognize, going into this category, that almost every movie made in 2014 could be considered for this list. Thanks to a little something called CGI and its overuse by modern moviemakers, almost every film featured at your local Cineplex contains some animated element. That beautiful rendering of your favorite city or countryside? Digitally tweaked. That stunning car chase or impossible stuntwork? Aided by computer-generated vehicles and characters.
Of course, your favorite superhero and his equally engaging villains are rendered with the help of technology. Even basic stuff, like support wires, make-up mistakes, and posthumous performances are altered, thanks to those post-Jurassic Park technical breakthroughs. So we aren't going to address this approach. If we did, we'd have to parse through hundreds of movies and make mention of each instance where a laptop or motherboard made a difference.
Instead, we will concentrate on those "old school" examples of live action merging with cartoons. In some cases, the real world is a mere bookend for the pen and ink intrigue presented inbetween. In other cases, both the real and the rotoscoped are combined in completely creative and clever ways. There are some obvious examples that everyone points to (so do we), but we've also uncovered some forgotten films that tried to use the concept for equally idealized reasons.
The result is our 10 Best Films Combining Live Action with Animation. Again, we are allowing for those illustrations where both approaches are separate. For the most part, integration is the endgame, wherein with depressed private dicks interact with cartoon rabbits, and tiny animated men attempt sex with their live action sweethearts.