Animated TV commercials that use camera shake

What are some animated TV commercials that use the camera shake effect for impact? what are some examples?

1 Like

When TV animation first appeared in the 1950s and early 1960s, budgets were low, so TV animation companies such as Terrytoons, Hanna-Barbara and Jay Ward Studios used what came to be known as “limited animation”. The shortcuts they took included lots of talking heads - static shots of characters’ heads where only the mouths moved (with the occasional eye blink) and, famously, camera shake. Having a character crash into a tree or fall off a cliff was expensive to animate, so instead they would show the character zip away out of shot, put in a “crash” sound effect along with a camera shake and then pan across to show the character sitting under the tree rubbing their head (with stars!) The crash had happened off-screen. If you’re looking for that effect in a TV commercial, try searching YouTube for 1950s and 60s commercials by Jay Ward Studios (Captain Crunch, Cheerios, Trix) or Hanna-Barbera (Raisin Bran, Cocoa Krispies) etc. You might find what you’re looking for!

I’m British but in the 1990s in London I was involved in making commercials for Count Chocula, Frankenberry, Trix, Cookie Crisp and all those sugary American cereals (which you couldn’t get over here!) It was great fun. I was in the digital ink and paint department. I used to know a lot of animation history!


For anyone interested in early American TV animation, I recommend a book called The Moose That Roared: The Story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a Flying Squirrel, and a Talking Moose by Keith Scott, it’s excellent and very funny.


Interesting, but the camera shake occurred in animated short films in the 1940s, it’s a immensely common effect in animation, and if you’re talking about characters crashing off-screen and the camera shake when the character, it’s a common trope and still used to this day, TV Tropes calls this ‘‘Off-screen Crash’’.


Yes, camera shake has been used since forever to emphasise a violent crash, on-screen or off. It would be interesting to track down where it was first used but I can’t find anything online right now.


Camera shake is used for non-violent crashes, things hitting the ground, explosions, etc. the earliest use of the camera shake in animation is in the 1940s, but I don’t know where the effect was first used.


I could have sworn that Loony Toons were doing that in the 1930s.


It’s spelled ‘‘Looney Tunes’’ if you have a case of the Mandela Effect, the Looney Tunes cartoons probably did use the camera shake effect in the 1930s, but I can’t find any other cartoon in the 1930s that uses the camera shake effect.

1 Like

Nah, I just forgot the correct spelling.

1 Like

It’s okay.