Revisiting A Pre-“Roger Rabbit” Music Video That Combined Animation with Live-Action

Via Cartoon Brew’s bustling Facebook group comes this 1983 Al Jarreau music video for “Mornin’.” It’s fascinating to see what was considered technically acceptable for combining animation with live-action in the early-Eighties. Who Framed Roger Rabbit was released five years after this video and set a new standard for how the two media could be merged seamlessly.


  • Jeremy Speed Schwartz

    I think it’s important to note that ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ and “Mornin” are not the same medium. One is film, and the other is analog video. The process for doing composites in each was drastically different in the 80s.

    • Mapache

      Also, let’s remember combinig live action film and animation has been done since the early 20′s.

    • DBreneman

      Yeah, this looks like it was composited at a TV station. (And that’s not a compliment.)

  • Tedzey71

    I could imagine how this was a neat mixing of live action and animation for its time. Now I’m reminded of Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone going to pleasure town. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QH7hj1nauTc&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DQH7hj1nauTc

  • BongBong

    How about the “Mary Poppins” scene where Dick Van Dyke dances with penguins?

  • Tony

    Man, that takes me back! I remember seeing this video on the Captain Kangaroo show. Any one know who did the animation? It’s pretty good for early ’80s, particularly the shoeshine boy and the two bird-of-paradise flowers. (You don’t see too many of those in animation for some reason.)

  • Pedro Nakama

    What about Song of the South? Wait a minute… I forgot. I can’t mention that.

    • Gerard de Souza

      I get a sense there is a nod to Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah here.

  • Erik Butter

    Hey a somewhat modern uncle Remus. And look at all the pink and purple…

  • James Madison

    I like it!

  • Craig Good

    It’s not really fair to compare a big-budget film, especially a technological ground-breaker, with a very low-budget music video. While Roger Rabbit did raise the bar, it’s not like Hollywood couldn’t do a very good job of it decades earlier.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUIhu7_Hryg

    • Hankenshift

      AMEN! And for sheer entertainment, not one frame of roger rabbit crams so much character, charm, vibrancy, entertainment, and technical brilliance as this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbBZG__Vs8c

    • DBreneman

      As I recall, Gene Kelly wanted to use Mickey Mouse, but MGM and Disney couldn’t come to terms, and since Hanna and Barbera already had a mouse…

  • Arnaud

    Oh, it’s a video clip ? I thought it was a long advert for the Cheerios cereals.
    (Forgive me Al, the song is nice.)

  • I want whatever Al is taking.

    Cocaine’s a hell of a drug.

  • James Fox

    The animation’s great the but the live action part is sadly 1980s-era green screen fare

  • JeanbearTheImmasculator

    What about Paula Abdul?

  • Gerard de Souza

    Yes, Live action and animation existed since the 20s but Roger Rabbit was shot like a live action film, not a stationary camera as you’ll note in Mary Poppins or Pete’s Dragon. If there was a camera move animators had to animate (on ones) the interacting characters scaling or rotating with the move. It was Richard Williams who encouraged Zemekis to shoot the film as he would any other film and Williams would make the animation work.

    This is the first time I’m seeing this Al Jarreau video. Great vocalist. great jazzy song and ambitious animation. It does my heart good that someone was doing something difficult even though it didn’t always composite perfectly. We were more forgiving when the technology didn’t exist.

  • Terry Craig

    Yeah, this didn’t set any new standards. Apart from the many already mentioned Hollywood uses of this technique, this has been done in music video four years earlier, and even accompanying a much superior song:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCNDZY4vXPs
    (Tom Waits For No One – 1979, dir. by John Lam)