In filmmaking, video production, and other media, the term live action refers to cinematography, videography not produced using animation. As it is the norm, the term is usually superfluous, but it makes an important distinction in situations in which one might normally expect animation, as in a Pixar film, a video game or when the work is adapted from an animated cartoon, such as Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones or Josie and the Pussycats films, or The Tick television program. Use of puppets in films such as The Dark Crystal is also considered to be live action, provided that stop-motion is not used to animate them.
The term is also used within the animation world to refer to non-animated characters: in a live-action/animated film such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit or Mary Poppins, in which humans and cartoons co-exist, "live-action" characters are the "real" actors, such as Bob Hoskins and Julie Andrews, as opposed to the animated "actors", such as Roger Rabbit himself.
Live action can also mean that a film or a television show is adapted from comics. Adaptations from comics include live-action film versions of Marvel Comics' Spider-Man and X-Men, DC Comics' Superman and Batman, or manga such as Death Note, Detective Conan and Great Teacher Onizuka.