Definitions

Vox

Syncro-Vox

Syncro-Vox (sometimes spelled Synchro-Vox) is a filming method which combines static images with moving images, the most common effect of which is to simulate talking lips on a photograph of a celebrity or a cartoon drawing. The method was developed by cameraman Edwin "Ted" Gillette in the 1950s in order to simulate talking animals in television commercials. Gillette filed the technique on February 4, 1952, and obtained patent #2,739,505 on March 27, 1956.

Because animating a mouth in synchronization with sound was difficult, Syncro-Vox was soon used as a cheap animation technique, most famously in the cartoons produced by Cambria Studios: Clutch Cargo, Space Angel, and Captain Fathom, in which actors' lips voicing the scripted dialogue were laid over the animated figures.

Although Syncro-Vox has long since fallen into disuse as a serious animation method, it survives in comedic form on late-night talk shows, such as Late Night with Conan O'Brien. A spoof of Cambria Studios' Syncro-Vox cartoons called Mr. Incredible and Pals was also included as a special feature on the 2005 DVD release of The Incredibles (2004). The technique was also used in the Barenaked Ladies music video "Thanks, That Was Fun", which combined clips from previous videos with new mouth movements. The talking pirate painting that asks "Are you ready, kids?" in the introduction to SpongeBob SquarePants cartoons imitates the Syncro-Vox technique with modern animation technology. One of the final non-spoof uses of Syncro-Vox was in a pair of episodes of Courage the Cowardly Dog which featured a talking tree and a talking "spirit of the harvest moon".

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