Limited animation is an animation process in which highly stylized figuration and depictions of motion are used in order to cut down on costs for overall production. As limited animations depart significantly from the laws governing reality, a certain amount of imagination is required on the part of the viewer. The relatively inexpensive animation techniques of limited animation have allowed countless animated shorts and television series to be produced. The techniques usually aim towards reducing the number of drawings required for an animated work. This is accomplished by reusing drawings, animating only a portion of a character's body, cleverly choosing camera angles and techniques, and by relying more on dialogue or other aural elements of the animation.
Examples of successful works utilizing limited animation include Chuck Jones's The Dot and the Line, The Yellow Submarine, and much of the work coming from the Hanna-Barbera animation studio. Early on, limited animation was used more for its distinct artistic qualities than for its inexpensive nature. Some of the work of the UPA animation studio, such as the Oscar-winning short Gerald McBoing-Boing, and Chuck Jones' short The Dover Boys used limited animation in this manner. Japanese anime uses limited animation extensively, both small-budget television serials and in larger-budget feature films. These techniques have become a grounded part of the anime style. Japanese anime uses limited animation to utilize the power of the still pose. Anime is very much grounded in comic art and graphic novels and their use of limited animation alludes to this.