In film genres I have seen and heard 2 words:

1) Action Movie

2) Live-Action Movie

What is difference between these 2 words? What live represent here?

1 Answer 1


This is probably general reference, but this might be hard to understand for someone learning English. Even though the phrases are very similar, they mean entirely different things.

1) An action movie is a movie where most of the content involves things like fights, chases, and explosions. This tends to be a very popular type of movie like terminator or die hard.

2) A live action movie is a movie that is performed with real actors filmed with a camera, rather than being animated or being a cartoon. You would use this phrase when trying to point out that a movie is not animated.

The cartoon Scooby Doo has a live-action movie.

Also, the movie Who framed Roger Rabbit? is an animated movie with a bunch of real actors in it. We say that the real people are live-action characters because they are filmed with a camera instead of animated.

When you're talking about TV, "live" means that what they are recording is going straight to your TV. This is not the meaning of live used for live action movie. Live in the phrase "live action" does not mean much of anything, the phrase together is what is important.

  • I read at wikipedia, word: live-action pointing towards film: Avengers, while I think that have animation e.t.c. in it.
    – Hafiz
    Jun 28, 2013 at 15:25
  • @Hafiz A live action movie can have lots of animation and special affects. Live action just means it is not a cartoon. If a show is "animated", it means that it is drawn by animators instead of filmed, not that it has special effects or some animation.
    – Jeremy
    Jun 28, 2013 at 15:29
  • Ok so live-action have animation+action while action is real explosions and fight sequences e.t.c. ?
    – Hafiz
    Jun 28, 2013 at 15:35
  • live action doesn't have to have animation. It can though. You are right about action.
    – Jeremy
    Jun 28, 2013 at 15:37
  • if it will not have animation then how live-action movie will be different than action movie?
    – Hafiz
    Jun 29, 2013 at 21:54

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