Disney Acid Sequence

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"What an unusual view", indeed.

The musical number in an animated musical in which the animation stops pretending to depict things that are actually happening in the world of the movie and becomes a more abstract illustration of the music. The Disney Acid Sequence is not as common as it first seems - they only belong here if they are not explainable - usually a whacked-out moment of impossible lighting and choreography with crazy lighting, sometimes caused by hallucinations. If it is caused by a dream, see Dream Ballet. If it is caused by substance abuse, see Mushroom Samba.

The Disney Acid Sequence can be used to good comedic effect in movies which break the Fourth Wall. In general though, if the switch is too pronounced, be prepared for some genuine Nightmare Fuel.

Named for the most prolific offender and trend setter, although the phenomenon is not limited to the Disney Animated Canon. It's not even necessarily limited to animated musicals; live-action musicals can also contain a Disney Acid Sequence if a musical number goes more surreal than just a random song and dance routine. Some examples here are likely to be inspired by Busby Berkeley Numbers. All examples here are prone to contain Deranged Animation.

Subtrope of What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?. For trippy music videos which are not part of a larger and less surreal work, see Surreal Music Video.

Examples of Disney Acid Sequence include:

Disney Examples, in rough chronological order

  • The Hallucinogenic Scene in Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs seems mostly fueled by fear (as she's running through the scary, dark woods). But it's certainly trippy. Being the first American animated full length movie, it sets up a great precedent for Disney movies to contain a whole realm of further trippy scenes, even if all we're seeing is the main character's perspective when something gets overwhelming - positive or negative.
    • Somewhere in the movie's early stages, Snow White was actually supposed to have a dream sequence of her future with Prince Charming. Judging by the remaining concept art, they were going to be floating in midair against a starry technicolor rainbow sky. It got scrapped, but was evetually used to end Sleeping Beauty.
  • Fantasia is not actually an example, as each musical number is its own separate and self-contained animated sequence and not an insert in a larger plot. Nevertheless, it deserves mention for containing many of the usual elements of the Disney Acid Sequence, since each of its segments is to greater or lesser extent an abstract illustration of the music being played.
    • Some segments are more abstract than others. The opening number, "Toccata and Fugue in D minor", is easily the strongest example. Compare the very straight forward animation for Beethoven's "6th Symphony".
  • The wartime cartoon "Der Fuehrers Face" has one, set to the title song going faster and faster while, among other things, ammunition flies around and Donald has to make himself into a swastika shape by dancing. Luckily, it was All Just a Dream.
  • The Three Caballeros: pretty much the last two thirds. See above for an example.
  • "After You've Gone" from Make Mine Music, featuring lots of crazy dancing musical instruments.
  • The "Too Good to Be True" segment from Fun and Fancy Free somewhat counts.
  • "Bumble Boogie" from Melody Time is a nightmarish journey through the music world from the POV of a poor bug.
  • Pretty much the entire dream sequence in the latter-day Pluto cartoon "Plutopia".
  • Alice in Wonderland has the cards.
  • The Disney Theme Parks have quite a few, some borrowed from the movies, others original to the parks such as the "Tomorrow's Child" sequence from the Walter Cronkite version of Spaceship Earth or almost the entirety of the original Journey Into Imagination (which was part of why it was so beloved).
    • Some of the ones based on movies include: Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin, and Winnie the Pooh.
  • Babes in Toyland has the song "I Can't do the Sum", during which Mary Contrary (played by Annette Funicello) sings mostly on a black background, with duplicates who flip upside down and sideways while changing colors.
  • Winnie the Pooh has lots of these:
    • The first example that the franchise has to offer is "Heffalumps and Woozles" from Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.
    • The New Adventures episodes "King of the Beasties", "The Old Switcheroo" and "Eeyore's Tail Tale" each contain one.
    • From the holiday specials, we have "I Wanna Scare Myself" from Boo to You Too, "When the Love Bug Bites" from A Valentine for You and "Easter Day With You" from Springtime With Roo.
    • And in Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search For Christopher Robin there is Owl's "Adventure Is A Wonderful Thing".
    • "Round My Family Tree" from The Tigger Movie.
    • "The More I Look Inside" from Piglet's Big Movie.
    • "The Horribly Hazardous Heffalumps" from Pooh's Heffalump Movie.
    • The "Too Much Honey" song number from The Book of Pooh story by the same name.
    • Winnie the Pooh has two: "The Backson Song", done as a living chalk drawing, and "Everything is Honey", where Pooh is in a world made of honey, including honey clones of himself as backup dancers on the rim of a giant honey pot.
  • The Brave Little Toaster features a song called "Cutting Edge" (aka, "More, More, More"), which involves, among other things, a singing table lamp somersaulting through outer space. Of course, this is a movie where every character is an inanimate object. (We're not sure whether that makes it better or worse.)
    • Given that every other musical number happens within the confines of the world around them DESPITE being a shop backroom full of hacked together 'mutant' appliances and the cars in a junkyard being sent to the crusher, Cutting Edge definitely counts as the Acid Sequence.
    • Toaster's clown dream also counts, as a Nightmare Fuel version of the Acid Sequence.
  • This was also done by Disney, but the opening sequence to the Disney Channel show Adventures in Wonderland (made by Eli Noyes, Jr.) certainly counts as a Disney Acid Sequence.
  • The Lion King has the "I Want" Song, "I Just Can't Wait To Be King".
  • The Lion King 2 has the love song "Upendi".
  • 'The Lion King 1/2 has Timon's song, "That's All I Need" Lamshading it. The sequence of the 'props' sliding out back to the Savannah and the sarcastic applause of the hyenas makes it very clear that, far from a bunch of animals suddenly displaying amazing choreography skills, this is genuine daydreaming/acid consumption territory, but since Timon is awake, it is not actually a dream.
  • Pocahontas: "Colors of the Wind". It's difficult to say whether the sequence is actually happening (if so, it happened over the course of several days, considering the changes in daylight), or if it's simply an interpretation of the spirit of nature surrounding them.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: "A Guy Like You". The commentary track references this trope, going so far as to suggest that everything involving the three gargoyles might have been Quasimodo's imagination.
  • A Goofy Movie: The original had "Out on the Open Road" which included a bunch of girls popping out of a piano, while it's played in the back of a pick up truck and a corpse dancing on a hearse. Being a Goofy movie of course, it's not impossible that this is actually happening, but it's still pretty trippy.
  • Recess: School's Out: The cast performing "Green Tamborine" during the credits (this movie was also a huge Shout-Out to The Sixties)
  • The Incredibles was to have a Dream Sequence set to jazz music where Helen Parr dreamt about her husband cheating on her with hundreds of silhouetted, beautiful women in order to highlight her suspicions about her husband's behavior, but it was cut due to length and the fact that they would never get away with so blatantly stating what Helen's fears were in a Disney movie.
  • Home on the Range: The cattle-rustling sequence. Dancing cows, shifting colors, and Randy Quaid yodeling.
  • Just about every song in High School Musical 3, to some extent. They could have planted an Aesop about not doing drugs into the movie without too much trouble.
  • In addition to being a Non Sequitur Scene and a rare canonical Caramelldansen Vid, Phineas and Ferb's Animesque J-Pop (Welcome to Tokyo) is definitely one. Candace aptly sums up the audience's reaction:

Candace: I have no idea what just happened.

    • In "The Ballad of Badbeard", Candace has a Mushroom Samba with moss, so basically almost every scene with her in that episode was her hallucinating.
      • And there's Livin' in a Funhouse from "Misperceived Monotreme".
      • The Movie has one as well, maybe more than one, considering how you view them. The song 'Brand New Reality' quickly degenerates into this trope as the song reaches the end and the alternate realities Phineas and the gang pass through get more and more surreal.
      • The staff must really enjoy animating these since Going Deep Into Your Mind from "Monster From The ID" is another DAS this time showing us Candace's mind, it is just as crazy as everyone imagined.

Other Animated Examples

  • Almost the entire 1946 Looney Tunes cartoon "The Big Snooze" (the last one to be directed by Bob Clampett) consists of a crazy dream sequence of Elmer Fudd's that he has when Bugs Bunny invades this dream and turns it into a nightmare in order to make him return to working with Warner Bros and with Bugs.

Elmer: *bombarded by various weird designs of rabbits* Biwwions and twiwwions of wabbits! Where are they all coming fwom?!
Bugs: From me, doc! *playing with an adding machine that releases the rabbits* I'm multiplying, see? I'm multiplying!

  • Somehow, when Hanna-Barbera cartoons go weird, they go really weird. The best single example would be the fever dream-esque musical sequences in the already very strange Galaxy Goof-Ups (the adventures of Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound and a couple of wacky new characters... but they're in space!) Every so often, the plot would stall for a minute or two and this would happen. Brace yourselves, for that video contains The Seventies. ALL of the Seventies.
  • Most of Fleischer Studio's early cartoons are made of this, so much so that this trope should be named after them. Don't believe me? Look up "Minnie The Moocher", "Swing You Sinners" and the Betty Boop version of "Snow White". Go on. We'll wait.
    • Don't forget "Bimbo's Initiation". You have to wonder if the many burning (hemp) ropes we see in Fleischer films really are a now-obscure reference to weed.
  • Most of Yellow Submarine is pretty trippy to begin with, but especially "Only a Northern Song", "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "It's All Too Much".
  • Kidd Video Just... the entire series.
  • Quest for Camelot: "If I Didn't Have You"
  • The Muppet Babies sequence in The Muppets Take Manhattan.
    • A rare example that the Disney Acid Sequence in question inspired its own series, which contained its own examples, which makes it the Russian dolls of animated puppets.
    • The Great Muppet Caper has Miss Piggy fantasize about being the center of an underwater ballet, in which the film's villain sings-except after returning to reality and learning said villain's True Colors, she scornfully tells him, "You know what? You can't even sing! Your voice was dubbed!" Then again, the movie had No Fourth Wall whatsoever, and she was under considerably emotional duress at the time.
    • "Cabin Fever", a musical number in which the entire cast of Muppet Treasure Island comes down with Ocean Madness.
      • Lampshaded when the only character who mentions it is treated as being crazy.
  • Jetsons: The Movie: "You 'N Me" - Judy Jetson and her new boyfriend were in a holographic area that changes with their thoughts.
  • "Underwater Fantasy" from Animalympics.
  • The Prince of Egypt: the instrumental part of "All I Ever Wanted" in which hieroglyphs come to life; and "The Plagues", which is the song which goes with most of the plagues, and so days are compressed into minutes - and that split-screen shot at the end of Pharaoh and Moses is done for artistry.
  • A few of the musical numbers in Fern Gully, including comic relief character Batty's introduction, and the villain Hexxus's song (both of which have the potential to traumatize children).
    • In Ferngully 2, there is the song "Wanna Go Home" - a perfect example since lighting springs from nowhere, cages vanish and animals start dancing.
  • One could claim the game Audiosurf is just an interactive Disney Acid Sequence.
  • "Big and Loud (part 2)", the Dark Reprise Villain Song from Cats Don't Dance.
  • Lucky Luke: The Ballad of the Daltons has one, though it's caused by Mushroom Samba.
  • "Pleasure Island" in The Twelve Tasks of Asterix. The Big Fight has a bard song rendered as a trippy rock number, but the viewpoint character is really hallucinating.
  • The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy To The Rescue has its Villain Song "Just Say Yes", which moves (both in terms of animation and lyrics) so fast that it ends up being a huge Mind Screw.
  • The single song in Watership Down is this trope turned up to 11 and manages to be both a Tear Jerker and Nightmare Fuel at the same time. It helps that Art Garfunkel sings it, and it's about the White Blindness.
    • Errr, what? White Blindness? The scene in which the song is used has absolutely nothing to do with the White Blindness; it is about a Determinator who never gives up (Hence the eyes that burn so brightly bit) who is lying in a ditch slowly dying (Hence the suddenly burn so pale part) from his wounds.
    • Every scene shot from the rabbits' perspective is a combination of this trope, Art Shift and Nightmare Fuel.
  • "My name is Mok! Thanks a lot!"
    • Justified, in that the character singing/dreaming it actually IS on acid (and most likely several other drugs as well, the first thing he does when he wakes up is snort something!)
  • Live action examples: The first half of "I Want You", "I Am The Walrus", "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite", and "Strawberry Fields Forever" in Across the Universe.
    • "I Am The Walrus" and "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite" can be somewhat justified given the substances they were undoubtedly on at that point. Eddie Izzard's performance in the latter definitely turns the notch up to 11, though.
    • Likewise, the number "Happiness is a Warm Gun" is a justified Acid Sequence, as Max is in a VR hosptial, and probably high on morphine.
  • A Man Called Flintstone had trippy sequences for the songs A Spy-Type Guy, Teammates, Tickle, Toddle, and Someday, we'll do great things
  • The Capulet Party sequence in Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet is a literal acid trip. We're left uncertain of whether Mercutio's song and dance number actually happened, or if it was just a byproduct of Romeo being off his face. "Thy drugs are quick" indeed...
  • "The Worst Witch". Tim Curry. The Halloween Song. So amazingly awesome it deserves a play-by-play [dead link].
  • Vertigo. No more needs to be said.
  • The movie "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" has several crazy musical sequences. The first is a straightforward "Star-Spangled Banner" stars and stripes montage, the second is a crazy nightmare scene with Snoopy fighting the Red Baron, the third is an extended musical number where Linus and Charlie Brown study for a spelling bee with giant letters everywhere, the fourth is a Fantasia-style scene where Schroder plays the piano, the fifth is a nightmarish bus ride to the city (with a hallucinating Linus, who has been deprived of his blanket) and the sixth is a fantasy skating scene with Snoopy.
  • Although it's usually cut from TV showings now, Rankin-Bass Christmas classic Santa Claus is Comin' to Town has one sung by Jessica/Mrs. Claus as she lets down her hair to reveal herself as Beautiful All Along; it's got lots of floating bubbles of color (this was The Sixties, after all).
    • Between Jessica's song and Chris's song when he first starts giving out gifts ("If you sit in my lap today/ a kiss a toy is the price you'll pay"), both Santa and Mrs. Claus can both be seen to be fairly unwholesome.
  • Another live action example is the Red Shoes Ballet from the film The Red Shoes: at first it makes sense as a literal ballet and reflection of the protagonist's inner turmoil, and then she grand jetés into surreal land.
  • the 1972 Depatie-Freleng special version of The Cat in the Hat had two sequences in it, one for the song "I'm a Punk", and another for "A Cat in a Hat"
  • The 1971 animated feature "The Point", about the round-headed boy Oblio and his dog Arrow, has several. It helps that, according to the Other Wiki composer Harry Nilsson was on acid when the original idea came to him.
  • The Don Bluth film All Dogs Go to Heaven contains one where Charlie encounters an over-the-top giant big lipped alligator who sings a bizarre song to him while doing an Esther Williams homage. It's all really weird and has just about nothing to do with the story, aside from a very brief callback later on.
    • The MGM sequel All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 features a darker Disney Acid Sequence, as Carface's new ally turns out to be the Devil. During the big Villain Song "It Feels So Good to Be Bad", Red (the Devil character) makes the scenery change several times through each verse. One moment, it's a bizarre hellish barber shop, then a nightmarish roller coaster, and finally something resembling Fire and Brimstone Hell.
    • Also from The All Dogs Go To Heaven Christmas Carol has "Clean Up Your Act".
  • Another Don Bluth film, Anastasia, has the half-remembered, half-imagined dancing sequence in the royal palace, complete with imaginary Pimped-Out Dress.
    • Don't forget the Villain Song, complete with the singing and dancing bugs.
  • The Donkey Kong Country TV series' musical numbers tend to vary between these, Big-Lipped Alligator Moments and normal musical numbers. A bit of a variation, since they usually refer to the plot (or current scene) within the episodes.
  • The "Bunyip" song sequence from the 1970s Australian "Animated characters on live action backgrounds" film Dot and The Kangaroo.
  • One episode of Ren and Stimpy involves Stimpy getting sucked inside his belly-bottom and accompanyed by a sequence with trippy images and an acid rock influenced song.
  • In Beavis and Butthead Do America, Beavis eats a peyote cactus while in the desert and experiences a surreal animated music video for White Zombie's "Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks and Cannibal Girls".
    • Mike Judge didn't want to have this scene in the movie in the first place. MTV wanted a music video somewhere in the movie similar to the TV series, but Judge thought that would stop the plot dead and compromised with the hallucination sequence. It was still awesome though.
  • A couple musical numbers from the Rankin-Bass TV specials of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings certainly qualify...
  • Several musical numbers from The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T by Dr. Seuss (1953) but particularly the Dungeon Orchestra scene and the "Dress Me, Dress Me" song. During the dance number involving the rollerskating, siamese-bearded twins, the hero downs a swig of some "powerful stuff" beforehand.
  • Templeton the Rat's song about the fair in the animated musical adaptation of Charlotte's Web was rather trippy.
    • More notably, the title song after Charlotte's lullabye to Wilbur is a more trippy moment.
  • Literally true in the stoned space-travel portion of "So Beautiful And So Dangerous", a segment of Heavy Metal.
  • In Mind Game, after Nishi dies the whole movie is like this.
  • The ending (and closing credits) of The Simpsons episode D'oh-in in the Wind.
  • The Elm Chanted Forest has "Truffle Shuffle"- actually, any of the songs in The Elm-Chanted Forest with the exception of "Let Your Fur Down".
    • No-no, "Let Your Fur Down" can count too, it is rather strange and alot of the animals are not only odd colours but there are several that are unidentifiable species. And of course let's not Thistle hallucinating during the song and fainting afterwards, because of alchohol of all things (even though I used this joke in an unrelated drawing I'll just drop it here too and say that in his case even light beer isn't light enough)
  • Garfield and Friends would often have one accompanying a song number in one of the Three Shorts (or sometimes two of the Three Shorts).
  • El Cubo Mágico, the sequel to Dragon Hill, features one of these. Made in flash (in contrast to the otherwise traditionally animated movie, as well as Conspicuous CGI), this scene easily combines Deranged Animation with horrible music and very confusing imagery, mostly focusing on the boy Kevin trying to beat up a wood viking (and losing teeth in the process), and later the wood viking starts walking and dancing even though it was pretty much beaten up by the protagonists. Yeah...
  • Family Guy has the episode where Brian takes care of a cranky old lady who has not been out of her house for 30 years and sings a song about all the things she still has to see that has happened in the world - the scenery changes constantly through the song, though it isn't all that "trippy" really.
  • The Angry Beavers had one of these in the episode where Norbert meets Treeflower at a Woodstock-like rock concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW_JzMsYVyY
  • Speed Racer veers off the track into acid territory several times.
  • There are several extremely acid-soaked sequences in the independent animated film Sita Sings the Blues.
  • The party song from Katy the Caterpillar.
  • "What's not to Love" from the New York episode of Total Drama World Tour definitely counts.
    • "The fun is funner, the bagles are bagler, the bums are bummer..."
  • Any of the songs from the "Rupert and the Frog Song" VHS. Especially "Oriental Night fish" which has also been a source of nightmare fuel for many viewers.
  • A number of extended musical dream sequences from The Simpsons definitely qualify, for instance Homer in the Land of Chocolate in "Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk", Lisa's laughing gas-induced Yellow Submarine Purple Submersible hallucination in "Last Exit to Springfield" and the hauntingly poetic "Little Nemo" hommage an overworked Homer drops into when he falls asleep at the wheel in "Lisa's Pony". Speaking of the latter, Little Nemo in Slumberland and Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend would also easily qualify if they were set to music.
  • Any time that Toki Wartooth decides to sing a solo, this is guaranteed to happen. So far we have:
    • "Underwater Friends", an Octopus' Garden-esque sequence where he sings to the fishes surrounding him in his immersion tank.
    • "No More Hamburger Time" a song sung to his dead cat that starts out surprisingly heartfelt...and then quickly devolves into madness when the rest of the band joins in.
    • "I Am Toki", an autotuned song sung as Toki goes to meet his Internet lifemate. The dream sequence includes Toki transforming into a knight to rescue a hot princess in a castle from a giant green dragon who bleeds Lucky Charms marshmallows. And then there's a wedding where the minister and all the guests are rabbits. This does not happen.
    • Similarly, a Littlest Cancer Patient fan who wants to meet Toki sends him a DVD of her singing a sweet song about wanting to be brutal - it segues into her and Toki singing and flying together, backed up by a chorus of candy-colored Eldritch Abominations.
  • The committee song from Babar: The Movie.
  • In the "Jingle Fever" episode of Fanboy and Chum Chum, the two have a rather surreal musical number about living at a convenience store.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth contains a scene where Milo tries to conduct the sunrise but winds up making the whole sky go crazy.
  • There is an acid sequence towards the end of The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat, courtesy of the Grinch. This acid trip was played on the Cat while some very unfitting and wild Dixieland music played.
    • There is also the Paraphernalia Wagon sequence from "Halloween is Grinch Night". [1]
  • Nigel's Villain Song in Rio.
  • The weird, not so great crossover movie 'Porky and Daffy Meet The Groovie Goolies' has a very trippy sequence called 'Mad Mirror Land' wherein the three lead Goolies pursue the Big Bad into the real world, at least in some respects. Things actually become MORE cartoon-like when in the real world.
  • The Roba rap in The Problem Solverz episode "Magic Clock".
  • Call Upon the Sea Ponies from My Little Pony: Rescue from Midnight Castle.
  • The entire episode of "Note-Ablly Pink" in Pink Panther and Pals
  • "La Seine" from the upcoming film Un Monstre a Paris/A Monster In Paris turns into one partway through, whereupon Francoeur and Lucille go from dancing on a stage, to dancing on a pier, in the air, and finally on top of the Eiffel Tower.
  • The iconic "Walking in the Air" sequence from The Snowman.
  • Regular Show had the Mississippi Queen, a drink so impossibly spicy that it caused Mordecai, Rigby and Benson to have an acid trip while the song "Mississippi Queen" by 70's rock band Mountain was playing.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "It's Never Tter made ofoo Late to Loon", Plucky Duck had to study hard for a science test the following day, and when he had to do homework about Albert Einstein, he starts to daydream and imagines a scene reminiscent of the "Pink Elephants on Parade" sequence from Dumbo, complete with several Einsteins running around the screen until the collide with each other and explode, doing a waltz, squirting water like a fountain, before finally turning into cars that drive around for a while until the explode again, ending the dream and causing Plucky to wake up and study harder. Sorry, no monster made up of Albert Einstein heads, unfortunately.

Albert Einstein, Albert Einstein
mc^2, mc^2
Relatively thinking, he just stands there thinking
mc^2, mc^2, mc^2, mc^2...

Other examples



  • Hair (both the film and the original stage production) has a literal acid sequence in it.
  • Percy Jackson and The Olympians: Percy, Annabeth, and Grover experience one of these set to the song Poker Face by Lady Gaga after ingesting lotus flowers at the Lotus Casino.
  • Ma Vie en Rose has one; it involves a popular dress-up doll.
  • The musical Singin in The Rain includes a rare example of a live-action Disney Acid Sequence with the "Broadway Melody" segment, which apparently takes place entirely in Don Lockwood's imagination.
    • After the sequence ends his producer says "It sounds good, but I'd need to see it on film."
  • In a similar vein, most of the big production numbers in the musical version of "Kiss of the Spider Woman" take place in Louis Molina's head. Indeed, any time the title character character appears on stage she's probably a figment of his imagination.
  • Every musical number in the film version of Chicago except for those which are already explicitly set on a stage, happens inside Roxy Hart's head.
  • Likewise the musical numbers in Pennies from Heaven which are almost all in Steve Martin's head.
    • Unless it's the original BBC TV series, in which case they're all in Bob Hoskins' head.
  • Moulin Rouge is full of this. Even the numbers explicitly set onstage would be impossible to perform live with such lavish effects.
    • Also, the duet that begins with "Your Song" was actually cut to make it less Acid Sequence; besides the singing moon, there were twirling soprano stars. Imagine a scene so Acidic that Baz Luhrmann thought it needed toning down!
    • Possibly justified seeing how the main characters (and a few part goers) drunk absinthe shorty before the number Can-can/Lady Marmalade.
  • Any of the animated sequences in Pink Floyd The Wall, where most of the second act takes place inside the protagonist's mind anyway.
  • Live action example: Grease, specifically the song "Beauty School Dropout", which is the climax of the movie's C-plot. Features Frankie Avalon and white-clad dancers out of nowhere - interacting with the subject of the song personally - along with an abrupt setting change.
    • Similarly, the "Turn Back the Hands of Time" number in Grease 2, which takes place when Stephanie apparently spaces out in the middle of the talent show and imagines singing a duet with the spirit of her Mysterious Protector in what we can only take to be Biker Heaven. Except that when Stephanie returns to reality at the end of the number, the audience is applauding and she's won the talent show (by herself, despite being part of a group act), leaving us to wonder if they all somehow experienced the whole sequence with her. And, if not, then who was really singing the male part of the duet while she was tripping out?
  • Another live-action example: The Villain Recruitment Song "That's Motivation" in Absolute Beginners (1986) is presented in this manner. The villain in question (played by David Bowie, who also wrote the song) is an advertising executive who sees his work as selling dreams, and he's encouraging the idealistic photographer hero to become part of his all-style, no-substance world.
  • The 1969 movie, The Magic Christian, has several of these.
  • The tour in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory has one of these for the characters: while most of the tour involves going around a wacky candy factory (like one would in a tour), the tunnel sequence is something else entirely.

Wonka: There's no earthly way of knowing...Which direction we are going...There's no knowing where we're rowing...Or which way the river's flowing...Is it raining? Is it snowing?...Is a hurricane a-blowing?...Not a speck of light is showing so the danger must be growing...Are the fires of Hell a-glowing?...Is the grisly Reaper mowing?...YES! THE DANGER MUST BE GROWING FOR THE ROWERS KEEP ON ROWING!! AND THEY CERTAINLY AREN'T SHOWING ANY SIGNS THAT THEY ARE SLOWING!!! RRRRUUUUUUUUGGHHH!!!!

Ron: Look! It's the most glorious rainbow ever!
Veronica: Do me on it!

  • In Ken Russell's film adaptation of the stage musical The Boy Friend, daydreaming by members of the cast and crew often causes the fairly mundane production numbers—accurately representing what you'd see if you actually went and saw the play in a theater—to warp into elaborate and surreal fantasies.
  • The Floor Show from The Rocky Horror Picture Show- or the whole damn movie, for that matter. Toss in the audience-participation element, and it's a live performance Disney Acid Sequence.
  • In Troll, the Villain Song performed by Torok's minions borders on this.

Live-Action TV

  • In the Flight of the Conchords TV series this was done a couple of times with some of the more surreal songs in the duo's repertoire. Most notably Pretty Prince Of Parties, which was a literal acid trip.
  • Many early episodes of Sesame Street have a series of sketches on numbers (1 through 10) that involved a baker who holds in his arms that number of desserts but falls down a flight of stairs, ruining the desserts in question. The sketches started with a very flashy animated intro in which the voices of kids are heard counting up from 1 to 10, then back to 1, and finally up to the featured number in the sketch, in choral voice over, while that number, in animated form, zoomed around the screen.


  • The Who's Tommy, pretty much the entire musical. Special mention for the song "The Acid Queen". The movie also does this, as does the stage adaptation sometimes, depending on who's directing.
  • Autechre's Gantz Graf video. Alex Rutterford, the director, says it was actually inspired by a drug trip.
  • THIS
  • Gouryella's Walhalla video has a freak-out sequence after the viking bumps his head into the camera. Dancing skeletons and spinning flowers against a psychedelic hypno-wheel background, etc.


  • Appropriately enough, the Disneyland night show Fantasmic! includes one of these, in the form of an updated rendition of the "Pink Elephants on Parade" sequence from Dumbo. Although, the entire show could be considered an acid sequence, as it is Mickey's dreams.


  • Jerome Robbins' comic ballet The Concert is All Just a Dream anyway (more precisely, people daydreaming to music), but the end features all of the characters morphing into butterflies and being chased off the stage by the increasingly irritated pianist.

Video Games

Web Original