Anyone who is a fan of anime or a number of cartoons might be familiar with “abridged” series. Episodes of the series (or just scenes) are edited and often given new voice-overs by an amateur staff (I mean not professional, although I suppose there could be “professional” abridgers out there and I just have no clue; and not talking about people who make parodies or write satire) to make fun of the original series. It’s pretty easy to do this with anime because their mouths are made to be relatively flexible with speech (for the translation switches). Or simply because most animated series lack a lot of the expression of a normal human face. Anyway, these are very complicated and good ones require a lot of time and effort and skill. Some popular ones I know of include Code Ment (an abridgement of “Code Geass”), Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged, and Hellsing Ultimate Abridged. You could also count something like How It Should Have Ended, which is a channel that actually creates the graphics for a mini-video of sorts that creates scenarios of how certain movies, video games, and TV shows should have ended (e.g., “The Dark Knight”, “Jaws”, “Lost”, “Harry Potter”, “Captain America”, etc.).
I’m curious if abridged series count as Electronic Literature. They are made specifically to be seen electronically, and often include text you have to read for a joke or understanding something. Clip Art is frequently used, along with internet memes and slang. Viewers also don’t just simply watch it for enjoyment (although that’s the major reason to watch them… typically because they’re very funny). They’re mostly satire and “this makes no sense, why did they do it this way?” They make you really think about what goes on in the show/movie/what-have-you. In fact, if you look at things like “How It Should Have Ended”, then that’s even closer to Electronic Literature than the average abridged series. They require computer graphics and drawing, because the stories they draw from are usually live-action. It’s just easier to use cartoons. I wouldn’t call the abridged series I’ve seen cartoons or shows… for one thing, the main material/stories they draw from aren’t originally produced by the abridgers. They’re borrowing stories and such from the movie/TV/video game people. “His He” gets farthest from that, but the point still stands. They don’t act like they OWN “Inception”. They just used their style to make fun of the movie’s numerous plot holes. There’s still a level of computer skill involved in creating the videos. Video editing is not easy. Then there’s recording new voices to fit the mouth movements or time changes. Then there’s inserting new images, sound effects, music, and text onto the frames. Besides directing the flow of the episode in the first place.
And actually, if you’re looking at a series (or a group of videos) and not just someone who posts a single stand-alone video, then you’ll see that the creators actually kind of create stories or characters of their own. The point is more to highlight and make fun of the lesser-celebrated aspects of the characters’ personalities and actions, along with bits of the plot, but they eventually turn into something else. For instance, in the “His He” videos, Superman and Batman have an on-going coffee hangout where a number of the superheroes (and villains) who star in their videos come to hang out at the end of the episode. In Yu-Gi-Oh abridged… well… every character has their own… highlighted personality. Of sorts.
It’s just a thought.