The Dancing Baby, also known as "Baby Cha-Cha", refers to a 3D character and 3D-rendered animation of a baby dancing for several seconds. The video, one of the earliest examples of an Internet phenomenon, became popular in 1996–1997 after being distributed widely over the Internet. The dancing baby originated as a collection of experimental testing data and files, ultimately released in Fall/1996 as a product sample source file with the ground-breaking 3D character animation software product "Character Studio" that is used with 3D Studio Max (both products from Autodesk). The original sample source file was produced and prepared by the original Character Studio development team (Michael Girard, Susan Amkraut, John Chadwick, Paul Bloemink, John Hutchinson, Adam Felt) of Unreal Pictures and Kinetix (Autodesk). Part of the original Dancing Baby data consists of animation keyframes that were manually and automatically generated in the "Biped" portion of the Character Studio toolset. Contrary to popular misconceptions, the original Dancing Baby animation data (keyframes) were not created using motion capture at all.
Subsequent to its release, animators in the commercial sector have used or modified the Dancing Baby source file using the Character Studio product to produce different versions of rendered visualizations for use in media. This helped develop the Dancing Baby animation into a meme or media and internet phenomenon. The dancing baby video and its variations have appeared in a broad array of mainstream media, including television dramas (e.g. "Ally McBeal"), commercial advertisements, and music videos such as Blue Swede's cover of the song "Hooked on a Feeling (Ooga Chaka)." More stylized versions and parodies were created shortly thereafter, including a 'drunken baby', a 'rasta baby', 'samurai baby', and others.