Top Animated Music Videos
|November 23, 2015||Posted by Warren under Video Talk|
Animation has long been an innovative way to make a music video stand out, project an image and tell a story. We’ve been enjoying a few – some old classics and some fresh newbies – to give you a list of our favourites.
1. Strawberry Swing, Coldplay
This video is filled with creative animations that give a nod to traditional stop motion animation, with a twist. The stop motion of Chris Martin laying on a floor of chalk drawings is very clever, with the drawings coming into life and helping to tell a dramatic story. Chris becomes a superhero and saves a damsel in distress, but it’s not just some cheesy tale, as there’s also a lot of weirdness, creativity and humour in it to keep you entertained. We love the mixture of mediums used to make this imaginative video, which puts it at the top of our list.
2. The Veldt, Deadmau5
This video is one of our top because it follows an inspiring narrative which also reflects the history of the track. The instrumental track (which was later given lyrics thanks to a fan named Chris James) was inspired by American sci-fi author Ray Bradbury’s story with the same name. The two 2D child characters in the video explore a shadowy, sinister savannah in tribute to the track’s inspiration and echoing Chris James’s lyrics, “the world that the children made”. The mysterious atmosphere in the video gives it an apocalyptic feel which makes it really captivating to watch.
3. Her Morning Elegance, Oren Lavie
This is a great example of the creativity and emotion that can be conveyed with stop motion animation in a music video. An engaging story is told just through a stop motion animated girl in her bed, with motions corresponding with the music in a mesmerising way. This one easily keeps viewers hooked and reminds us just what a versatile medium animation is, enabling the creator to invent pretty much anything he/she wishes with just a few props.
4. Do I Wanna Know, Arctic Monkeys
This video flows flawlessly with the beat of the music, using a variety of simple yet intriguing animations throughout. It starts with a group of sound lines which are then start to transform and are turned into creative line drawings. More unusual characters and images are continually introduced to the screen, keeping viewers absorbed in this video which attracted more than 23 million YouTube viewings in less than six months.
5. Fell in Love with a Girl, The White Stripes
The ingenious use of stop motion animation using LEGO makes this music video unique and captivating. It even won three MTV video music awards in 2002, which is a fantastic reward for the time and effort it must have taken to painstakingly shoot this video frame by frame. The music group are immortalised with LEGO figures who go on to bash out the infectious rock track. This colourful production, directed by Michel Gondry, no doubt helped to make Fell in Love with a Girl the band’s first taste of mainstream success.
6. Californication, Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Most people love a bit of RHCP, and listening to it while watching an adventurous and ever-changing animation is great. The video emulates a computer game, where it’s as though the viewer is the one controlling the character (who switches between band members) as he train surfs and has encounters with sharks in the ocean, among other challenges. It’s creative, visually stimulating, fun and fits really well with the band’s image.
7. Paranoid Android, Radiohead
Ok, so this music video by Swedish animator Magnus Karlsson features some really quite twisted scenes and weird visuals, making it engaging and difficult to forget. The dark humour and vivid colours fits the band’s image and alternative rock sounds really well too. This mixture of creative appeals earned the music video a regular slot on MTV.
8. Leave Me Alone, Michael Jackson
There are truck loads of weird images as well as some really creative stop motion animation in this strange yet wonderful video. For those of us who are old enough, this animation brings with it a lot of nostalgia, but it’s bound to keep all generations intrigued, and fits perfectly with the wildly expressive song. It didn’t win Michael a Grammy for best short-form music video for nothing.
9. Money for Nothing, Dire Straits
This was one of the first music videos to showcase early digital animation techniques, so it’s not just the controversial lyrics and catchy riffs of this 80’s song which make it an enduring top hit. Right from the start, this video creates suspense, and it keeps viewers engaged with colourful visuals that mingle with live action coverage of the band. It’s great to watch this digital animation mixed with 80’s style.
This was a tough list to put together to say the least, as there are tonnes of fantastic animated music videos out there. We’ve included a variety of animation techniques, while trying not to let our music taste get in the way too much.
If you think we’ve missed some of the best animated music videos out of our list then let us know in the comments section below.