It’s amazing to see how the world of animation and 3D are taking over the domain of normal entertainment as we know it. From live action films like Avatar and Alice In Wonderland to films like How To Train Your Dragon, all the Pixar films and the Shrek series have all outsold normal films across the board. What was considered entertainment for children has begun to reach out to all ages because of the sheer power of storytelling that these very animated films contain.
And all this has happened in the past 20 years. The first element was in 1995, when the world saw the power of 3D-CGI in the all animated film Toy Story and then two years later, in 1997, when Jurassic Park blew everyone away with its 100 per cent real-life recreated dinosaurs.
But to go back in time a bit, animation or cartoons, as we know them, have been a mainstay for many years. It’s just that the focus is much broader and more techno-savvy today.
Let’s look at some of the amazing animation in music videos that we have seen in the past years. Some are entirely animated, many have animation featuring in it, and some have CGI. I’m going to pull out a few that I really liked.
TAKE ON ME - A-HA (1985): This was a sensation when it came out and was one of the first videos to use Rotoscopy, where the subject is digitally scanned into a computer and then creatively played around with. In this video, we see a comic book sketched version of Morten Harket exit his realm and enter into the real world.
LEAVE ME ALONE – MICHEAL JACKSON (1989): One of MJ’s many quirky videos, this one features a lot of collage animation as well as stop motion animation (the part where he dances with the elephant man’s skeleton). A fun rant against his critics as well.
SLEDGEHAMMER (1986) & DIGGING IN THE DIRT (1992) – PETER GABRIEL: Another artiste that drove innovative music videos, one features stop motion and the other CGI. Both quirky and instantly iconic.
JOGA & I MISS YOU (1997), HUNTER (1998) - BJORK: One of my favourite artistes is also one amazing visual muse. She has some of the most amazing music videos ever made, every time. Period. From the shifting earth in Joga to the crazy cartoon imagery in I Miss You to that mind-blowing polar bear in Hunter. I urge you to watch them all again and again. Every video by the GORILLAZ (2001-2010). One of the most amazing concepts in popular music, a virtual band that is completely rendered in 3D-CGI with some great music too. Right from the debut Tomorrow Comes Today to the latest Stylo. Sheer brilliance.
ONE MORE TIME - DAFT PUNK (2000): These crazy dance-mongers took their love for anime to the extreme with the video being but a trailer for their full length anime film Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem.
BREAKING THE HABIT – LINKIN PARK (2004): One of my favourite LP videos and songs, this one features a grittier kind of anime with a strong message about drug addiction and its perils.
I’m running out of space here, so I will make a few quick honourable mentions, Money For Nothing - Dire Straits (1985); Let’s Get Rocked – Def Leppard (1992); Running Down A Dream - Tom Petty (1989); I Stay Away - Alice In Chains (1994); Why Does My Heart – Moby (1999).
There are still quite a few more, but I think this is enough for you to jog your memory banks and urge you to seek out the others and so I will write myself out of here, till next week… if I may say so.