With the plethora of music videos out today and new ones being released essentially on a daily basis, it is difficult to stick with one favourite for an extended period of time. Therefore, my ‘favourite’ in terms of music videos is rather fickle. However, I must admit that one of my favourite ‘kinds’ of music videos, are the animated ones.
Many artists have had animated music videos or videos which feature some form of animation. No band however, represents animation in music videos as well as the Gorrilaz.
The band is made up of of virtual (animated) members, every one of their music videos are in animation, with certain videos combining animation, CGI and live footage. Therefore, when writing about animated music videos, it’s hard to not mention the Gorrilaz.
Two of my favourite music videos by the Gorillaz are those for Clint Eastwood (released in 2001 as part of their self-titled debut album, Gorillaz) and Feel Good Inc. (released in 2005 on their second album, Demon Days).
The video takes place in a cemetery. In the beginning, a spirit is released from Russell Hobbs’ (the virtual drummer’s) head. The blue spirit is voiced by the artist featured on the song – Del the Funky Homosapien. As the spirit raps his verses he releases gorilla zombies.
These sinister gorillas appear to want to cause harm. They are eventually defeated by a kick from Noodle (the virtual guitarist). Thereafter, the spirit returns back to Russell’s head and the gorilla zombies disintegrate in the sunlight, which appears from between the parting clouds.
This video is filled with references to other things pop culture related. One of the most noticeable and one of my favourites is the dancing of the gorilla zombies. They do choreography which appears similar to that found in Michael Jackson’s music video Thriller. Thus, this references the death and ‘rise’ of the zombie gorillas.
Feel Good Inc.
The irony of this music video is beautiful. 2D (the virtual lead vocalist) continuously repeats the words “feel good”, while the video has a dark, melancholy feeling, which completely contrasts with ‘feeling good’.
It’s been said that the video represents the media “dumbing down” society as seen in the rather ‘dead’ crowd and that issues of freedom are also dealt with. One can see this in the way 2D peers out of the window at Noodle, on her floating landmass powered by a windmill.
When it comes to the music video industry, animated videos have definitely made their mark. Examples of these include videos by the virtual band Gorillaz. Including, the videos for: Clint Eastwood and Feel Good Inc.
Animated music videos are an interesting break from the usual live-action music videos, we have become accustom to. Therefore, if done correctly, an animated music video has the ability to surpass the quality of a live-action one.
Animation adds a dynamic to music which live-action is unable to, as in Clint Eastwood and Feel Good Inc. the dark, introspective feel, coupled with the hints of death are perfectly conveyed by the ‘look and feel’ of the videos.