25.10.18

The 10 Best Animated Music Videos, according to Breakbot

From Beatles psychedelia to Disney-animated Paula Abdul…

From moody cartoon band Gorillaz to weird 3D amphibian Crazy Frog, animations have formed some of music’s most enduring visual memories. French DJ and producer Breakbot is someone who takes animation very seriously as an art form, having studied graphic design at university and being a longtime manga/anime fan. He recently dropped the Olivier Lescot-drawn animated video for joyous funk cut ‘Another You’ (featuring Ruckazoid), where Breakbot and Ruckazoid merge “creating Breakazoid, a cosmic pimp, who distributes his love to humans by taking them across the galaxy on the planet love.”

Selecting his ten favourite animated music videos for Dummy, Breakbot says: “It’s not an easy task to pick only ten animated music videos when your two greatest passions are… music and animation. But I scratched my head a little, et voilà !”

1. The Beatles – ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’

“A psychedelic journey in Pepperland, designed by the great Heinz Edelmann. This masterpiece was one of the many inspirations of ‘Baby I’m Yours’ video.”

2. Michael Jackson – ‘Leave Me Alone’

“The process of this video is exhausting, but the result looks insane. It’s basically stop-motion made with printed photos, with clever collage ideas. Michael is riding through an amusement park with references to all the tabloid headlines about him. I also could have picked the ‘Speed Demon’ video, from the same album. It features a rabbit version of him animated in stop motion by the Vinton Studios, the talented crew responsible for the California Raisins. By the way the California Raisins commercial featuring MJ is a must-watch.”

3. Paula Abdul – ‘Opposites Attract’

“Very cool duet between Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat, animated by a bunch of Disney animators leaded by Chris Bailey. The dance animation is so beautifully executed. The style reminds me a lot of the cartoons I used to watch growing up. It was made a few years after ’Who framed Roger Rabbit’, another great live-action/animation mix. I am always stunned by the first appearance of Jessica Rabbit singing ‘Why don’t you do right‘ at the Ink & Paint Club.”

4. JAY-Z – ‘The Story of O.J.’

“This video is very classy. A dark reflection upon Afro-American history, with a touch of nonchalance and irony. The ‘30s animation aesthetic is very well reproduced and it fits the song perfectly.”

5. Mr Oizo – ‘Flat Beat’

“I always had a thing for the muppets. This genius video features Flat Eric, the French version of Kermit. The song and the puppet were originally created by Quentin Dupieux for a Levi’s commercial and then became a huge success.”

6. Chemical Brothers – ‘Star Guitar’

“The concept of this video by Michel Gondry is simple and brilliant. You watch the landscapes go by through the window of a train. Each element of the landscape is synchronised to each instrument of the song. For example, a little house would represent the drum kick, or an electric pole would appear for every clap. Well, it might be easier to watch the video to understand!”

7. Björk – ‘I Miss You’

“This is a cool collaboration between Björk and John Kricfalusi, creator of ‘Ren and Stimpy’, one of the weirdest shows to ever air on TV. I guess it was a natural match with little troubled elf. You can definitely feel a lot of craziness in ‘I Miss You’ . Very entertaining. By the same singer I could have also picked ‘All Is Full Of Love’, a beautiful film about lesbian robots.”

8. Rondo Veneziano – ‘La Serenissima’

“I wanted to put Daft Punk ‘Interstella 5555’, but I figured that a lot of people already knew about it, and that my list only features classics. So here’s a little less famous one. It’s a bit cheap and creepy, but I love it all the same. The robots playing the music always remind me of Daft Punk.”

9. Chage and Aska – ‘On Your Mark’

“Not a big fan of the song to be honest, but I think this is the only music video directed by Hayao Miazaki. Miazaki-Sensei, if you ever read this and that you want to make a second one, I’d be willing to cooperate.”

10. The Simpsons – ‘Do The Bartman’

​“In the early ‘90s, the world was invaded by the Simpsons mania. Michael Jackson was a great fan of the show, and made this track for Bart with a friend of his. He is uncredited due to contract issues, but you can hear him in the chorus. The video is directed by Brad Bird who worked for the Simpsons at the time. He then became the famous director of great animated classics such as ‘The Iron Giant’, ‘Ratatouille‘ and ‘The Incredibles’.”

Watch Breakbot’s animated ‘Another You’ video: