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This one is very nearly Self Explanatory: a surprising number of musicians have managed to see past the Animation Age Ghetto, and released music videos composed mostly or entirely of animation. These can range from traditional cel animation to CGI or stop-motion.

Non-professional works should be filed under Fan Vid or Machinima.

Examples of Animated Music Video include:


Alternative

  • Björk loves concept videos. One of them is "I Miss You", a sexually-comedic psychedelic cel-animated number from John Kricfalusi and Spumco of Ren and Stimpy and The Ripping Friends infamy.
    • George Liquor... American makes a Cameo.
  • Blockhead's "The Music Scene" is a psychedelic animation with cyberpunk undertones by Anthony Schepperd.
  • Bloc Party's "Pioneers" and "One Month Off" have flash animated and stop-motion animated videos, respectively.
  • Coldplay's "Strawberry Swing", which is animated in stop-motion with Chris Martin lying on a pavement floor against chalk-drawn backgrounds.
  • Every music video by the Gorillaz features animation. In fact, the band claims to actually be a foursome of cartoons.
    • Done first by the Canadian band Prozzak, consisting of the animated duo Simon and Milo.
  • cough* The Archies * cough*
  • "Shoot The Runner" by Kasabian is a rotoscoped Performance Video with some paint splatters thrown in. It sounds simple, but it's the eye-candiest thing this side of an iPod commercial.
    • "Shoot The Runner" isn't the first music video to include rotoscoping -- the Beastie Boys' "Shadrach" is a series of rotoscoped pastel drawings based on specially-shot live footage.
    • And then there's the video for "Take On Me" by A-ha, half-rotoscoped and half-live-action, about a woman who gets sucked into a comic book and falls in love with the protagonist, eventually bringing him out into the real world.
  • The videos for Matthew Sweet's "Girlfriend" and "I've Been Waiting" used clips from Space Adventure Cobra and Urusei Yatsura, respectively.
  • "True Faith" by New Order has a particularly weird example.
  • The Pillows' "Wake Up Dodo". Be warned that the song may never leave your head.
  • Radiohead has lots, official and unofficial.
  • They Might Be Giants have done quite a few of these. "(She Was A) Hotel Detective", "Experimental Film" (done by Strong Sad and The Cheat), "Bastard Wants to Hit Me", "I'm Impressed", and "The Mesopotamians", to name a few. In fact, the majority of their music videos in the latter half of the Oughties were animated. Their kids' albums No! and Here Come the ABCs feature a selection of Flash videos for several of the songs on the CD, accessible via computer.
  • Silverchair had to release the video for "Luv Your Life" in animation due to lead singer Daniel John's then-crippling arthritis.
  • The video for "Fell In Love with a Girl" by The White Stripes uses an interesting technique, with stop motion animation of a wall of Lego blocks.
  • The video for Sheep Go To Heaven.
  • The video for Fall Out Boy's "The Carpal Tunnel Of Love", starring none other than the Happy Tree Friends (and features HTF versions of the band members as well).
  • Lemon Jelly's trippy Nice Weather for Ducks.
  • Asian Kung-Fu Generation's "Atarashii Sekai".
  • Shiny Toy Guns has their Ghost Town video.
  • Alice in Chains' I Stay Away video is made with clay figures to make a disturbing stop-motion video.
    • The video for Lesson Learned video is an interesting variation: the whole video is live-action, but is composed of 6,000 still images stitched together to make a video.
  • Monarchy of Roses by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, with animation inspired by the art of Raymond Pettibon: collaborator and brother to Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn.
  • My Brightest Diamond's "Inside a Boy" depicts a girl rescuing her boyfriend from a dungeon and slaying monsters along the way.
  • Cage the Elephant's "Aberdeen" is a claymation tale of a kaiju trying to make friends with people in a city.

Comedy

  • "Weird Al" Yankovic made the same choice (or mistake) with his video for "Close but No Cigar. "Virus Alert" and "I'll Sue Ya" have more conventional animation; "Weasel Stomping Day" uses the same style as (and props as, and was featured in) Robot Chicken; "Do I Creep You Out" uses JibJab's standard cutout animation method, "Jurassic Park" is claymation...
    • The video for "Close but No Cigar" was done by John Kricfalusi, the same guy who made the video of Björk's "I Miss You", mentionned earlier.
    • Nine of the twelve songs on Alpocalypse have animated music videos, the exceptions being the polka, "Craigslist" and "Perform This Way". "Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me" is a particularly odd example, as the only things being animated are words.
    • "Don't Download This Song" features a video animated by Bill Plympton.
    • The opening theme to The Weird Al Show switches from hand-drawn animation to CGI to claymation.
    • Party in the CIA uses an animation style similar to The Xs.
  • Green Jelly’s "Three Little Pigs", done in Claymation.


Country

  • The video for Toby Keith's "American Ride" uses a style similar to JibJab.
  • Lonestar's "Mr. Mom".
  • Randy Travis' "Before You Kill Us All".

Dance

  • "Move Your Feet" by Junior Senior uses pixel art animation.

Electronic

  • DyE's "Fantasy" is, video description paraphrased, an NSFW Animesque video about some highschoolers who break into a swimming pool.
  • The Chemical Brothers' "Salmon Dance" is performed by animated fish.
  • Daft Punk collaborated with the legendary Leiji Matsumoto to create videos for the tracks on their album Discovery, the first four of which ("One More Time", "Aerodynamic", "Digital Love", and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger") were shown on MTV. They were eventually released as the anime movie Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem.
    • They allegedly pitched the idea to Matsumoto by showing up in character as robots.
  • "Remind Me" by the Norwegian band Röyksopp features a video of a day in the life of a woman working in London's Square Mile, only through infographics.
    • The video for their song Poor Leno is also animated.
  • London Elektricity's "All Hell Is Breaking Loose" has a dance party in the graveyard.
  • Sugimoto Kousuke and Manabe Takayuki's "The TV Show" is many different styles of animation all bleeding together, interfering with and eventually running rampant through each other, set to a fantastic electronic beat.
    • Sugimoto and Handsome Kenya's "Sing in my own way" tells the story of shop clerk/musician Kenya in multiple versions, by having colored versions of Kenya splitting off him and having different experiences from then on. The video also contains ShoutOuts to movies such as Sliding Doors.
  • The promotional video for "Plastique" by Plastikman is pretty much just a video of his logo dancing, flying around, and so on.
  • Nearly every music video by Luke Vibert and his aliases.
  • Nearly all the videos by Japanese DJ Halfby are done with CG animation in the same isometric perspective. Perhaps the most famous is "Rodeo Machine".
  • "Saviour" by Lights.
  • Lying somewhere between this and Fan Vid is Nero's "Innocence". The official music video consists entirely of edited footage from the last episode of Cyber City Oedo 808, a series which Nero have admitted to being fans of.
  • All of Genki Rockets' videos. "Heavenly Star", "Breeze", and "Star Line" use rotoscoped animation similar to the aforementioned "Take on Me" by A-ha, while "Make Believe" and "Curiosity" are CGI.
  • Studio Killers' Ode to the Bouncer is a fantastic blend of CGI and traditional animation.
  • The videos to Gouryella(Ferry Corsten + DJ Tiesto)'s self-titled song, "Walhalla", and "Tenshi" all use CGI animation. "Walhalla" has a Disney Acid Sequence thrown in the middle for good measure.

Folk

  • Fleet Foxes have three Stop Motion animated music videos so far, all viewable here, mostly courtesy of lead singer Robin Pecknold's animator brother Sean. They tend to be beautiful in a very trippy fashion.

Hard Rock

Heavy Metal

  • The Disturbed cover of "Land Of Confusion" had an anime/Spawn styled animated video that was front-loaded with heavy metal and fascism cliches.
  • Korn's "Freak on a Leash" opened and ended with animation directed by Todd McFarlane (who also did "Do the Evolution").
  • Slipknot's "Wait and Bleed"
  • Raunchy's "Watch Out" is an animated video directed by Anders Morgenthaler, who later went on to release the animated film Princess.
  • "Light the Torch" by Soilwork had a gritty CGI video.
  • "Warriors of Time" by Black Tide.
  • Enter Shikari has 'Thumper', a black-and-white performance video with (terrifying) doodle-drawings of the band over it.
  • It's probably easier to list all of Iron Maiden's non-animated music videos.
  • "Anubis" by Swedish power metal band Tad Morose.
  • Sepultura's "Ratamahatta" features creepy stop-motion animation and a plot that has something to do with voodoo zombies.

Hip-Hop

  • "Word Of Mouth" by John Reuben cast Reuben as a cel-shaded Corrupt Corporate Executive on a mission to destroy imagination and profit from conformity.
  • The video for the Rae and Christian remix version of the Dinah Washington cover of "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby". That is a convoluted sentence. Linky!

Indie

  • Architecture in Helsinki have produced two animated videos: "Like a Call" and "Do the Whirlwind".
  • The band BOY has a fantastic Animated Music Video for their song "Joey"
  • Edison Glass has "This House" which keeps exact time with music.
  • Interpol's "Evil", which used (incredibly creepy looking) puppets.
  • Peter Bjorn and John's music video for their hit single "Young Folks".
  • "Fortress" by Pinback.
  • Wilco's music video for "Dawned on Me" has the band not only animated, but guest staring in a Popeye cartoon.
  • Experimental Dream Pop group His Name Is Alive had influential stop-motion animators The Brothers Quay direct videos for "Are We Still Married? and "Can't Go Wrong Without You".


Mambo

  • Lou Bega's "Just a Gigolo" video is partially animated.

Other

  • Tiny Toon Adventures gave a whole bunch of songs animated music videos for two special episodes, including two songs from the ever-popular-on-TVTropes Wiki They Might Be Giants.
    • "...who are these guys?"
  • The Pixar short Boundin, which ran as a sub-feature for The Incredibles. Of course, since the song was written for the film, it might be more appropriate to label it a "short animated musical comedy".
    • And One Man Band, the sub-feature for Cars, which featured dueling street musicians.
  • All of Dethklok's videos are animated (some are even seen in the show).
  • A large majority of Vocaloid songs have a PV (Promotional Video) made for them, a lot of which are fan made.

Pop

  • A-ha's "Take On Me"
    • Also, "The Sun Always Shines On TV."
      • And, of course, "Train Of Thought."
  • Britney Spears' "Break the Ice", done in an anime style.
  • Chage and Aska's "On Your Mark", directed by none other than Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli fame, featured two policemen chasing after a girl with wings, among other things.
  • Elton John's video for "Club at the End of the Street".
  • Jellyfish, "Baby's Coming Back".
  • "Music" by Madonna, the dancing scene in the middle uses an animated version of her because she was pregnant at the time.
  • Michael Jackson had two that come to mind both which were featured in the movie Moonwalker (though also as separate mainstream videos). "Leave me Alone" which blended live action and stop-motion. Similarly the second video feature Mike dancing on the roadside with a bunny name Spike.
  • Paula Abdul did her video for "Opposites Attract" alongside the animated MC Skat Kat.
  • Pet Shop Boys' videos from the Very album are all predominantly CGI, but "Liberation" is entirely computer-animated (and like the other videos from the album, has nothing to do with the meaning of the song). And the more recent "Love etc." was done entirely in Flash over the span of two weeks.
  • The Police's video for the 1986 version of "Don't Stand So Close To Me."
  • Rod Stewart's video for "Motown Song".
    • It's worth noting that this video has nearly the exact same style as the Elton John video listed before this, including reused character designs and early 90's digital editing techniques. Elton himself (or rather, his animated counterpart from his video for "Club") appears as well. Hey, at least he fares better than Michael Jackson...
  • The Spice Girls' "Viva Forever" features all five girls animated as CGI fairies. Note that we said "all five" -- the video was released shortly after Geri Halliwell's departure from the band.
  • Tom Tom Club's video for "Genius of Love".
  • Robbie Williams' "Let love be your energy", in which he looks like Buzz Lightyear
  • The video for Tigerbombs' 1000 Sparks features an animated fox teaching people, ninjas, sumo wrestlers and penguins to dance.
  • A portion of Shakira's "Objection (Tango)"
  • Scissor Sisters with "Mary", the video is live-action with an animated segment that seems to be a spoof of "Rapunzel" and other fairytales. What's interesting about this one is that the segment was produced by Don Bluth.
  • St.Olie's "I Will Burn" ("Я сгорю...") (partially in the original (interspersed with live-action clips) and fully in the alternate version (complete with the cameo appearance of the little girl from the previously-unfinished Sweeties (Милыши) pilot at the very end)) and "Caviar" ("Икра") (NSFW), both directed by Khariton Klimov. The former was animated by Antimult and partially inspired by Fahrenheit 451 and Rammstein's "Benzin" music video, involving Ilona Stolie and her firefighter crew burning her mansion down after a break-up.
  • Tom Jones' "Give A Little Love" video, like Squirrel Nut Zippers' "Ghost of Stephen Foster"(see below), pays homage to Fleischer Studios cartoons, with Tom dancing with an Expy of Betty Boop.

Progressive Rock

  • "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time" by Peter Gabriel used Claymation; his later "Steam" used CGI
    • "Sledgehammer" mainly used pixellation (human puppetry), as did Talking Heads' Road to Nowhere video.
  • Pink Floyd featured several animated sequences for songs in The Wall
    • And before that, "Welcome To The Machine". They were rear-projected films for their concerts.
  • "The Big Money" by Rush takes place on a giant, computer-generated Monopoly-esque board.
  • The video for Grover Levy's "Part of Life" was done entirely in 2D animation.

Rap

  • Eminem's political video "Mosh" is entirely flash animated and so far his only animated video.
    • He's now added "Shake That" (feat. Nate Dogg).
  • Ghostface Killah's "Daytona 500" is basically a licensed Fan Vid of Speed Racer.
  • Whether it's his beats or his wardrobe, alternative rapper/producer Kanye West does well to keep his style as atypical as possible and naturally has come to rely on animation for a handful of his music videos.
    • "Heard Em Say" features black-and-white animation by Bill Plympton.
    • "Good Life" features him and T-Pain performing within a multifaceted animated environment.
    • West originally intended for his music video for "Stronger" to be an AMV, splicing in sequences from the classic anime film Akira. Due to production issues, he had to settle for recreating scenes from film using CGI. For the next best thing, see this link
    • "Heartless"'s video is also animated. The Softer and Slower Cover by The Fray uses rotoscoped pencil drawings alongside its live-action footage.
  • Snoop Dogg released an animated version of the music video for "Vato" on his official website.
  • Tupac Shakur's "Do For Love" utilizes just about every style of animation you can think of, from Anime to Claymation.
  • The practice also suits underground rappers who manage to produce music videos. Prime examples are Madvillain's Silver Age comic book-style animated video for "ALL CAPS" and the morbid, 3-D world of "Monkey Suite"
  • Big Pun's "How We Roll" is a completely CGI video.

Rock

  • The Beatles' Yellow Submarine was little more than a series of animated music videos.
  • The video for Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" famously made use of CGI animation, being the Trope Maker for CGI music videos way back in 1984.
    • Which was parodied, video and all, in UHF with Weird Al's "Beverly Hillbillies" song.
  • Linkin Park had one music video for a "Points of Authority" remix done in CGI and was animated by the same company that did Final Fantasy the Spirits Within and "The Final Flight of Osiris" Animatrix short. They also had a genuine anime music video for "Breaking The Habit", animated by the same company that did the anime segment from Kill Bill and "Kid's Story" from the Animatrix.
  • Urban Claymation dinosaurs rocked out in Luis Cardenas' video for his cover of "Runaway".
  • "Sing For Absolution" by Muse featured computer-animated versions of the band piloting a spacecraft through a Negative Space Wedgie.
  • Pearl Jam's "Do The Evolution" took us on an animated tour through the low points of the evolution of life on Earth, from the primordial soup, to the extinction of the dinosaurs, through several wars, finally ending up Twenty Minutes Into the Future with mankind reduced to soulless corporate clones, shortly before a nuclear holocaust, guided all the way by a Stripperiffic Anthropomorphic Personification of death. The video was directed by Spawn creator Todd McFarlane.
  • Queen's "Innuendo" uses sketch art and stop-motion animation.
    • Sections of "A Kind Of Magic" and "Save Me" are also animated.
  • Rob Thomas' video for "Ever the Same" is quite recognizable due to the background's bright colors and hand-sketched look.
  • Talking Heads' "And She Was" uses cut-out animation to create a trippy, pseudo-photorealistic look. "Road To Nowhere" utilises stop-motion animation for a number of bizarre sequences.
  • Tom Petty's "Runnin' Down a Dream" (a tip of the hat to the classic comic and animated film from the 1910's Little Nemo in Slumberland) features animated versions of Tom Petty and Flip getting into trouble.
  • "Shiva" ("Шива") (NSFW) by the Russian alt-rock trio Total, is done in the anime style, based off Kite.
  • "Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me" by U2 was done similar to a comic book.
  • Genesis's "Land of Confusion" used freaky puppets from the British TV show Spitting Image, including some eerily-accurate comic caricatures of the band.
  • Peter Himmelman's song "245 Days" has a music video containing animation by Bill Plympton.

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