No matter how visually exciting a band or artist may be, sometimes sticking to the ‘real world’ can put something of a limit on creative imagination. Sculpting a whole new universe from scratch has always been one of the imperatives for any good animator: be they the 1920s pioneers who knocked together those first flickering Disney cartoons, or the computer whiz-kids who sculpt the next Pixar masterpiece.
What happens when this animated wonderland is combined with the world of music? Great, great things – as our rundown of the five best animated music videos will attest …
5. The White Stripes – ‘Fell In Love With A Girl’
Superstar director Michel Gondry combines two of the greatest inventions of the latter half of the 20th century – lego and rock ‘n’ roll – into this whirlwind high-octane blast.
4. Dire Straits – ‘Money For Nothing’
Okay, okay, so the music itself may sound like the kind of thing your parents used to play on the car stereo, but no-one can deny the innovation of this video. In the mid-80s such computer animation was as incredible as flying to Venus on a robot eagle.
3. Radiohead – ‘Paranoid Android’
How best to translate the paranoid netherworld inside Thom Yorke’s head into an animated nightmare? Like this.
2. Peter Gabriel – ‘Sledgehammer’
One of those rare instances in which the viewer can be impressed by the technical profiency of a production, while also become swept away in the fact that the video itself is a three-minute odyssey of pure joy.
1. A-ha – ‘Take On Me’
Smartly taking on a timeless element (pulp comic book artwork) to ensure that its aesthetic will never date, this still remains a jaw-dropping experience from start to finish.