Top 10 Best Animated Music Videos
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Whether it's the use of traditional animation or the stop motion of two or three-dimensional objects, there's just something about the use of these processes that go very well with music. For this list, we're limiting it to one music video per artist. We're also allowing for the combination of different types of animation within a video, as well as the use of some live action as long as the videos are memorable. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 animated music videos.
Special thanks to our users Georgina Bransfield, 8305kate and Samuel Venegas for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest.
They’re some of the best examples of music and animation in existence. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 animated music videos.
For this list, we’re limiting it to one music video per artist. We’re also allowing for the combination of different types of animation within a video, as well as the use of some live action as long as the videos are memorable.
#10: “Do I Wanna Know?”
Blending neo-psychedelia, garage, indie and stoner rock, the second single from the Arctic Monkeys’ fifth album reached the UK top twenty in 2003. But it’s the song’s accompanying music video, which features simple but unconventional visual techniques that puts it here. “Do I Wanna Know?”’s video followed the track’s winding beat and down-tempo rock so effectively it earned over 23 million YouTube views in less than 6 months.
As the second single from Tool’s debut, “Sober” is an alternative and progressive metal number that was their first real hit. But it was the music video’s use of stop-motion animation that earned the band regular television airplay. Thanks to the creepy Adam Jones-designed figures, the dark video really helped bring the song’s somber atmosphere to life.
#8: “One More Time”
Featuring the anime talents of Leiji Matsumoto and Kasuhisa Takenouchi, Daft Punk’s music video for “One More Time” centers on the story of an alien pop band. Though it’s actually one episode of a series of brightly colored and retro anime-styled films, we chose this one because of how well it matched the funky beat and happy sound of the disco house track.
#7: “Fell In Love With a Girl”
The White Stripes
The Michel Gondry-directed music video for The White Stripes’ second single off White Blood Cells so cleverly and creatively used LEGO animation that it won three MTV VMAs. Well-deserved, considering it had been painstakingly shot frame by frame! Though there was some minimal computer animation involved, this doesn’t take away from the original and colorful production that also gave the band its first taste of mainstream success.
#6: “Feel Good Inc.”
Since Gorillaz consists of a virtual band with animated members, many of its music videos could land on this list. But we chose the video for their second album’s first single because of its oh-so-smooth balance of CGI and 2D animation. But that’s not all: by tackling social and political issues, “Feel Good Inc.” offered us visual stimulation AND made us think.
#5: “Paranoid Android”
This is just one of those music videos that’s so bizarre it’s hard to forget. With its vivid color and twisted visuals, it fits the song’s dark humor and alternative and progressive rock sound so well it became an MTV staple. With Swedish animator Magnus Carlsson behind the wheel, the video for “Paranoid Android” is truly a unique 6-and-a-half minute work of art.
#4: “Money for Nothing”
By successfully fusing blues, rock and new wave, this Grammy-winning hit topped the charts in the mid-1980s. While “Money for Nothing” grabbed people’s attention with its controversial lyrics and a catchy main guitar riff, its innovative music video really made waves for being one of the first to showcase early computer animation techniques.
#3: “Do the Evolution”
Though this track off Pearl Jam’s fifth studio album wasn’t commercially released, its grunge and garage rock flavors still earned the band a Grammy nod. But it was its Kevin Altieri and Todd McFarlane-directed animated music video that really made it standout: after 16 weeks of production and contributions from over 100 artists, Pearl Jam and their fans were rewarded with this comic book-inspired short film. By taking us on a visual and musical journey through history, the music video was also nominated for a Grammy.
#2: “Take On Me”
Though the Norwegian act released a recording and corresponding music video of this new wave and synthpop number in 1984, it was the next year’s version of the track and its Steve Baron-directed video that remains forever implanted in our brains. The romantic storyline created through pencil-sketch animation and the rotoscoping technique wasn’t only revolutionary for the time but also perfectly fit the mood of the song’s lyrics. MTV’s support of the video helped A-Ha top the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1985.
“Go With the Flow” by Queens of the Stone Age
“Coffee & TV” by Blur
“Breaking the Habit” by Linkin Park
“Heartless” by Kanye West
“Wanderlust” by Bjork
“Nothing Like This” by J Dilla
If it wasn’t for this inventive music video, Peter Gabriel may never have topped the Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist. Though the song itself was nominated for several Grammys, it was the accompanying short film’s skillful mix of claymation, pixilation and stop motion animation with live action that made MTV history: with nine VMAs, the channel’s most aired music video is also one of the most recognizable and important animated productions ever.
Do you agree with our list? What's your favorite animated music video? With new Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.