Top five: Animated music videos

The launch of MTV in 1981 gave birth to a new artform that would change the way we enjoy our favourite songs forever: the music video. From the very first video they aired (The Buggles - Video Killed the Radio Star), no winning track has been complete without a winning video to match.

The worldwide popularity of music videos is indicative of how visuals can inject life and emotion into other art forms. With a strong visual identity, songs become more memorable, shareable and meaningful. And animation, in particular, provides artists with a huge creative license to express themselves through abstract, fantasy worlds.

For this month's top five, our animator and music aficionado, Amy Wolfe, selects the animated music videos that have made a lasting impact on her favourite songs.


Throne - Tharsis Sleeps

Harking back to the 70s, the age of Black Sabbath, of Led Zepp, of denim jackets and embroidered patches, this animated music video - painstakingly rendered in thread - for Throne, is a stroke of creative genius. Animators Tom Bunker and Nicos Livesey used over 3,000 embroidered denim frames to create it. It is mind-blowing in its intricacy. 


White Stripes - Fell In Love With A Girl

We're no strangers to using simple props as the basis of our animations - from building blocks to paper houses - and the use of LEGO in this White Stripes video shows just how visually engaging a simple prop can be. Meg White, playing the drums, crudely rendered in red, white and black lego is a sight to behold. 


Tom Rosenthal - I Like It When You're Gone

We're always mesmerised by animator Rosanna Wan's beautiful creations here at Scriberia. This one in particular has a strangely hypnotic feel to it, as we follow her penciled protagonist across land and sea. Her fragile pencil marks and flickering lines reflect beautifully Tom Rosenthal's moving lyrics.


Shintaro Sakamoto - You Can Be A Robot, Too (feat Kamome Children's Choir)

There's a pretty high bar for what passes for weirdness around here. But this is truly one of the oddest things we've seen in a while. This handpainted animated video accompanying Shintaro Sakamoto's ode to robots (fishmonger robots, police robots...). It's fun and I can't help but love it, from its pace to its disregard for the rulebook. 


Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer (Aardman Animations and the Brothers Quay)

Produced by Aardman Animations (makers of Wallace and Gromit), Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer is packed with crazy ideas from start to finish. I would love to see the original storyboards. TIME magazine describes it as, 'one of MTV's most important videos ever: not only did it win nine Video Music Awards in 1987 (a feat still unsurpassed); it's also the most played clip in the history of the channel.' But the video's impressive seven-day turn-around wasn't without blood, sweat and tears; Peter lay under a glass sheet for 16 hours while filming and describes being painted blue for the sky scene as 'painful'.