The Ruffled Crow

Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things

Tag Archives: RCST

Number One

We have made it to Friday! Congratulations everyone! I did my part and am glad to have made it here with you. In celebration I bring (back) to you one of the coolest music videos ever made.

Yes, this is kind of a re-post (with better resolution). I’ve been thinking of resurrecting and re-editing a select few of the old posts on this blog – videos from up to 2012 or so, maybe expand an article or two. There are a few early videos that are so good that they well deserve a reprise. This is one of them.

I love this video and when I first posted it in 2011 I’d had it kicking around my computers for at least six or seven years already. I still have a copy. It doesn’t seem all that special now, but when it was made, 2001 to 2003 I figure, computer motion capture hadn’t gotten hold in Hollywood quite yet, animators were still struggling with hair, and animated/cgi character movement was a Big Thing in both films and MMORPGs.

The computer animation itself is excellent – especially for when it was made – but what really stands out is the direction; throughout the video you’ll see signature dance moves you’ll recognize immediately.

Playgroup is a British Electroclash band and the tune Number One was released in 2001.

Rush

Back in high school I needed to record a news report for our school’s radio station and hunted down a reel of tape to use. As is good practice, I cued it up and gave it a listen in case it was something important.

Well, it was. It was side one of All the World’s a Stage by a band named Rush. I’d never heard of them before, but it grabbed me and I listened to it every day until I found out who it was and where I could buy the album. When I finally got the album and heard side two… I was blown away by this symphonic metal twenty-minute science fiction story. At that moment I became a lifelong Rush fan. I do love my glitch-hop and electro-swing, but no one will ever beat out this Canadian power trio for me.

2112 is my favorite Rush song and it is the title track on an album for the ages. Okay, technically this isn’t a full animation but an animation of the graphic novel set to the music it was inspired by. File it under RC’s Shiny Things.

Rush formed in 1968 in Toronto, Canada though didn’t release a studio album until their self-titled debut record in 1974. That was the only album drummer John Rutsey was on. From 1975’s Fly by Night disc foreward Neil Peart took over the drums joining Geddy Lee’s vocals and bass, and Alex Lifeson’s masterful guitar. He also took over quite a bit of songwriting and wrote long, narrative, songs set in fantasy worlds that I think really played into Lifeson’s virtuosity.

I listen to the albums they did in the 1970’s most often, and my best friend liked the 80’s stuff best, but there isn’t an album without at least one epic track on it.

While their musical style shifted a bit as new electronics were introduced (And Peart’s drum kit grew. It’s really quite impressive) they never bought in to the commercial side of things – think arena rockers and hair bands of the 80’s – and had some struggles for recognition by the industry as a result. While they got some Grammy nominations, they never won. It took until 2013 to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, though Canada, being the good and polite folks that they are, inducted them into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994.

Since I’m already playing fast and loose with the definition of ‘animation’ tonight I might as well go for broke and include this beautifully done video – some animation (of large scale) and some excellent camera work.

Xanadu, from the album A Farewell to Kings.

The Henhouse – Elena Pomares

Sonar – Renaud Hallee

zoologic

The Unicorn in the Garden – James Thurber

This is the 1953 animation from UPA (who also did The Tell Tale Heart and Rooty Toot Toot) and shouldn’t be confused with the 1969 DePatie-Freleng version animated for the Thurber story-based tv show My World and Welcome to It.

In 1951 animation studio United Productions of America (UPA) announced a forthcoming feature to be faithfully compiled from Thurber’s work, titled Men, Women and Dogs. However, the only part of the ambitious production that was eventually released was the UPA cartoon The Unicorn in the Garden (1953) via

You can read the short story this is based on here.

The Maker – Christopher Kezelos

Sketchy Duel – Bird Box Studio

The Musical Box – Luca Frattini

Romance – Ore Peleg

This sweet little film looks past the lust and ardor that is supposed to be love and into a little world of true devotion.

Last April Aunt Bee and I celebrated our 20th anniversary and I hope that when we get to whatever place these two folks are at that there will be this much romance in our lives.

By Ore Peleg

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