The First Line
Animated shorts are fairly normal for Pixar and Dreamworks, but I was pleased to stumble across this fan-created gem while doing my research for the post on Owl City. I call it a gem because in its few minutes of run-time, it manages to tell a pretty fantastic story creating a beautiful collision between animation and music. Check it out:
Not only is the entire short in black and white, the characters are dressed the way they would be back in the 60’s before color became the norm in 1965: the monochromatic style supports the time period and serves to reinforce the story. By comparison, take the following black and white promo video for The Jetsons. In this case, the black and white style must simply be accepted as a technical limitation – it’s not adding to the story (or…story set up):
Owl City’s electronic synth-pop style, by comparison, is in stark contrast to the work it encapsulates. The futuristic synth sound arranged around a dance beat with ambient breaks isn’t likely to jog anyone’s memories of the 60’s. Aside from that, the lyrics are actually melancholy speaking of death and the prospect of leaving loved ones behind.
Still, it works because the deviations cease to matter when the emotional contact points of the song intersect with the emotional contact points in the story. This, I think, is a pretty cool clue in how to make these sorts of collisions work for other mediums.