From Tom Petty to Tool: Rock’s Best Animated Music Videos
If there's one artistic medium that can compete with my love of rock music, it's animation. I adore it and will watch almost anything animated, unless its too ugly like Big Mouth. I love Adventure Time, anime, and everything in between.
Needless to say, it's extra special when these two mediums come together. Here's a list of my favorites in no particular order...
...except for this one. "I Appear Missing" by Queens of the Stones Age is not only an achingly lonely and sad music video; it's also one of my favorite songs, period. My obsession is clear: this song is on my funeral playlist. Nope, I don't have a will, but I DO have a setlist in case I kick the bucket.
My next choice is Pearl Jam's best song, paired with their best video, "Do the Evolution." I know that is one BIG claim, but what other Pearl Jam song rocks quite this hard? I adore the tone on the guitar, and Eddie's fuzzed vocals. The animation in this video is gritty and exquisite.
Here's one for my fellow 80s babies, Tom Petty's "Running Down a Dream." Animation was a perfect choice for the subject of the song, and seeing our Tom Petty in a Little Nemo-esque landscape is as charming as it is beautiful.
Want something harder? There's plenty of great animated and absolutely crushing videos, including the hyper color D&D campaign that is High of Fire's "The Black Plot."
Tool fans have probably been thinking, 'When is she going to get to "Prison Sex"'?, or any number of their other iconic stop-motion videos. Well, here we are, but I chose "Sober." If you like this style of animation, be sure to check out experimental animators The Brothers Quay or Jan Svankmejer, both of which predate Tool, but looks uncannily like any of their videos.
Can't get enough stop motion creepiness? These next two videos are what I'd call rock-adjacent. Perhaps not quite rock, but certainly heavily influenced by it. I love the anger and power behind Ghostmane's "Bonesaw" (NSFW: huge f-bomb right at the beginning), and the gorgeously spooky "The Rifle's Spiral" by indie artists The Shins.
Some music artists start in another medium entirely, like our patron saint Rob Zombie, who got his start in the biz as part of the production team on Pee Wee's Playhouse. He kept that frenetic style throughout his career, including "Lords of Salem" (the video, not the movie, but I do adore the film).
A crossover can be eye-rolling, but when you combine the very fun Metalocalpse with the doomy glory that is Soundgarden, you get something as absolutely epic as the video for "Black Rain."
I didn't include any live action/animation hybrids because that felt like cheating...until now. I refuse to not include the hyper-weird Butthole Surfer's "Who Was in My Room Last Night" because they are from the homeland of Texas and Flea guest stars as the bartender.
For further reading, I also must mention the entire film, Heavy Metal. So many fantastic songs and gorgeous Moebius-inspired animation. It's one of my very favorite films, so much so that I've actually cosplayed as Taarna (albeit with a stitch or two more of clothing).