Radiohead's “Burn The Witch” is the type of claymation video you send the kids out of the room before watching. It's got a sweet Little Golden Book style, but it references centuries of religious violence, and builds to a climax modeled on the 1973 British cult horror classic The Wicker Man.
Since Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" dominated MTV in the '80s, those colorful blobs have been an effective tool for catching eyes, if you have the time and the budget. So we've compiled a list of contemporary and classic clay clips that have stuck with us. The videos can be dreamy or nightmarish, but beating beneath the putty is a human heart.
1. Nina Simone, “My Baby Just Cares For Me”
A 1987 Chanel No. 5 commercial made the Nina Simone song a hit nearly thirty years after its release. The track got an official video from Aardman Animations, the studio behind “Sledgehammer.” It's a totally charming period piece, the Top Cat cartoon meets Pepe LePew meets consent laws.
2. Kate Bush, “Misty”
Only a figure as legendary as Kate Bush could make something that usurps The Snowman as “most tragic tale depicting anthropomorphic ice.” She directed this video, which was animated by Tommy Thompson and Gary Pureton.
3. Radkey, “Glore”
The clay avatars of punk group Radkey star in an average vegetation session turned demonic, psychotropic trip, courtesy of Yesevil Claymation. Cameos include Beavis and Butthead, Link from The Legend Of Zelda, and Regular Show's Mordecai and Rigby. For more punk rock ultraviolence, check out Trash Talk's “The Great Escape” video by Jim Dirschberger (Bob's Burgers).
4. Tame Impala, “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
“Over 1000 separate plasticine collages all individually made by hand” went into the video for Tame Impala's hit, directed by Becky And Joe. The overall effect is like if the final sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey only featured the astronaut's profile.
5. Glass Animals, “Pools”
Rafael Bonilla's music video for “Pools” from Oxford's Glass Animals captures nature in all its gross, terrifying, and psychedelic beauty, and it's made of clay! After the clip's journey from jungle to sea floor, you'll see the clown fish hiding inside us all.
6. Vadoinmessico, “Teeo”
As any child that's played with action figures or dolls will tell you, sometimes you need to throw narrative to the wind and let discursion reign. Rafael Bonilla's second clip in our list is like channel-surfing through different worlds.