I think I’m safe in saying that fans of Panda Bear, the pseudonym of Noah Lennox of Animal Collective, are probably pretty into video games. I’m also sure that those who are into video games (myself included) are also fans of the good vs. evil storyline prevalent in most games and a lot of films that resemble games, Studio Ghibli etc. There is pure beauty in the little guy overcoming the big baddie, or the idea of friends working together to solve a puzzle, or to override some kind of evil power.
All these themes are evident in this spectacular new music video from Panda Bear. Tapping into his fans’ temperament, directors Isaiah Saxon and Sean Hellfritsch and animating director Eran Hilleli (of Encyclopedia Pictura) take us into a curiously pleasant, fantastical land that resembles a cross between a distant planet and the Great Barrier Reef. In it, we meet a humble-looking girl who touches a magical plant which causes her skin to erupt in moving, dancing spurts of colourful coral-like flora. She travels through the land and rather than meeting evil, she is faced with someone just like her, who she then dances with before helping rescue a lost child – making a family. Mixed with Panda Bear’s signature hypnotic sound, this moving piece of animation is nothing short of perfect.
“We tried hard to bring out the vibe of that alternating melody that Noah is singing,” say directors Isaiah and Sean. “We wondered what that should look and feel like from a synesthesia perspective. We’ve always believed that shapes and forms themselves have emotional meaning. For example, round things are often cute and non-threatening, while spiky things usually seem dangerous. We ran with that idea by creating these dynamic forms that grow out of our characters as they deal with their emotions.”