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Work / Animation

Simon Landrein takes Dan Croll down the rabbit hole in his animated video for Tokyo

Simon Landrein has animated the video for Dan Croll’s latest track Tokyo, bringing his signature panel comic style and surreal, happy characters along for the ride. The video sees a cartoon version of Dan meeting a host of bizarre characters, including a giant head and a woman with eyes in her knees, joined by a camera character who Simon says acts as the singer’s conscience.

“Dan said the song was about how we can sometimes feel jealous of our friends travelling all around the globe,” Simon explains to It’s Nice That, “so I wanted to have a main character who’s reluctant towards any demonstrative behaviour, someone who is bitter to watch other people’s lives. It’s a contradiction, as the hero imagines the lives of people he doesn’t want to know about. He doesn’t want to be there, so to keep him on track I’ve added this camera character who acts like Jiminy Cricket and pushes him in the right direction.”

The story follows the main character (Dan) travelling through his imagination. Dan and his producers had a dreamlike, Ghibli-style mood in mind, and though it definitely has that fantastical feeling, it ended up being more akin to another well-known fictional land. “I didn’t want Dan to be a totally negative protagonist and at some point he eats a cake that delivers his own vision of travelling far away. It’s funny, now I’m talking about it it sounds a bit more like Alice in Wonderland or a sort of fairytale, which is strange as I’m not attracted this much to this genre.”

It’s also far less risqué than Simon’s previous work, which are peppered with saucy moments. “I’ve tried to illustrate relationship a bit more than usual, trying to show a more complex character. I’ve got rid of the seduction, romantic or sexual feelings that were in most of my previous videos.Those feelings are easier to set, they’re also really fun to play with. In this one the contradiction and jealousy were the main focus.”

Simon’s artwork also forms the EP cover, with a different character design for each artist remix.

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Simon Landrein: Tokyo, Dan Croll

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Simon Landrein: Tokyo, Dan Croll

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Simon Landrein: Tokyo, Dan Croll

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Simon Landrein: Tokyo, Dan Croll

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Simon Landrein: Tokyo, Dan Croll

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Simon Landrein: Tokyo, Dan Croll

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Simon Landrein: Tokyo, Dan Croll

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Simon Landrein: Tokyo, Dan Croll

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Simon Landrein: Tokyo, Dan Croll

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Simon Landrein: Tokyo, Dan Croll

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Simon Landrein: Tokyo, Dan Croll