Donald Glover, otherwise known as Childish Gambino, has superseded his trailblazing reputation for highly original music videos with his latest track Feels Like Summer working jointly with animation directors Ivan Dixon and Greg Sharp. The heart-warming animation,
which is currently at over 13 million views, accompanies the mellow beats of his latest track; an ode to the carefree warmth and communal joy that summer brings.
Ivan and Greg’s animation serves a vivid storyline of Childish Gambino wondering through the rose-tinted streets of suburbia, while encountering some of the biggest faces in the Hip-Hop and entertainment industries. However, the celebrities are stripped away from the glamorous worlds that come with fame. Instead, they are depicted as a modest, local community, mutually supporting one another and happily sharing their lives together; a far cry from the reality of stardom. Additionally, background designer, Andrew Onorato skilfully sets the scene for the community-centred animation using pink and red hues denoting a hot summer’s day.
Feels like Summer’s character designer, Justin Richburg effortlessly crafts the celebrity’s idiosyncrasies through animation to create the feeling of a thriving community inhabiting the local neighbourhood. In one touching segment, Kanye West is seen alone in the dark crying, adorned in a “Make America Great Again” cap. Michelle Obama appears with a maternal embrace, reassuring Kanye and forgiving him his mistakes. He looks up at her like a sorrowful infant and she smiles comfortingly back. Ivan, Greg and Childish Gambino’s directed narrative teaches us to be kinder and more understanding of celebrities that we feel we know so well, but only see through the lens of the media.
Feel’s like Summer is an idealist vision of what the Hip-Hop community can be. Not just grouped together by musical genre nor excessive material wealth and fame, but through a strong and supportive sense of community. Feels like Summer has been made in collaboration with a whole host of animators who also deserve to be credited including: Leanne Lee, Josh Trotter, Aaron McDonald, Victorin Ripert, Alex Grigg, Ben Ommundson, Christian Villacañas, Emmanuel Lantam, Felix Colgrave, Joel WIlliams, Ron Archer, Vuk Palibrk, Nicole Hamilton, Josh O’Keefe and Adin Milo.