Monday, 8 November 2010

Claymation Michael

Michael Jackson. There is A LOT you can say about the guy and a lot of opinions to be had. I think the man made some of the finest pop albums of all time and like to focus on that more than all the crazy surgery, court cases and all encompassing insanity that became a bigger and bigger part of his life. 'Bad' has to be the first album I was ever truly aware of growing up, and for a lot of people around my age that's their first real awakening to the big, strange world of music. Another thing MJ fans would have seen when growing up is the jawdroppingly odd Moonwalker film. There is, in hindsight, so much that is completely mental about this film (dog fairgrounds, the Bad video done by kids, Joe Pesci getting all the worlds kids hooked on drugs, MJ turning into a transformer etc.), but when you are younger I think the madness washes over you a bit better and the whole thing comes out as a big, loud, shiny, neon spectacle. That's what kids like right, bright colours and loud bangs?

Well one of the stand out sections of the film is the Speed Demon music video directed by Claymation big wig Will Vinton. This is in my opinion the best part of Moonwalker, where MJ outwits his bloodthirsty fans by turning into a claymation rabbit who rides a motorbike. As you do. He also turns into a claymation Pee Wee Herman, Sylvester Stallone and Tina Turner just for kicks. It doesn't make a damn bit of sense but it is very fun to watch and it's a great song too. The claymation is also top notch. It's wonderfully expressive and has a really grotesque edge to it which I just love.

Vinton also worked on films like Return To Oz, The Adventures of Mark Twain and shows like The PJ's but he made a name for himself directing the California Raisins adverts where he and MJ would collaborate a second time. If you thought that Rabbit Michael is strange then you have not seen him as piece of dry fruit! AMAZING! Yet more proof that America really does know how to make great adverts.

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