Animal Collective brings out the weirdos. Thankfully, some of these weirdos have art school assignments to complete, or just so happen to have a knack for editing avant-garde films and old cartoons in a way that blends seamlessly with some of AnCo’s best songs. When I was first getting into Animal Collective in high school, these videos were indisposible, because when you play one of their songs to someone who’s never heard Animal Collective, it’s probably not gonna go over well. So seeing concrete evidence that not only thousands of others loved this weirdo nonsense, they were so passionate about it that they made these meticulously thought out videos to honor them. I highly doubt any other band has as many of these as Animal Collective. The sheer quantity out there is seriously daunting. Here is a small sample of my favorites:
Prospect Hummer by Josh Wilmarth
Let’s throw you right into the weirdo wolves with this one. Here we have a cloaked boy in juggalo-esque face painting, rubbing leaves all over his face. I’m hoping that those teeth are part of the costume, but one can never be certain about these matters. Dental care often gets tossed at the wayside when on the hunt for new shrubbery to caress.
Someday I’ll Grow To Be As Tall As The Giant by AcetoacetilCoA
On Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished, Animal Collective was really into using sound effects that would be right at home at an old timey carousel. Tribal women performing a synchromized dance around a bearded barbarian also fits the mood, too. They move so gracefully around this guy, and what makes it all so perfect is that it looks like he’s never seen dancing, or women, before. This song accommodates to that swirl of confusion.
Peacebone (Pokemon Cover) by Jacob Ruefer
I almost didn’t include this one because it’s a cover, and if I include covers to this whole thing, I’m opening up another internet rabbit’s hole. But this’ll be an exception because bizarre Pokemon incorporation here. Some people might be enticed by this video because of the pile of Pikachus in the beginning despite the fact that it’s the most overrated Pokemon ever. Seriously, do not train a Pikachu. Evolve it into a Riachu using the thunderstone. I can not be more serious about this.
Winter Wonderland by GOOMBAHlord
Speaking of rabbit holes, here is the oldest fucking iteration of Alice In Wonderland set to film ever. Anyone who’s used a computer for longer than two minutes is aware of the ubiquity of Alice In Wonderland fan-art, so this was pairing was inevitable.
Bluish by serpico
It’s fitting that the most straightforward love song Animal Collective’s ever done gets the Anime Ship treatment. For those unaware, ‘Shipping’ is when fans get so emotionally invested in two TV characters being together that they create fan-art and fanfiction celebrating it. Is there any Avey Tare and Panda Bear shipping happening anywhere on the internet? I’m not sure. Immediately contact me if you find anything, though.
Bees by Zach Johnson
Considering the name congruency here, I’m surprised this is the only Animal Crossing inspired video on YouTube. Maybe other people saw the perfection of this one and figured, ‘why even bother?’ The blurred drifting of each character works so well with the flowiness of the autoharp on “Bees.” Do not be surprised if the afterlife is just you in animated form running aimlessly across empty plains while this song’s being played from an unknown source.
Did You See The Words by racuchy
By far my favorite fan video out there. Most AnCo songs have true childlike whimsy to them, and “Did You See The Words” captures that type of wonderment best. Pairing it with the silliness of a Pluto cartoon where he gets punked out by a bunch of tiny little birds who eventually become his friends is all too fitting. There’s too much adorable to handle here!
Winter’s Love by The Simpsons
Yes, Animal Collective found their way on an episode of The Simpsons and it was magical.