Included with the new “Weird Al” disc is a DVD of videos from the disc. Only one of them is a video proper in that Al himself is in it. The rest are animated. Although of the animated ones, the one for “CNR” is, I believe, an “offical” video release (they were all official, but “CNR” was sort of a pre-album video).
All of the videos are of good quality and are well crafted with varying degrees of fidelity to the song. The one bad thing about these animations is that Al’s own videos are usually so spot on, they are often funnier than the song itself. So, having these, what I think of as tossed off animations–even though clearly a lot of work went into them–is a bit of a bummer.
Having said that, the video for “CNR” is great–cut-out animations of Charles Nelson Reilly doing outrageous things, like the song says. “TMZ” was directed by Bill Plympton. I like Plympton’s animations quite a lot and have for a long time. And this one is pretty funny, although I find that his videos are often repetitive and don’t really hold up for a whole song. “Skipper Dan” is a good Flash-type animation and it very effectively conveys emotions with such simple animations. And the fidgety to adventureland is also really good.
The “Craigslist” video is the only one in which Al appears–dressed like Jim Morrison, of course. The video has a great mid-70s feel with nonsensical cuts to Native Americans and westerns as well as swirly splotches and lights. It’s not a “funny” video per se, except fo how accurately it apes the original style. “Party in the CIA” is surprisingly violent (Al’s videos are often cartoonishly violent, but this one is pretty specific, of course with the animations it’s not so bad but it’s a lot more real than Al usually is). “Ringtone” follows a few character storylines and looks good.
“Another Tattoo” is enjoyable because it cycles through a series of really funny (cartoon) tattoos. Perhaps a series of regrettable tattoos would have been even funnier. “If That Isn’t Love” to me undermines the song somewhat as it shows a less sincere declaration of love. I think of the narrator of the song as clueless, but the video portrays him as devious.
“Whatever You Like” is creepy–there are a lot of real photos that are animated (the main woman’s mouth is utterly grotesque!). Finally “Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me” is majorly disappointing because all it is is the lyrics animated. True the animation is clever, but really, it’s just the lyrics. A lot could have been done with this video. Opportunity wasted.
So, all in all, these videos aren’t amazing. Certainly they pale in comparison to Al’s greatest videos. But there is certainly some amusement value.
[READ: November 15, 2011] Babymouse: Monster Mash
I missed this Halloween-themed book in time for the holiday, so I’ve saved it for the end of Thanksgiving.
The first thing you’ll note when you look at the book is that it is not black and pink! For Halloween, the whole book is black and orange. It’s a cute idea.
For Halloween, Babymouse wants to be a big scary monster (and she even has a cool, scary mask). But Felicia Furrypaws point out that it’s a rule that girls must be pretty for Halloween. Babymouse is appalled at this idea and decides to go ahead with her (very cool) scary costume ideas anyhow.
But when she lets it slip that her parents are letting her have a Halloween party and everybody wants to come, Babymouse is torn. She’s excited that people want to come, but when Felicia insists on coming, and insists she dress like a princess….
Babymouse caves and goes trick or treating in her sanctioned princess outfit. In a wonderful twist on Charlie Brown, while all her friends get candy, she gets toothbrushes and toothpaste. Ha!
But when Babymouse sees what kind of things her new “friends” get up to–which go from mild (TP-ing a house) to far worse, she learns that she needs to be herself and that you can be pretty outside but ugly, oh you know the drill.
There’s some wonderful comeuppances and a great joke at the end of the book. And this is one of the few that doesn’t end with a “typical” comment from Babymouse.
It’s a great Halloween book and a great message for all readers.