Squirrel Ninja Battles Morphing Girl In This Pleasantly Surreal Music Video

<p>Renata Gąsiorowska&#8217;s animation for Alphabets Heaven&#8217;s &#8220;Birthday&#8221; is as warming as being basked in sunlight.</p>

Kevin Holmes

When it comes to visualizing music, often the form the visuals take is quite abstract, with various shapes and patterns representing certain components of the song. But Polish illustrator and animator Renata Gąsiorowska‘s music video for Alphabets Heaven’s “Birthday” uses audio cues to shape a character-driven plot around, with movements and gestures illustrating the beats and bleeps of the music.

A Sketch of one of the characters

The track’s minimalist style and laid back beats translate perfectly well to the simple hand drawn style of the animation, which has a charming, child-like vibe to it. Created using TVPaint Animation Gąsiorowska cites anime Tekkonkinkreet as inspiration as well as ‘some Japanese martial arts classes I took last year for a while (as a total noob and weakling, but still it was fun), Adventure Time I watch with my roommate each time we are having dinner, platform games I played a lot as a kid. I also love animations by Priit Pärn, Sally Cruikshank, Julia Pott, David OReilly, Atsushi Wada, and Piotr Kamler. Even if they are not obvious inspirations for this one. But mostly, I am a 90s kid with a brain infected by games, Cartoon Network and trashy cartoons and anime from Polsat and RTL 7.’

The software program

The narrative concerns a girl, who morphs into a blobby cat-type creature, fighting a shape-shifting squirrel boy before they finally end up getting along and dancing, in a pleasantly surreal tale that has a comic book aesthetic (Gąsiorowska creates comics too) that fits perfectly with the song’s blissful tones. ‘When I first heard “Birthday” I quickly got addicted and after couple days of listening to it i had this film in my head’, Gąsiorowska explains. ‘Animating all of this was very fun and the music has a very sharp rhythm and accents so it was perfect for me to fit fight and dance scenes to it.’

Images courtesy of Renata Gąsiorowska