Inkblot's Feature -- They Might Be Giants

In the early '80s, John Linnell and John Flansburgh, former friends and songwriting pair from high school, discovered that they had both moved into the same apartment building in Brooklyn on the very same day. Deciding to continue their career and start their own band, the two named themselves after the title of a 1971 movie, and went on to become a Grammy-winning alternative rock band.

And as such, They Might Be Giants were born.

But enough about the band; this isn't a music-based blog, after all.

So why am I dedicating a blog entry to this band? Well, if you were to peruse their music videos, you'd see that majority of the videos are animated. Before the Gorillaz came up with the concept of combing animation with their music, TMBG released a number of cartoon-based music videos, and if one was to look through their website, you'd see a multitude of Flash-based videos for their more recent creations.

But how about some of their earlier stuff? Here's a quick look back at 6 of their videos and which show/site/station they were first featured.

**I'm going to go ahead and admit defeat on one thing here: I couldn't figure out how to post the videos directly into the blog, so underneath each photo I've uploaded, you'll find a link to the site that featured the video. Sorry for the inconvenience.**

--Istanbul (Not Constantinople), featured on Tiny Toon Adventures

This was actually my first introduction to the band. Featured on the show's first MTV-spoof episode, the video features Plucky and Hampton in Istanbul (although the geography is really incorrect) searching for a stolen statue for the Sultan/King/Unnamed Authority Figure. Now how many people knew that this song was a cover, and that the original version, first performed in 1953, was a slower-paced swing song?

--Particle Man, featured on Tiny Toon Adventures

TMBG got one more video in on the same episode of TTA; staring Plucky once again, the video pits him as a professional wrestler, out to take on the likes of Triangle Man, Universe Man, and Person Man!

--Experimental Film, featured on

This is a great video for anyone who has worked with student films; the video acts like a combination of a stereotypical bland black-&-white film and lively Flash animation. None of the video actually makes sense, but that's what's so fun about it. Secondary side note on why I love this video: while in college, I ran a TV show that featured student-based short films (usually coming from the Broadcast department), and ended up sitting through countless hours of blasé shorts coming from the inner angst of college students... trust me, Homestar Runner's take on the subject is actually way better than half the stuff I sat through!

--Dee Dee and Dexter, featured on Cartoon Network

This was one of a few videos TMBG created for the Cartoon Network (you know, when they actually played GOOD cartoons?!? I know, its hard to believe). The video recreates our star characters as anime stars, creating what could be mistaken for a new Japanese-based opening for the show. Thankfully, CN might have gone seriously downhill shortly after this video was made, but they never did anything like this.

--Doctor Worm, featured on KaBlam!

I almost didn't put this one on the list, since it's a combination of live-action and animation, but it's still a good video and the animation isn't too bad. A group of kids search for a new drummer for their band, only to continually run into a worm that wants to join up... yeah, sounds like something that would make more sense after about a fifth of Scotch. So while the lyrics don't make a lot of sense and the video is really out-there, the music is catchy, and the video does a pretty good job of blending both the live-action and the animation.

Did I miss your favorite TMBG animated video? Let me know what you think!

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