1. Rock and Rule
Produced by Nelvana, the Canadian animation company behind the beloved Care Bears and more recent early 00s childrens programming like Franklin and George Shrinks, came the dark and intriguing world of Rock and Rule. It tells the story of an aging rocker who uses technology to summon the powers of a supernatural demon in order to win back his fans. No finer animated musical moment exists then when Debbie Harry sings “Angel’s Song” in the opening band audition to counter her boyfriend (sung by Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander). Also throw in Mok, the villain in the story (sung by Lou Reed) singing an ode to himself, “My name is Mok, Thanks a lot”. Perfection.
2. Heavy Metal
This 1981 animated film based on the 70s comic of the same name was produced by Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Stripes, Twins). It features big busted women riding dinosaurs, spacecrafts, a dystopian futuristic version of 1980’s NYC, and a sinister glowing orb, The Loc-Nar. The movie is divided into different segments. Stevie Nicks and Journey accompany the story of Harry Canyon, a NYC cabbie who gets mixed up with a woman selling the Loc-Nar. When Don Felder’s “Heavy Metal (Takin’ that Ride)” kicks in over the story of a WW2 pilot battling zombies it’s animated music magic.
3. The Muppet Movie
While technically not an animated film but rather a puppet based film we had to break the rules and include this one. Nothing touches this first installment of the Muppets on the big screen from 1979. The tale of the gang heading to Hollywood to find their big break while escaping from the guys that want to cut off and serve Kermit’s frog legs includes such timeless treasures written by Paul Williams as “Rainbow Connection” and “It’s Not Easy Being Green”.
4. American Pop
Ralph Bakshi’s tour de force history of American Pop music from the shtetl’s of Europe through vaudeville, jazz, psych rock, and new wave movements was created using roto scoping, an animated technique where actors actions are first filmed and then animated. Bakshi was able to acquire the rights to songs by Bob Dylan, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, The Doors, George Gershwin, Herbie Hancock, and Louis Prima. But when Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” is sung by the third generation protagonist after slinging drugs in the streets of NYC, that’s the icing on this musical history cake.
5. Project A-Ko
One of the original Japanese anime films released in 1986. A sort of fantasy/parody which featured kids with superhuman powers, it included a full score written by Richie Zito (also a ROOM8 collaborator) and Joey Carbone. “Flashdance’ style instrumentals intersect with synth ballads like “In Your Eyes” sung by Samantha Newark to create a completely unique anime classic.
And… just because we used one of our spots for a ‘puppet based’ film, we’ll throw in a 6th.
6. Interstella 555
A Japanese/French anime film released in 2003 and set to every song from Daft Punk’s legendary “Discovery” record. Our favorite scene features the baroque track, “Veridis Quo”.