Pharrell Williams’s “It Girl” is by far the most visually interesting music video I have seen in a long time. The production combines anime-like scenes, old school video game graphics and even some bizarre, neon inverse coloring of a dancing Pharrell.
The music video opens up on a sandy cartoon beach. As Pharrell begins the first verse, musing “my compass spinning baby,” a compass in the sand is shown spinning on the beach. Such continuity between the lyrics and visuals occurs sporadically throughout.
The next scene is a grooving Pharrell, with his entire body flashing and filled in by bright, neon colors. The background is plastered with hundreds of floating little characters and symbols of origins I am not knowledgeable enough to know. The stimulus overload from this scene makes it absolutely off-the-wall and unique.
A video game that looks a lot like Maplestory then pops up on the screen with Pharrell as the skateboarding protagonist, but then quickly changes into an anime beach scene of sorts.
I could definitely see “It Girl” getting some heat for this video here, as there are plenty of young looking girls in bathing suits who certainly have clearly defined, um, proportions. While this may be typical of anime/manga style art, Pharrell lurking in the background with a pair of binoculars inspecting the girls definitely sets a creepy vibe.
The music video proceeds to alternate between its computer generated trippiness, cutesy video game sets and anime scenes until finally rolling out the credits in a similar fashion to Pokémon games on GameBoy.
Personally, my favorite part of “It Girl” comes a little after the half way mark, when cheesy-video-game Pharrell buys a dolphin spaceship, goes to outer space, shoots some bad guys and visits Galactic Mount Rushmore with Pharrell’s face (and hat) chiseled in.
Even from the start of the music video, it’s clear that the computer-generated animations and effects of “It Girl” allow for fantastical outside-of-the-box thinking that makes this production well worth five minutes of your time.