Daft Punk was a French electronic music duo that started in 1993 by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. They were regarded as the most influential acts in dance music history. But did you know their album was turned into a full-length film?
The album “Discovery” by Daft Punk was adapted into a feature-length anime film. Despite the lack of sound effects or dialogue, the film was hailed as “The Best Animated Movie made in 2003.”
Album Inspired Animation
Interstella 5555: The secret 5tar 5ystem’s 5tory. It is a full-length Japanese animated musical film premiered on December 1, 2003. The film is a visual representation of Daft Punk’s album Discovery.
Each track on the album has been animated as an episode in the story of an interstellar pop band’s kidnapping and rescue. The film was co-produced by Daft Punk, Cédric Hervet, Emmanuel de Buretel, and Toei Animation and was directed by Leiji Matsumoto. The film has no dialogue and instead relies on minimal sound effects, music, and lyrics from the Discovery Album.
Interstella 5555 is a kind of mind trip disguised as an animated science fiction film wrapped in Daft Punk music for the duration of the film. When an evil villain with no redeeming qualities kidnaps a band from their home world, he intends to transform them into a different version of themselves to start making gold records because their music captivates everyone who hears it. The problem is that he can take over the universe if he collects 5,555 gold records. It’s an odd plot, but anything seems possible when it’s set to Daft Punk’s music. (Source: Tokinowa)
Reception of the Animation Film
The film generally received positive reviews from critics. According to Rotten Tomatoes, 86% of critics thought positively of the film, based on 7 reviews. The BBC gave the film four out of five stars, calling it a visual and aural treat of intergalactic proportions.
According to Movie Martyr, the film was the best-animated film made in 2003 and a true testament to the artistry possible in two different mediums. Still, Empire called it fine if you like the band – you’ll be treated to some cartoons playing over the top of their Discovery album. For everyone else, just daft. (Source: Tokinowa)
Creating the Animated Film on a Tight Budget
The concept for Interstella 5555 arose during the early Discovery recording sessions, according to the insert included with the 2003 DVD. Daft Punk’s film concept involved the fusion of science fiction and entertainment industry culture, further developed with collaborator Cédric Hervet. All three brought the completed story and the album to Tokyo, hoping to make a film with their childhood hero, Leiji Matsumoto.
Shinji Shimizu was contracted to produce the animation, and Kazuhisa Takenouchi was contracted to direct the movie after Matsumoto joined the team as a visual supervisor. Production began in October 2000 and ended in April 2003, with Tamiyuki Spike Sugiyama coordinating the translation. The film is said to have cost $4 million to make. (Source: Tokinowa)
Image from ClassicalBumSundays