The way I stumbled upon the music video to Elton John’s “Rocket Man” was pretty unusual. I was reading the illustrated man, a collection of short stories written by Ray Bradbury, and one was titled Rocket Man. It a really somber story about a father who is rockets into space and leaves his family for three months at a time. Every time he comes back his son is hopeful he will stay for good, his wife knows he will leave and goes back and forth between treating him coldly and warmly as he has been abandoning them for ten years. It is a cold sad story that I immediately connected with the song of the same title by Elton John. I had completely forgotten about the song and it was sheer coincidence that my friend hapend to play it while I was reading this book.
Anyways, I think the song and the music video have a more positive portrayal of the “Rocket man”. Majid Adin created a narrative, based on his own experience as a refugee, of a man leaving home for a new land that is completely foreign to him, and of the pain and loneliness that comes with leaving your family behind. In Majid’s animation the Rocket Man seems to be motivated to undertake this voyage on behalf of his family whereas in the short story the intentions seem primarily selfish.
The animation was simply breathtaking. It really echoes the slow pace loneliness felt in the song. The only people animated with facial characteristics are the rocket man, and his family, all others on the journey are just silhouettes. The animation was done by Majid Adin and Stephen Mcnally. Here is the link to the video
here is also a link to some information about the director and the animation.