The Old Red Rooster – Animated Music Video

Award-winning handcrafted animated music video for The Lark and the Loon’s song “The Old Red Rooster” about the Black Hills gold rush separating a prairie family in their hopes for a better future.

The Lark and the Loon – The Old Red Rooster (Official Music Video). Animation Director, Illustrator & Animator: Anders Sundstedt. 2018

Winner Award of Recognition - Best Shorts Competition - Music Video

Laurels - The Old Red Rooster Animated Music Video - Sundstedt Animation - white

“It is without a doubt that I can say Anders is a unique animator because his goal is not to finish a project and move on, it’s to make something he enjoys to make and has pride in and the final product shows us his love of animation.”
Jeff Rolfzen
The Lark and the Loon

Sundstedt Animation is an award-winning 2D/2.5D animation studio in Scotland, creating unique, fun and original handcrafted animations for partners worldwide. We do animated music videos for cool partners like folk duo The Lark and the Loon. They reached out to Sundstedt Animation to do the animated music video project for their latest released single ‘The Old Red Rooster’. The result is a colourful, very cool and quirky handcrafted four-minute 2D animated film about a man and a woman. This paper cut-out styled animated music video on youtube has won multiple awards and nominations. We make awesome music videos without filming, and you can read more about this story-based music video below and get in touch to make your own animated music video next.

“I’m excited because “The Lark and the Loon – The Old Red Rooster” has great reviews from the judges and is now in the 2nd round of consideration! I just loved your folksy paper cut out animation. It’s very original and it stands out as something unique among the other submissions I have seen. I could tell that it was put together well and had a special personal touch.”
Michael Williams
Festival Administrator
Oregon Cinema Arts Film Festival


Artist/Band: The Lark and the Loon
Record Label: The Lark and the Loon
Genre: Neo-folk
Animation Director: Anders Sundstedt
Illustration: Anders Sundstedt
Character Design: Anders Sundstedt
Storyboard: Anders Sundstedt
Animation Studio: Sundstedt Animation
Director: Jeff Rolfzen
Category: Animated Music Video
Style: Paper Cut-Out Look / Greeting Card Style
Length: 04:21

The Challenge

From the start, we spoke directly to The Lark and The Loon about the story of the video and what style of video to make. About this time they said “Upon initial outreach, communication was near immediate and very open. At no point did it feel like we were off the topic or missing our mark!”

We found working together with The Lark and The Loon worked very smoothly for this video and the detailed script helped to get started with the concept art and visual style development.

The Lark & The Loon Animated Music Video - Sundstedt Animation

The Solution

The first stage included deciding on and designing the visual style. The Lark and The Loon were initially looking for a shadowbox-style paper cutout look to be created. This is a kind of animation technique that we love and we looked at the story and analysed what would work best for this music video, the characters in the story and how they interact in the story. We discussed our choice of technique in detail and we provided a lot of different examples and concept art, to help decide on the final look. Our animation has a paper cutout effect, but after thinking about the animation initially, we found that an actually visible shadowbox was not suitable for this animation, mainly because the story includes several scenes with long distances of travel with horses and trains, which is not suitable inside a shadowbox. They said about this period “The concept art stage was incredibly thorough and the initial animations were also very well presented and also very accurate to what was described.”

The Old Red Rooster Official Music Video - Sundstedt Animation

All artwork including characters was designed as paper cutout style pieces, including all characters and animals for the video. We developed our own style for the video that has a paper cutout look, while we illustrated all artwork digitally instead of using actual paper cutout pieces. The visual style of the animation is very colourful, rather than a plain white paper style. We also used our own 100% custom drawn textures and brush strokes, as we only use custom made artwork and never stock. While we have been doing paper cutout looks before in previous 2.5D animations, this was the first video where we wanted to actually show the individual cutout pieces, something we’ve not tried to do before in an animation project.

The Old Red Rooster Music Video - Sundstedt Animation

From the start, Anders Sundstedt wanted to make a very detailed, playful and bright animated music video with high-quality backgrounds, characters and animations, using his own personal style. We gave advice on the best way of solving the challenges in bringing the script to life. The production timeframe was three months and it was a very busy period to complete this film within this time. A lot of decisions had to be made on the technique, character design and scenery. We are certainly very thorough when it comes to deciding on a design style and character features, and every step of the way we updated on our progress and choices made. This openness is how we always like to work with partners, so we can get input when there are different options available for the animation. We wanted the video to show our love for papercut animation and traditional 2D animation craft.

The Old Red Rooster - Animated Music Video - Sundstedt Animation

Based on the script provided, we went ahead and developed the look and the storyboard for the shots of the animated music video, which was unusually challenging due to for example the many changes from night to day during and between scene changes. We got a bit stuck to figure out how to best animate the night to day changes and the lighting changes required as well as getting the timing right. A central thing was working out how to design the spinning day/night wheel and animating this to fit the length of scenes and transitions. We stripped it down to a separate test project for the day/night transitions and managed to solve this and have the concept approved before looking to incorporate this into all the animated scenes.

Looking for a custom made animated music video? Let’s chat!

For Anders, this project was another chance to work on creating an animated music video, something that he truly enjoys doing, with handcrafted backgrounds, characters and animation and with the freedom to design everything from scratch, including all character designs. It was also another chance to work directly with the artist, without any 3rd parties involved. This is something that rarely happens in animated explainer videos, but in our experience, this happens frequently in animated music video production. Anders was given the responsibility to design, illustrate and animate the whole video, only from the ideas and initial script provided. The video was completed on time, before the estimated delivery date. Anders worked on the video for 3 months, giving himself time to create the storyboard, artwork, compositing, animation and editing.

The Lark & The Loon - The Old Red Rooster - Animated Music Video


Upon completion, Anders presented and delivered the animated music video and we received a lot of great feedback. This official animated music video is the winner of the Best Shorts Competition ‘Award of Recognition: Music Video’ award, the Bronze Award at Mindfield Film Festival (Los Angeles) and selected as awards semi-finalist at The Colorado International Activism Film Festival 2019, The Best Shorts Competition, The A2F2 Music Shorts Film Festival and The TMFF – The Monthly Film Festival, 2018. Total Film festival results so far: 1 winner, 1 awards finalist, 1 awards semi-finalist and 8 official selections. We are excited about more film festival awards & nominations currently in consideration.

Winner Award Of Recognition Sundstedt Animation Music Video

Sundstedt Animation Film Festival Finalist - Music Video



We also received an excellent, detailed testimonial.

“When working on our music video we decided to reach out to Anders and Sundstedt Animation to do the animation for us. His displayed work seemed insightful, knowledgeable and worth reaching out for. Upon initial outreach, communication was near immediate and very open. At no point did it feel like we were off the topic or missing our mark. The concept art stage was incredibly thorough and the initial animations were also very well presented and also very accurate to what was described. Every step of the way he received edits and direction very professionally and very efficiently and always gave options and advice when he saw an area that could be done in different ways or could utilize different techniques. The final product was a completed idea of what we started off to make together and was an accurate portrayal of what we had in mind at the initial outreach. It is without a doubt that I can say Anders is a unique animator because his goal is not to finish a project and move on, it’s to make something he enjoys to make and has pride in and the final product shows us his love of animation.”
Jeff Rolfzen
The Lark and the Loon

The Lark & The Loon animated music video by Sundstedt Animation

Behind The Scenes

This gallery show some work in progress, visual style tests, design, storyboards, sketches, character design concepts or other images from the Old Red Rooster animation by Sundstedt Animation.

Video Styling with Dog & Oak Tree - Anders Sundstedt - Sundstedt Animation

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