The seamless, richly nuanced animated universe they have created is a place not of indie sarcasm but of pop innocence, where the mentality of the characters is at fifth-grade level. Its influences are not the Velvet Underground, Big Star and the Stooges but “Peanuts” cartoons, Japanese anime and Atari video games.
[This same "pop innocence," by the way, is one reason I enjoy the new Teen Titans cartoon so much.]
The Times story talks about animation collectives and music videos.
…some of the best videos of the last year have been animated. Among them are the Atari 2600 graphics of “Move Your Feet” by Junior Senior, the unspeakably clever diagrams of “Remind Me” by Royksopp and the lovable miniature aliens of “In This World” and “Sunday” by Moby.
All were created not by lone directors but by collectives like Shynola, h5, StyleWar, Plates Animation and the Brothers Chaps, as Matt and Mike Chapman call themselves….
The Times fails to mention the Kansas City-based MK12 and its videos for Hot Hot Heat or The Faint. (The MK12 site offers a link to a nice QuickTime file Hot Hot Heat’s “No, Not Now” video, which I think is beautfully animated.)