Mystery Skulls Animated
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Mystery Skulls Animated is a series of animated music videos from animator Mystery Ben, using music from American indie pop / electronica musician Luis Dubuc, also known as Mystery Skulls. The series started with an animated music video for the song Ghost, originally released as a demo on May 8th, 2012, that was released in October 2014, after the official live action video was released on February 6th, 2014. Since the release of the music video for Ghost, two more music videos in the series have been released alongside getting Dubuc's music more attention.
Mystery Skulls is the musical project of indie pop and electronica musician Luis Dubuc, formed in 2011 after ending his previous project The Secret Handshake the same year. He released his debut self-titled EP under the name on December 28th, with five tracks (shown below, left). One of the tracks from the EP, "Money", would be used in an video by animator Ben Magnum, also known as MysteryBen27 or Mystery Ben, originally known for fan-animated music videos of My Little Pony. Titled "The Turntable Turnabout," and released on May 6th, 2012, the video (shown below, right), featuring Ace Attorney characters Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth dancing to the beat of the song, garnered over 19 million views as of 2018.
After noting the success of "The Turntable Turnabout", Dubuc contacted Ben in December 2013 to commission an animated music video for his then-newly released single "Ghost", originally released on his Tumblr on May 8th, 2012, and remastered for release through Warner Bros. Records on December 10th before arriving to digital stores on January 31st, 2014. Though a live music video directed by Josh Thomas was premiered through Vice's Thump Youtube channel on February 4th, which has garnered over 1,000,000 views as of writing (shown below, left), it was the animated music video that brought the song further attention, uploaded on October 26th. "Ghost" would act as the lead single to the project's debut album Forever released the following day on October 27th. Within a week, the video (shown below, right) drew more than 750,000 views and over 25,000 likes.
On April 15th, 2016, roughly two years after the release of the animated video for Ghost, Mystery Ben uploaded the second installment to the series, featuring the song Freaking Out, off of Mystery Skulls' Ultra Rare Vol. 1 compilation. The video gained approximately 300k views in just the first two days the video has been uploaded. On October 13th, 2018, two more years since the last installment, Mystery Ben released the third installment of the series, set to the song "Hellbent" featuring singer Snowblood. Within 17 hours, the video garnered over 475,000 views and over 85,000 likes.
On October 27th, Redditor GamingAnarchy submitted the animated music video to /r/animation. On October 29th, Kotaku user PrinceofTheUniverse submitted the music video in a post titled "Animation Underground: Mystery Skulls Animated – Ghost." On October 30th, BuzzBands LA highlighted the animated music video in a blog post. In addition to the music and animation blog coverage, some of the characters featured in the music video quickly inspired a series of fan art illustrations on DeviantART and Tumblr. On November 5th, the Tumblr music staff announced a Q&A session with artist Mystery Skulls scheduled for the following day to answer questions about the success of the music videos and his music in general.
A year after the release of Ben's animated music video for Ghost, fellow animator Marisol "yuramec" Aranda (fka yuracon) borrowed from Ben's rhythmic approach to make an animatic of a music video set to another Mystery Skulls song, "Magic". The Youtube upload of yuracon's animatic has accumulated over 7.1 million views (shown below).
Lewis The Skeleton
Lewis The Skeleton is the official name given to the fictional skeleton character and former member of the Mystery Skulls gang in the video that subsequently became popular on DeviantART and Tumblr through fan art, cosplay and plush toys since the video was first posted on YouTube. In addition, people have taken to calling him 'Bara Skeleton,' which is a reference to his masculine size and shape. As of October 31st, 2014, DeviantART host hundreds of original sketches and drawings related to Lewis.
 YouTube – The Turntable Turnabout (Mystery Skulls – Money)
 Tumblr – How Did The Version of Ghost Come To Be?
 YouTube – Mystery Skulls Animated – Ghost
 deviantART – Search Results for Lewis Skeleton
 Tumblr – Tag Search 'mystery skulls ghost'
 Reddit – Mystery Skulls Animated – Ghost (New animation by Ben Mangum, Isaiah Kim, Blake Hudson) Happy Halloween!
 Kotaku – Animation Underground: Mystery Skulls Animated – Ghost
 BuzzBands – Video: Mystery Skulls, ‘Ghost’
 Tumblr – Mystery Skulls – Ghost
 Tumblr – Mystery Skulls Q&A Announcement
 Youtube – MysteryBen27
 Tumbr – Character Profiles
 BuzzBuzz LA – Video: Mystery Skulls, ‘Ghost’
Oct 31, 2014 at 01:12PM EDT
Oct 31, 2014 at 12:36PM EDT
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