We have too many animators.
Say hello to Sparkle Animation Studio, the newest of the seemingly endless onslaught of new animation teams, and one of the worst yet.
That's not to say that their PMV that I'm reviewing, Shooting Star, is consistently bad in its animation. If the animators continue to improve, they might be able to make something great. The problem is, this first effort is ridiculously amateurish. You see, these guys are good artists, but they are wildly inconsistent animators. Some movements are very pretty, but many of them are incredibly mechanical. Right when I was starting to enjoy the animations, there was an obvious neck crane, a not-quite-right eyelid flap, or an otherwise unnatural movement.
I could forgive this, but the animation is the least of the PMVs issues. It's soulless. I mean, look at the characters. They do not have any emotions, aside from some kind of dull happiness. I know it's a music video, but even music video actors should show some emotion. It gives the video personality, something that this PMV completely lacks. Now, they do change their facial expressions near the end, where they perform some stunt, but it's all so artificial. Nothing here gives the video any personality. The characters are almost entirely indistinguishable from one another, and there is no real emotion that comes through-sure, it seems the ponies on screen are enjoying themselves, but it's not inviting. I wasn't excited, I wasn't impressed, I was bored.
At first, I was going to judge it solely based on its animation, which would have landed it on the bad side of "meh". But, as I thought about it, I realized that there was a lot more wrong with it. The problem with making an Owl City PMV is that you need to have a unique style in order to compensate for the song's mild lack of personality. This video doesn't just lack that, it lacks any effort to have anything even remotely resembling an identity of its own. Sparkle Animation Studio are indistinguishable from any other mediocre animator in the fandom, and that's a shame.