Miley Cyrus’s new “Bangerz” concert tour launched in Vancouver on Valentine’s Day, with the concert’s opening number featuring animated visuals by Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi. News of the collaboration between Cyrus and Kricfalusi was first announced last month.
John K. provided nearly 2-1/2 minutes of animation for the song “SMS (Bangerz),” which begins after Cyrus opens the concert by sliding down a gigantic version of her own tongue. Kricfalusi’s animation is as colorful and aggressive as the action onstage, and his wildly cartooned Miley reveals a caricaturist in peak form. He interprets some of the song lyrics, like “I’m flying high up on a bird,” literally, while others such as, “I let them know the rents due on the first,” are imagined more whimsically (the latter is depicted by Cyrus punching a giant blonde woman in the butt). The animation, which mostly features Cyrus and a cast of animals ‘strutting that stuff’ per the song’s lyrics, is untied to any grand narrative, but serves its purpose well as an accompaniment to Cyrus’s calculated attempt to be irreverent.
Kricfalusi has posted a bunch of concept drawings and production artwork on his blog, along with credits for who animated what. It’s hard to find a decent version of the sequence posted online, but the following recording shows a fair bit of the action beginning at the 2:28 mark.