This is honestly some of the more interesting David Bowie-inspired art I’ve seen, and believe me—-I’ve seen a ton. The man is the progenitor of so many artistic foundations, many of them visual. In my line of work, I’ve waded through a lot a of really bad Bowie-related short films and fashion lines before finding anything that’s not been done before. Not only is this little cartoon interesting, it’s unexpected.
The short starts out with footage of Bowie reminiscing on Christmases past, then unfolds into a lovely animated quest where winged ice-cream trucks soar across gentle psychedelic landscapes. If the art seems familiar, the animators are quick to cite the children’s picture book and subsequent cartoon, The Snowman as their inspiration. The book was a holiday staple for many childhoods, including my own, and it’s an interesting nostalgic contrast to David Bowie the career futurist.
There’s something unbelievably soothing about David Bowie’s voice over cartoons of migrating ice-cream trucks. It’s dreamy and sweet (no pun intended), and for a moment, you even forget the cartoon is Bowie-inspired—high praise when the man casts such a long shadow. Honestly, I doubt he’d object. David Bowie was obviously never averse to a little sentimental sweetness; I think we all remember that awesomely surreal “Little Drummer Boy” duet with Bing Crosby and just the other day, his thin white duke-ishness sent over some holiday cheer from his home in New York to his native Britain via “This is Radio Clash.”
As a bonus, check out this 1968 ice-cream commercial which features a young Mr. Bowie for a split second. (These individually-wrapped ice-cream bars came with trading cards of pop stars incidentally.)