Here's a strange sentence: Fiona Apple has released a new recording of "Pure Imagination," from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," as the soundtrack to a clip for a Mexican restaurant chain's new smartphone application. Or, as the company describes the extended ad, "the companion film for Chipotle's new app-based game."
Even more surreal is how direct and visually magnetic the computer-animated clip is. Called "The Scarecrow," the video follows a sad scarecrow as he travels through a dystopian factory city run by a conglomerate called "Crow Foods." Apple's rendition of the song scores scenes of dark devastation, offering stark contrast between the world of pure imagination of the lyrics and the factory-farmed animals being processed.
Apple has long been a vocal animal-rights activist, and she and Chipotle's animators don't hold back. It's a grim clip made beautiful at the end when the scarecrow decides to take matters into his own hands.
The song as covered by Apple is gorgeous, filled with electronic flourishes and rococo arrangements. The images imbue her version with a melancholy, but, taken on its own, the song shimmers. The singer is releasing a recorded version on iTunes, with the proceeds going to the Chipotle Cultivation Foundation, a nonprofit.
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