Capital Cities’ ‘Kangaroo Court’ Video Is One Big Orwellian Dance Party

Watch Capital Cities' "Kangaroo Court" video.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. I mean zebra-eat-zebra. I mean lion-eat-zebra. Never mind.

Anyone out there read George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”? Well, if you never got around to finishing it, you could use the new Capital Cities video “Kangaroo Court” as a sort of Cliffs Notes. (Granted, you’d probably end up with an “F” on the “Animal Farm” final, but it’d be kind of funny to see you try anyway.)

OK, maybe think of “Kangaroo Court” as more as a supplemental text, weaving in the themes of oppression and intolerance from the classic allegory into an essay about Orwell’s lasting influence in contemporary popular culture. Now that’s a paper we’d like to read.

Watch Capital Cities’ “Kangaroo Court” video after the jump.

The video from the dudes behind one of the year’s funnest tracks, “Safe and Sound,” begins in a rain-drenched alleyway, with our hero, a sad zebra-man, being denied access to a club. “There’s a dark part of town where the girls get down/ And I cannot wait for a chance to go,” the duo sing over a bubbly synth riff that contrasts with the dour imagery.

Turns out it’s not easy being a zebra, so our hero does what anyone else would do in this situation: paints himself black like a much more socially acceptable horse. Entrance to the club achieved! Inside, dogs and pigs and other animals party, dance, and play cards (look out for cameos by Raising Hope’s Shannon Woodward and Glee’s Darren Criss!).

What happens next is, well, you’ll have to watch and see. All we’ll say is that it’s not pretty, and it’s a good reminder that, like Orwell wrote, “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” In this case, however, it’s an allegory you can dance to. Orwell was notoriously awful at writing synth-pop hooks.

+ Watch Capital Cities’ “Kangaroo Court” video.

Photo credit: Capitol Records

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