Animated Music Video

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Synonyms: Multi Animator Project
See also: Picture Music Video, Animatic, Warrior Cats
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An animated music video, or an "AMV," (not to be confused with Anime Music Videos) is a broad term that can refer to a number of video arts, mostly on Youtube. Though "AMV" is more widely known as anime music video in general online searches, at least one Urban Dictionary entry from 2015 acknowledges that AMV can mean animated music video,[1] and popular media video essayist Izzzyzzz refers to AMV as animated music video in a 2022 video about Movie Star Planet.[2][3]

These can either be music videos with animations drawn by artists, music videos set to clips of cartoons, or even music videos set to real footage of things like TV shows and movies. While "animated music video" draws attention to the 'animated' part of the phrase, people who make and enjoy AMVs do indeed list non-animated content as "AMVs." So, broadly, the phrase refers to any non-anime music video. For example, if one searches X-Files AMV on Youtube they will find fan made music videos of clips to the X-files, even though the X-files is not technically animated.

To differentiate between AMVs that use canon clips from AMVs that are set to artist-drawn animation and involve multiple artists, some AMVs are instead identified as MAPs, or "multi-animator projects" (not to be confused with MAP, or "Minor Attracted Person"). They are different than animatics or PMVs (picture music videos) due to having more fluid animation. They are common in the Warrior Cats fandom though many fandoms also create MAPs, and there are even a large amount of original character MAPs.


There is no doubt that anime music videos coined the usage of "AMV" first. According to Wikipedia "the first anime music video was created in 1982 by 21-year-old Jim Kaposztas."[4] However, animated music videos have been around much longer than the phrase's current meaning. Vidding has existed for a very long time in fandom. Vidding is the act or process of creating a fan-oriented video or "fanvid" using live-action TV or movie footage set to music (or other audio). The first fanvids were made in 1975 by Kandy Fong using a slide projector and a cassette tape player. While searching "X-Files AMV" on Youtube reveals an endless stream of just X-files clips set to music, searching "X-Files Vid" reveals a list of music videos mixed in with regular clips of the show and crack videos. Still, the connection between a vid and an AMV is there, and can be used almost interchangeably. It's likely that the act and usage of the word "vidding" versus "AMV" is simply a change in lingo across time,[5] though they are nearly the exact same thing (see Fannish Drift).

In circa 2019 the term fancam began to be used, particularly on Twitter and by K-pop fans. Fancams tend to be shorter than AMVs and focus heavily on one character (usually their face). There has been some debate on whether or not fancams are just AMVs by a different name, or if they're really different enough to warrant a separate name and definition.[6]


Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Multi-Animator Projects

AMVs Set to Animation

AMVs Set to Live Action

Links & Resources


  1. ^ AMV, Urban Dictionary. Jun 24, 2015 (Accessed 6/20/2020) (Archived 9/24/2022)
  2. ^ A Deep Dive Into MovieStarPlanet, YouTube. Timestamp 20:08. Jul 6, 2022 (Accessed 7/7/2022) (Archived 9/24/2022)
  3. ^ Editor's Note: All 3 of my Internet-savvy millennial friends responded that "AMV" either stood for anime music video or animated music video, interchangeably.
  4. ^ Anime Music Video, Wikipedia (Accessed 6/20/2020) (Archived 9/24/2022)
  5. ^ Editors Note: I joined fandom circa 2008 and never heard the term "vidding" until 2020, though I'd been residing in fan forums at that time. We only ever used the term "AMV" when we made music videos for our fandoms. We didn't even use the term "vidding" for our crack vidoes or skits; we used crack or Youtube Poop.
  6. ^ Meme on fancams vs. AMV, Tumblr. Mar 3, 2021 (Accessed 4/15/2021) (Archived 9/24/2022)