A friend of mine, the fabulous Ethan Summers, just showed me this animation, called The Story of How. He tells me it's one of his favorites, and I can see why. This thing is wonderful, a sort of opera, with animation that looks as though it was printed on damask silk. I detect the influences of Chinese paintings, Indian miniatures, frescos, and some of the beautiful and funky creatures and machines I've been seeing in the past few years in some of the more obscure 3-D games.
The Black Heart Gang is a young-ish South African trio comprised of Ree Treweek (illustration), Markus Smit (music), and Jannes Hendrikz (graphics compositor). Looking at the results, the old adage of the whole being more than the sum of its parts is, I would say, true.
Try, as I did, going through it with the movie paused, and click along the loading bar to look at individual cameo shots of the movie. Each one is a perfect, compelling mystery, suitable for hanging in one's household shrine or blazoning across the back of a fine kimono. And yet the moving image, and accompanying unearthly, Kabuki-esque song make it so much more riveting.
Take a look - I dare you.