Skip Nav
Award Season
Announcing the 2016 MTV VMA Winners!
Beyonce Knowles
Beyoncé Accepts Her Video of the Year Award With a Very Special Dedication
Beyonce Knowles
Watch Beyoncé Give the Only VMAs Performance You Actually Have to See

The Heath Ledger-Directed Video For Modest Mouse's "King Rat"

The Heath Ledger-Directed Video For Modest Mouse's "King Rat"

The text at the end of this video reads: "This began with our friend, a great defender of life, and was completed in his spirit." And though the video for Modest Mouse's "King Rat" seems cutesy at first, it soon becomes clear why the words "defender of life" are included in this note about the video's director, the late Heath Ledger.

The animated video starts out seemingly sweet and innocent, with whales enjoying themselves on a boat, the colors all slate-gray and blue, with a happy little sun and trumpets blaring from the clouds. But, oh my, does it become gruesome. In a violent turning of tables, the whales hunt the humans and skin them, make them into food and profit nicely from it.

Apparently, in early 2007, Ledger told Modest Mouse of his idea for a music video that would "marry his love of bold and original music with his impassioned stance against the illegal commercial whale hunts taking place of the coast of Australia each year. Always one to operate from his heart and take a stand for what he cared deeply about, Heath's intention was to raise awareness on modern whaling practices through a potent visual piece without having to say a word." Proceeds from iTunes video downloads will go to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for one month.

To check out the intriguing and disconcerting video for "King Rat,"


Around The Web
Join The Conversation
jordancane jordancane 7 years
If this doesn't get the point across, I can't imagine what will. Interesting video.
supertramp supertramp 7 years
Cool video. Anything that brings awareness to the mistreatment of any animal is okay by me.
emososays17 emososays17 7 years
wow, definitely gets the message across. while I don't agree with the illegal whaling those Sea Shepherd folks are entirely annoying.
LaurAsh988 LaurAsh988 7 years
It definitely sends a message. Very interesting.
shmoo15 shmoo15 7 years
holy disturbing. The part where they skin the humans makes me seriously uncomfortable. But in other news, this is the first Modest Mouse song in years and years that actually gets me hot and bothered.
Beyonce's MTV Video Music Awards Speech 2016
MTV Video Music Awards Winners 2016
Beyonce's Performance at the MTV Video Music Awards 2016
Heath Ledger Pictures
Heath Ledger at 2006 Australian Film Institute Awards Video
Britney Spears's Performance at MTV Video Music Awards 2016
Pictures of Michelle Williams Smiling

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Entertainment