Minecraft’s Upgraded Look Is So Special, They Made a Glee-Caliber Musical About It

Melissa Benoist knocks out zombies and whatnot

Headshot of Angela Natividad

We love it when games go musical. And if you happen to love both Minecraft and Broadway, this number is for you.

Created to promote its upcoming Super Duper Graphics Pack, Minecraft released “The Super Duper Minecraft Musical!” The peppy video, which takes place in the boxy universe where anything is possible (as long as you’re willing to build it), features Melissa Benoist of Supergirl and Glee as she discovers the brave new world of Super Duper Graphics.

Here’s a basic primer on Minecraft. It’s an open-world game where you can wander wherever you want and interact with the world around you. You can use what’s available in nature—like wood from trees—to build tools, and from there pretty much make whatever you want. The game is also procedurally generated, meaning there’s no linear storyline. You do what you want in this world, in a single- or multi-player context.

To make it more interesting, you can add hostile entities like zombies into the mix.

The original version of Minecraft is best known for its blocky shapes and pixellated texture. The Super Duper Graphics Pack promises “excessive visual razzmatazz”: 4k graphics, dynamic shadows, movement in leaves and in grass, and realistic elements—like beams of light, water physics and, hey, more glorious sunsets for your nifty treehouse.

What better way to show off bigger, brighter gameplay than with a big, bright musical number?

In the video, Benoist starts out in the “Vanilla” version of the game before literally plugging in the words “Super Duper,” which appear above her. As she advances, the classic gaming elements vanish and are overtaken by more realistic plant life, objects with shadows and other textual nuances. It ends with a costume change, some hardcore song-and-dance in a much jazzier world, and a zombie smack.

Created by 215McCann, the piece debuted over the first half of MINECON Earth on Nov. 18, with music written and composed by Tom Kitt, who gave us the Bring It On musical. The Super Duper Graphics Pack debuts early next year for Xbox One and Windows 10.

“Bear in mind, though, that this is just one aesthetic vision for Minecraft, not the vision for Minecraft,” the creators write. “Our beloved pixels are going nowhere, and we’re thinking about ways to give you more choice over your game’s look in the future.”

Client: Microsoft / Minecraft
Taylor Smith
Fergus Lynch
Jessica Freeman
Lydia Winters
Nicolette Suraga
Markus Toivonen

Agency: 215 McCann
Chief Creative Officer: Scott Duchon
Creative Director: Neil Bruce
Director of Integrated Production: Alex Spahr
Producer: Sarah Sweeney
Director of Business Affairs: Mary Beth Barney
Business Director: Peter Goldstein
Account Director: Drew Porter
Senior Account Executive: Sam Brody
Director of Strategy: Brian Wakabayashi
Strategy Director: Cassidy Wilber

Production Company: Psyop
Director: Kylie Matulick, Todd Mueller
Managing Director: Neysa Horsburgh
Head of Productions: Drew Bourneuf
Executive Producer: Christine Schneider
Producer: Nick Read
Associate Producer: Jacob Markson
Lead Technical Director: Jane Byrne
2D Supervisor: Lane Jolly
Designer: Paul Cayrol, Kenneth Lee, Luke Lucas, Chris Martin, Andrew Park, Marc Samson, Sylvain Sarrailh, Kenesha Sneed, Robin Thompson
VFX: Mathew Rotman, Ryan Hurd, Lorenzo Silano,
Previz Artist: Dan Vislocky, Jack Anderson, Kevin Phelps, Jean – Dominique Fievet
Modeler: Scott Denton, Elias Glasch, Greg Mawicke, Diego Melgar
Texture Artist: Jenny Yang
Rigger: Nelio Naut, Josh Sobel
Lighter: Jane Byrne, Michael Johnson, Joey Sila, Alan Yang
3D Animation Lead: Will Kistler
3D Animator: Jayant Kumar, Tarun Lakshminarayanan, Melik Malkasian, Kevin Phelps, Jasmin Segarra, Alan Yang
Compositor: Krystal Chinn, Lane Jolly, Brendan Smith, Danny Song
Flame Artist: Adam Flynn, Sam Shiflett
Matte Painter: Andrew Park
Storyboard Artist: Finlay Britton, Max Forward, Tristyn Pease
Editor: Brett Nicoletti
Assistant Editor: Rob Cavedo

Live Action Production Company: Psyop
Directors: Todd Mueller & Kylie Matulick
EP/Head of Production: Monica Reimold
Producer: Trevor Allen
DP: Crille Forsberg
Production Designer: Martin Krejzlík

Minecraft Set Production: Block Works

“Super Duper (World That Waits)” written by Tom Kitt
©2017 Tom Kitt Music (BMI), all rights administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp., All rights reserved.

Music Production: The Practice Worldwide
Producers: Ali Theodore and Anthony Mirabella

Recording Studio: One Union Recording
Senior Engineer: Matt Zipkin
Producer: Lauren Mask

Recording Studio: LIME Studios
Audio Mixer: Jeff Malen
Producer: Kayla Phungglan
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

@luckthelady angela.natividad@gmail.com Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.