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Chipotle Gets All Moody and Dark Again With New Short, Featuring a Backstreet Boys Cover

Original headline: I Can't Process This New Chipotle Ad. Blocked because Chipotle doesn't like processing.

Chipotle–yeah, those people with the burrito bowls and the lime salt chips–recently released an animated short titled “A Love Story,” which centers around two children who run rival businesses across the street from one another. It starts out adorably enough, with an almost Up-like aesthetic, but quickly spirals into a strange (though perfectly expected for Chipotle) commentary on processed foods and franchise restaurants.

Given the fact that Chipotle’s entire platform is based around fresh, (mostly) organic, all-natural foods, the theme for the animated video isn’t exactly breaking new ground for them. But what is interesting about it (at least to someone who might be considered a marginal hipster, aka me) is the cover of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.” The song, whose title sounds suspiciously like that old Burger King slogan, was covered by Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes. These are two fine artists in their own right, and to hear them covering a sugary pop number from one of the biggest boy bands in existence kind of makes me all giggly inside.

You may or may not remember another short of theirs from almost three years ago now titled, “The Scarecrow,” which had a similar aesthetic, tone, and cover.  That particular brand of peppy video had Fiona Apple covering “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Wrap your head around that one.

“A Love Story” is well worth a watch, if you haven’t already seen it. That said, I’m willing to bet you’ve already passed it around the office, and wondered just what was up with that really sad cover of “I Want It That Way.” Well, you can now consider yourselves in on that.

I’ll go ahead and reserve my hot takes opinions about Chipotle for another time and place.

(via Stereogum)

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.