Shiny Happy People shows a colourful sand joyful scene, with no trace of irony or cyncism, as opposed to the lyrics of the song. The backdrop was painted by local school children. Locals and close friends were asked to join the group for dance sequence.
The song features guest backing vocals by Kate Pierson of the B-52's who also has a prominent role in the song's music video. The video was shot in Athens, Georgia.
On an episode of the long-running PBS children's series Sesame Street, the song was parodied as "Furry Happy Monsters".