Well, I’m late to this party.
It seems that mplayer(1) isn’t available for my Wily desktop. But TorrentFreak had just turned me on to the existence of Matrix-ASCII – here’s a short clip from YouTube:
Feeling a bit in the dark about how to do this, and being uncomfortable with that, I started looking into how to accomplish something similar with my own video. The first solution I came across was mplayer with lib-aa. The problem that I had with that first solution is described here; however, the solution isn’t working with Wily.
I eventually came upon this post. It’s from 2014, but it still offers helpful direction for producing ascii output from video files.
Note that VLC does both color and monochrome ascii output.