Sunday, 27 March 2011

The Animation Timeline: Bill Plympton (born in 1946)

Bill Plympton is an American animator and cartoonist best known for the Academy Award winning Your Face(1987).  With his unique style in character design and bizarre storytelling, Plympton was nominated for an Academy Award and is one of the most prolific independent animators working today.Coming from Portland. Oregon he credits Oregon's rainy climate for his drawing skills. In 1968 he moved to New York where he began a year of study at The School of Visual Arts. He later began illustrating for famous magazines like The New York Times, Vogue and Penthouse. Plympton's themes usually include the pathetic aspects of daily life and the attitudes of the politicians. "Describing his own work as 'like an animated David Lynch', Plympton combines the physical excesses of Tex Avery cartoons, the Dali-esque  incongruities of form, the sence of absence and present in the work of Magritte, the trip sensibility of Robert Crumb, and the independent off-centre pre-occupations of Jim Jarmusch."  (Patterson, 2000: 424) 
One of his famous animations is The Tune(1992)(FIG.2). This animated musical comedy tells the story of Del, a songwriter who is in desperate need of a song idea. His boss storms in and gives just 47 minutes to come up with a song otherwise he will loose his job and his lover, the boss's secretary. His fantastic experience during his trip to the town of Flooby Nooby  gave him the inspiration he was looking for. This unique animation with its ink and water colour texture, fully done by just Plymton himself has received wide-spread critical acclaim and named him as the fine artist cartoonist.
To conclude, Plympton is a truly independent artist and makes whatever films Bill  Plympton wants to make. He beholds the charm of how it is to make your own films and and proves how it is possible to produce your own work without boundaries, which is what makes his animations so spontaneous and exciting.

Patterson, Hannah(2000)Contemporary North American film directors: a Wallflower critical guide.London: WallfloweR 

List of Illustrations

FIG.1: Bill Plympton At: (accessed on 26/3/2011)
FIG.2: The Tune At: (accessed on 26/3/2011)
FIG.3: The Tune At: (accessed on 26/3/2011)

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