Bill Plympton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bill Plympton
Plympton at the SVA Theatre in Manhattan in September 2013
Born (1946-04-30) April 30, 1946 (age 73)
EducationPortland State University
School of Visual Arts
Known forAnimation
Notable work
Your Face, Guard Dog, The Tune, Cheatin'

Bill Plympton (born April 30, 1946)[1] is an American animator, graphic designer, cartoonist, and filmmaker best known for his 1987 Academy Awards-nominated animated short Your Face and his series of shorts Guard Dog, Guide Dog, Hot Dog, and Horn Dog.

Early life[edit]

Plympton was born in Portland, Oregon, the son of Wilda Jean (Jerman) and Donald F. Plympton,[2][3] and was raised on a farm in nearby Oregon City[1] with five siblings: Sally, Tia, Peggy, David and Peter.[3] From 1964 to 1968, he studied Graphic Design at Portland State University, where he was a member of the film society and worked on the yearbook. In 1968, he transferred to the School of Visual Arts[2] in New York City, where he majored in cartooning, he graduated from SVA in 1969.[4]


Plympton's illustrations and cartoons have been published in The New York Times and the weekly newspaper The Village Voice, as well as in the magazines Vogue, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Penthouse, and National Lampoon, his political cartoon strip Plympton, which began in 1975 in the SoHo Weekly News, eventually was syndicated and appeared in over 20 newspapers.[citation needed]

In 1991, Bill Pympton won the Prix du Jury for Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival for Push Comes to Shove].[5]

As of 2012, Plympton had created over 40 animated short films and six animated features. He has also published a comic book, The Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton.

Bill and Sandrine Plympton in 2014

Plympton, together with other independent New York City animators, has released two DVDs of animated shorts, both titled Avoid Eye Contact, his work also appeared on the 1992–1993 Fox comedy series The Edge; on MTV during the late 1980s; and on MTV's animated series Liquid Television in the early 1990s. In 1995, he contributed animation and graphics to a computer game collection, Take Your Best Shot.[6]

From 2001 to 2003, he teamed with Don Hertzfeldt for the touring "The Don and Bill Show", which played throughout the United States.[citation needed] In 2005, Plympton animated a music video for Kanye West's "Heard 'Em Say"; the following year, he created the music video for "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Don't Download This Song".

The actress Martha Plimpton, a distant relative of his,[7] served as associate producer on Plympton's animated feature Hair High (2004), doing much of the casting; the movie's voice cast included her father Keith Carradine and her uncle David Carradine. Plympton contributed animation to the History Channel series 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America, to illustrate the events of Shays' Rebellion.

His films The Fan and the Flower, Eat, Your Face, Guard Dog, and Santa: The Fascist Years were included in the Animation Show of Shows.

Plympton's 2008 80-minute feature, Idiots and Angels presented by Terry Gilliam, had no dialogue;[8][9] the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on 26 April 2008,[10] and won a Special Distinction prize in the feature film category at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2008.[citation needed]

In 2011, Alexia Anastasio completed a documentary on Plympton's life, Adventures In Plymptoons!,[11] released in September 2012 direct-to-DVD and on video-on-demand.[12]

In 2011, Plympton collaborated with child film critic Perry Chen on Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest, a 2011 short animated film directed by Kevin Sean Michaels, about actress and Holocaust survivor Ingrid Pitt.[13]

Plympton animated the opening couch gag for the Simpsons episodes "Beware My Cheating Bart" in 2012, "Black Eyed, Please" in 2013, "Married to the Blob" in 2014, "Lisa the Veterinarian" in 2016, "22 for 30" in 2017, and "3 Scenes Plus a Tag from a Marriage" in 2018.

Plympton directed the segment "On Eating and Drinking" in the 2014 animated film The Prophet, adapted from Kahlil Gibran's book The Prophet.

A collection of more than 180 Plympton items is held at the Academy Film Archive.[14]

In 2018, Plympton created a series of videos for The New York Times called “Trump Bites”. One of the series, Trump and Putin: A Love Story, depicts Trump and Putin kissing half-naked. Critics said the video implied that gay relationships were inherently comical and immoral.[15]

Personal life[edit]

On December 23, 2011, Plympton married animator/artist/illustrator Sandrine Flament at his sister's house in Oregon,[16][17] their son, Lucas, was born in September 2012.[1]


Plympton has stated he has many influences, the biggest being the work of the Walt Disney studio with others including Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, Robert Crumb, Milton Glaser, Charles Addams, Roland Topor, Quentin Tarantino, Frank Capra, Richard Lester, Bob Godfrey, Saul Steinberg, Tomi Ungerer, Jacques Tati [18], Milt Kahl[19], Carlos Nine, and Jules Feiffer,[20] he said I Married a Strange Person! "was influenced by Peter Jackson, some of his earlier films ... where he used gore and violence and blood as humor."[21]



Animated features[edit]


  • Fuck (2005; provided animated sequences)
  • Adventures in Plymptoons! by Alexia Anastasio (2011)

Live-action features[edit]

Animated shorts[edit]

Source unless otherwise noted:[28] Title, Year, Running Time in Minutes and Seconds

  • Lucas the Ear of Corn (1977; 4:00)
  • Boomtown (1985; 6:00)
  • Your Face (1987; 3:10)
  • Love in the Fast Lane (1987; 3:00)
  • Drawing Lesson #2 (1988; 6:00)
  • One of Those Days (1988: 7:50)
  • How to Kiss (1989; 6:35)
  • 25 Ways to Quit Smoking (1989; 5:00)
  • Plymptoons (1990; 6:45)
  • Tango Schmango (1990)
  • Dig My Do (1990; 4:00)
  • The Wise Man (1990: 4:30)
  • Push Comes to Shove (1991; 6:30)
  • Draw (1993; 2:00)
  • Faded Roads (1994; 2:30)
  • Nosehair (1994; 7:00)
  • How to Make Love to a Woman (1995; 5:00)
  • Smell the Flowers (1996; 2:00)
  • Boney D (1996; 3:00)
  • Plympmania (1996; 8:00)
  • Sex & Violence (1997; 8:00)
  • The Exciting Life of a Tree (1998; 7:00)
  • More Sex & Violence (1998; 7;00)
  • Surprise Cinema (1999; 7:00)
  • Life (1999, 6:10) (presenter, animator)
  • Can't Drag Race with Jesus (2000; 2:00)
  • Eat (2001; 9:00)
  • Parking (2001; 5:22)
  • 12 Tiny Christmas Tales (2001)[29]
  • Guard Dog (2004; 5:00)
  • The Fan and The Flower (2005; 7:10)
  • Guide Dog (2006; 5:45) (sequel to Guard Dog)
  • Shuteye Hotel (2007; 7:00)
  • Gary Guitar (2008) (episode of Random! Cartoons)
  • Hot Dog (2008) (third in the Guard Dog series)
  • Santa: The Fascist Years (2009)
  • Horn Dog (2009) (fourth in the Guard Dog series)
  • The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger (2010)
  • Summer Bummer (2011; 1:49)
  • Waiting For Her Sailor (2011; 0:30)
  • Tiffany the Whale: Death on the Runway (2012; 8:56)
  • The Simpsons couch gags (s23e18, s24e15, s25e10, s27e15, s28e17 and s29e13)
  • Drunker Than a Skunk (2013; 3:30)
  • ABCs of Death 2 (segment-H is for Head Games)
  • Footprints (2014; 4:01)
  • The Loneliest Stoplight (2015; 6:18)

Compilations (DVD)[edit]

  • Avoid Eye Contact Vol. 1
  • Avoid Eye Contact Vol. 2
  • Plymptoons: The Complete Early Works of Bill Plympton (1992)
  • Bill Plympton's Dirty Shorts (2006)
  • Mondo Plympton (2007)
  • Bill Plympton's Dog Days (2009)
  • Bill Plympton's Dogs & Cows (2013)

Music videos[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Lovece, Frank (October 23, 2012). "God of Indie Animation Bill Plympton at Gold Coast Film Fest". Film Festival Traveler. Archived from the original on February 10, 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-10. Born April 30, 1946, in a Portland, Ore., hospital, Plympton grew up in a family of six kids on a farm in nearby Oregon City. ... [Plympton's son] Lucas [was] born about three weeks before this interview was conducted on Oct. 13, 2012....
  2. ^ a b "Biography". Plymptoons (official site). Archived from the original on 2012-02-09. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
  3. ^ a b "Wilda Jean Plympton [obituary]". Archived from the original on September 30, 2019. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  4. ^ "[title n.a.]". Visual Arts Journal. School of Visual Arts. 19 (1): 13. Spring 2011.
  5. ^ "Bill Plympton". Cannes Film Festival. Archived from the original on October 29, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  6. ^ MobyGames: Take Your Best Shot, September 17, 2000
  7. ^ "Bill Plympton, Animator - Profile Interview Series Vol. #6". February 28, 2005. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  8. ^ Rizov, Vadim (October 28, 2010). "Sex, Death and Pragmatism: Bill Plympton's DIY cartoon cottage industry". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013.
  9. ^ Jessen, Taylor (April 10, 2007). "Might Come Back From Dead Man's Curve: Bill Plympton's 'Hair High'". Animation World News. Archived from the original on June 14, 2019.
  10. ^ Tribeca Film Festival Film Guide Archived May 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Film Reviews - 'Adventures in Plymptoons!". Variety. November 1, 2011.
  12. ^ Zahed, Ramin (September 28, 2012). "A Good Time to Watch 'Adventures in Plymptoons!'". Animation Magazine.
  13. ^ "Wise Beyond His Years". Animation Magazine. February 2012.
  14. ^ "Bill Plympton Collection". Academy Film Archive. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  15. ^ "New York Times under fire for 'homophobic' cartoon of Trump and Putin". Reuters. July 18, 2018.
  16. ^ Beck, Jerry. "Congratulations Bill Plympton and Sandrine Flament". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  17. ^ Plympton, Bill (January 3, 2012). "What I did this Christmas". Scribble Junkies (Plympton official blog). Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  18. ^ Template:Title= Bill Plympton Does "The 11" witth Alone in the Dark Film Blog
  19. ^ Template:Title=HAND DRAWN: Extended Interview
  20. ^ Bill Plympton - 16 January 09-Part 2. One on One. Al Jazeera English. January 18, 2009. Event occurs at 06:57-07:46. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  21. ^ Bill Plympton - 16 January 09-Part 2 at 06:26.
  22. ^ "The 60th Academy Awards | 1988". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  23. ^ "The 77th Academy Awards | 2005". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 26, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 24, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 9, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ "51st Gijon International Film Festival Awards". Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  28. ^ "Animated Shorts". Plymptoons (official site). Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  29. ^ Godfrey, Leigh (December 10, 2001). "Bill Plympton's 12 Tiny Christmas Tales To Air On Cartoon Network". Animation World Network. Retrieved March 30, 2015.

External links[edit]