"I plugged the shit out of it," Bill Plympton told me at the Woodstock Film Festival this weekend, where he programs the animated shorts section with Signe Bauman. Plympton was referring to his "new" feature "Idiots and Angels," which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival way back in 2008. (Here's a brief story I wrote about it back then.) At Ted Hope's blog, Plympton explains his DIY distribution strategy, although the quote at the beginning of this post pretty much tells you all you need to know.
I've been a longtime Plympton fan and consider "Idiots" to be his best work, as I argue in my latest indieWIRE essay. But his latest feature, "The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger," also deserves notice. Playing alongside "Idiots" at the IFC Center and other theaters in the U.S. as Plympton continues to roll it out, "Hamburger" takes Plympton's handrawn style in a more expressive direction than his other work, although it's still essentially a familiar form of Plymptonian anthropomorphism. The animator plans to launch dual awards campaigns for both the feature and the short at the same time, and believes he's the first to do that. (Attention awards pundits: Is it?) At any rate, if you're in New York, it's worth making a trip to the IFC Center to see the two works side-by-side.
Here's a clip from "Hamburger":
And the "Idiots" trailer: