Bill Plympton

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Bill Plympton
Plympton in September 2013
Born (1946-04-30) April 30, 1946 (age 70)
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Nationality American
Education Portland State University
School of Visual Arts
Known for Animation
Notable work Your Face, Idiots and Angels, Guard Dog, Cheatin', The Tune

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

Early life[edit]

Bill 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, with five siblings.[1] 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. His distinctive style is easily recognized.

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.[5]

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,[6] 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 in 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[7] presented by Terry Gilliam, had no dialogue.[8] The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on 26 April 2008,[9] 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!,[10] released in September 2012 direct-to-DVD and on video-on-demand.[11]

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.[12]

Bill Plympton animated the opening couch gag for the Simpsons episodes "Beware My Cheating Bart" in 2012, "Black Eyed, Please" in 2013 and "Married to the Blob" in 2014.

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 item is held at the Academy Film Archive.[13]

Personal life[edit]

On December 23, 2011, Plympton married animator/artist/illustrator Sandrine Flament at his sister's house in Oregon.[14][15] Their son, Lucas, was born in September 2012.[1]



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:[19] 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)[20]
  • 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 (2007) (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)[citation needed]
  • Summer Bummer (2011; 1:49)[citation needed]
  • Waiting For Her Sailor (2011; 0:30)[citation needed]
  • Tiffany the Whale: Death on the Runway (2012; 8:56)[citation needed]
  • The Simpsons couch gags (s23e18 and s24e15)"" (2012)[citation needed]
  • Drunker Than a Skunk (2013; 3:30)[citation needed]
  • "ABCs of Death 2" (segment-H is for Head Games)
  • Footprints (2014; 4:01)[citation needed]
  • The Loneliest Stoplight (2015; 6:18)[citation needed]

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]


[citation needed]


  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). Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Visual Arts Journal. Volume 19, Number 1. Spring 2011. School of Visual Arts. Page 13.
  5. ^ MobyGames: Take Your Best Shot, September 17, 2000
  6. ^ "Bill Plympton, Animator - Profile Interview Series Vol. #6". February 28, 2005. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  7. ^ Sex, Death and Pragmatism: Bill Plympton's DIY cartoon cottage industry by Vadim Rizov LA Weekly Thursday, Oct 28 2010
  8. ^ Animation World News (April 10, 2007): Interview with Plympton
  9. ^ Tribeca Film Festival Film Guide Archived May 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  10. ^ Variety Film Reviews - "Adventures in Plymptoons!" Nov. 1, 2011
  11. ^ Zahed, Ramin (September 28, 2012). "A Good Time to Watch 'Adventures in Plymptoons!'". Animation Magazine. 
  12. ^ "Wise Beyond His Years". Animation Magazine. February 2012. 
  13. ^ "Bill Plympton Collection". Academy Film Archive. Retrieved June 30, 2016. 
  14. ^ Beck, Jerry. "Congratulations Bill Plympton and Sandrine Flament". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  15. ^ Plympton, Bill (January 3, 2012). "What I did this Christmas". Scribble Junkies (Plympton official blog). Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 26, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 24, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 9, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Animated Shorts". Plymptoons (official site). Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  20. ^ 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]