The world according to Plympton
Michael Sean | Seattle, WA - US | 03/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Thanks to frequent exposure on MTV and several touring animation festivals, Bill Plympton's distinctive style is now widely recognized, even if the man behind the pencil isn't. While it's not really 'the complete works,' this DVD collects an hour's worth of his early short films, from his cut-out animation piece "Lucas, The Ear of Corn" from 1977 to 1990's "Plymptoons," a medley of his numerous 'microtoons' that were featured regularly on MTV's "Liquid Television." He earned a 1988 Oscar nomination for Best Animation with "Your Face," a musical short scored and sung by Maureen McElheron (who Plympton would work with again on his feature film "The Tune"). For the sake of completeness, we also get his television commercials for "Trivial Pursuit" and "Nutrasweet," a public service message on acid rain (another MTV staple), and his 1987 TV pilot for "Love In The Fast Lane," a series that never got picked up. Whether you already know the man's work, or you just enjoy attending animation festivals, this disc is a decent showcase of some of his short films. For more by Bill Plympton, check out "Mondo Plympton," which features more of his recent work."
AKA Plymptoons done the right way....
Erich Mohr | Sonoma County, Ca | 08/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If there is any confusion between this DVD and 'The Complete Works of Bill Plympton', relax, this is very nearly the same DVD.
The "Classic Works" differs from "Complete Works" in that it is a more complete version than the previous VHS and DVD editions of "Plymptoons". The director's commentary, which was badly needed in the first transfer to DVD, finally makes an appearance in this version. Bill's commentary is the reading of some notes at the beginning of each short, some technical, some biographical, all interesting in spite of the monotone in which it is delivered. But, hey, Bill never claimed to be an actor. This version also has a few more 'extras' in the form of a stills gallery. The gallery has some key frames, as well as concepts passed over from "25 Way to Quit Smoking". Also, at the end of "Plymptoons 1990" there is a little extra film footage. There are also a few additional shorts in the 'Rarities' section.
This version is also more NC-17 than the older releases, which are more PG. NOTHING Bill does should ever be called PC, so please don't expect moments of happy smiley crap to come floating out of the screen. The interviews are frank, with some colorful language and explicit footage of some of his later works. For those wishing to encourage the younger animator, the "Complete Works" version is much better suited for the younger audience."
Mind bending animation
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 01/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's a pretty good chance most all of us have seen Bill Plympton's unique style of work at some point or other. Whether it magazines, film, or television, he has been around for a long time and garnered the respect of many of his peers.In this collection, we get to see some of his earliest work, dating back to 1968 and we follow his work up until about 1991. I think my favorite short on here is the one titled '25 Ways to Quit Smoking'. The use of the sumo had me laughing for quite a while.His drawings, sometimes crude, are full of kinetic energy, always flowing along, morphing into something new and wondrous. The imagination displayed in these early works is pure, simple, and a lot of fun to watch. His humor, to me, is comparable to Gary Larson in that he takes everyday situations and shows the inherent humor in them, things most of us would probably overlook.There is quite a bit of material on this disc, from award winning shorts, promotional spots, commercial work, and even a music video. Also, there are loads of extras including interviews, commentaries on the shorts, exclusive featurettes, rare early footage and much more.There is some material on here, especially in the extras section, that is not suitable for younger audiences. These may be cartoons, but not in the traditional sense, and certainly for the more discerning viewer. There is another disc out called Plymptoons: The Complete Works of Bill Plympton but I have not seen that yet. A lot of the material listed being in there seems to be in this collection, so you may want to review both before buying one or the other. I didn't know the other existed before purchasing this one. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, there is also a nifty little fold out poster along with an extensive listing of his work from his beginnings up until about 2001."
A mixed bag
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 12/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"-- but the good ones are very good.
The disc starts with samples of Plympton's early, student work. That's probably of interest to the hard core Plymptomaniac, but I'm not in that category. I found them missable.
Some of the later pieces are outstanding, though. "Your Face" is a twisted classic, an non-stop exercise in transformation. "How to Kiss" (especially the 'nibbling kiss') and "25 ways to stop smoking" are among the more memorable.
Plympton's usual style is spare, simple scenes on a blank white background, drawn in colored pencil. Given the amount of computer-generated japanimation around, it's an enoyable change of pace.
Don't come to this animation looking for "Bugs Bunny" or "Fantasia." It's in a different class altogether. If you're ready for a different look, and for some mind-bending takes on everyday events, give it a shot. You might find yourself hooked.