Commentary &Independent Animation 29 Jan 2011 09:05 am

Plympton, MOMA & Pigs

- Steve Heller‘s current article in Print Magazine is a promotion of three books dedicated to cartooning. Top of this list is the new Bill Plympton book, written by David Levy. Heller has a review copy even though the book won’t hit the stands until April.

With a bona fide publisher, I’d assume the book has a better marketing budget than Bill had for his feature, Idiots and Angels. One wonders if there were five nominations for the animated feature this year is Bill’s film might have been in the mix. Unfortunately, we’ll never know. For now, I’m pleased that The Illusionist is there. I know it doesn’t have a chance against the two dynamos against it, but it deserves to win.


MOMA in New York is currently hosting a Drawing on Film exhibit in which many animated films are being shown. Most of them are abstract films that should be seen.
Today’s schedule includes:

Technological Lines: Computer-Generated Drawing and Abstraction
(Dance Film: Computer Generated Ballet). ca.1965. USA. Directed by A. Michael Noll. Silent. Approx. 3 min.
Man and His World. ca. 1965. USA. Directed by Stan Vanderbeek, Ken Knowlton. 1 min.
Pixilation. 1969. USA. Directed by Ken Knowlton, Lillian Schwartz. 4 min.
Circles I. 1971. USA. Directed by Doris Chase. 6 min.
Arabesque. 1975. USA. Directed by John Whitney. 7 min.
Woody Anderson. 1971. USA. Directed by Stan Vanderbeek. Silent. 3 min.
Toronto-Computer. 1973. USA. Directed by Stan Vanderbeek. 9 min.
Euclidean Illusions. 1979. USA. Directed by Stan Vanderbeek. 9 min.
Linia. 1981. Poland. Directed by Grzegorz Rogala. 8 min.
Saturday, January 29, 2011, 6:30 p.m., Theater 3, mezzanine, Education and Research Building

Next Saturday:
Gestural Lines: Dance and Motion
Serpentine Dance by Annabelle. 1895. USA. Produced by the Edison Company. Silent. Approx. 1 min.
Serpentine Dance. 1896. USA. Produced by C. Francis Jenkins. Silent. Approx. 1 min.
Tarantella. 1940. USA. Directed by Mary Ellen Bute. 4 min.
Trio A. 1978. USA. Directed by Sally Banes. Silent. 10 min.
Pas de Deux. 1967. Canada. Directed by Norman McLaren. 14 min.
Skating. 1978. USA. Directed by Stuart Sherman. Silent. 3 min.
Elevator Dance. 1980. USA. Directed by Stuart Sherman. Silent. 3 min.
Priya. 2007–08. Great Britain. Directed by Alia Syed. Silent. 11 min.

Saturday, February 5, 2011, 6:30 p.m., Theater 3, mezzanine, Education and Research Building

Life Lines: Drawing Intersections
Blinkety Blank. 1985. Canada. Directed by Norman McLaren. 5 min.
The Toe Tactic. 2008. USA. Directed by Emily Hubley. 84 min.

Sunday, February 6, 2011, 5:00 p.m., Theater 3, mezzanine, Education and Research Building

This program has been on-going for the past month and quite a few classic films have been screened.


Just to fill out the post, I’m reprising one of my favorite drawings owned. It comes from The Big Bad Wolf (1934) a follow-up to The Three Little Pigs.

4 Responses to “Plympton, MOMA & Pigs”

  1. on 29 Jan 2011 at 10:00 am 1.John Celestri said …


    I love this drawing for the sheer primitive energy it has…even the two-hole system shouts out “Early technology!” to me.

    Do you have any idea who animated this scene?

  2. on 29 Jan 2011 at 12:15 pm 2.Michael said …

    I haven’t seen the drafts so I don’t know for sure. However, my guess is that Norm Ferguson animated the wolf. He did the wolf in the entire short The Three Little Wolves, so possibly had the character here, too. Of course that would make this a clean up drawing since Fergy drew rough.

  3. on 29 Jan 2011 at 12:54 pm 3.Eric Noble said …

    Terrific post. I want to buy the Bill Plympton book! Here’s hoping I can afford it.

  4. on 29 Jan 2011 at 5:13 pm 4.Dave Levy said …

    Fun timing, Michael. My author copy of the Plympton book just arrived today. I was beginning to get jealous of Mr. Heller’s copy of the book.

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