Animation 17 Oct 2006 08:38 am

Plymptonia & Levymania

Hair High, Bill Plympton‘s most recent animated feature finally opens in NYC on Wednesday. It runs from Oct 18 through Oct 25 at the Two Boots Pioneer theater .

Plympton will make personal appearances at the theater; every guest at the premiere will receive a drawing from Bill.

Cast members and other guests (including the “Krazy Kock” chicken mascot) will appear at the premiere.

(Read the NYTimes review.)

Hair High is the legend of a 1950′s teenage couple murdered on prom night who return as undead skeletons one year later for revenge. The film’s a romantic comedy with a zombie-horror twist. NY’s own independent animator, Bill Plympton. self-financed the film, co-produced by his friend and distant cousin, actress Martha Plimpton.

Hair High features an all-star cast including the voice talents of Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Silverman, David Carradine, Keith Carradine, Beverly D’Angelo, Martha Plimpton, Eric Gilliland, Ed Begley Jr., Michael Showalter, Zak Orth, Justin Long, Craig Bierko, Tom Noonan and animators Matt Groening and Don Hertzfeldt.

Also included in the screening will be Bill Plympton’s Oscar-nominated animated short Guard Dog, and its sequel, Guide Dog.

Pioneer Two Boots Theater
155 East 3rd St. (between Ave. A + B)
New York NY 10019
Showtimes: 212-591-0434
Advance Tickets:

For more information about the film: or

– On the ASIFA-East newsletter & site, ASIFA-East President, David Levy comments on making Independent short films as opposed to sample/pilots for pitches you want to make.

This grew out of Amid Amidi‘s comments on Cartoon Brew regarding a statement Pat had made on AWN.

It takes three sites to track it all down, but it’s interesting to follow the thread. To read it all chronologically go: here, then here, then here.

- Speaking of Dave Levy, his book, Your Career In Animation continues to garner positive reviews. Everyone from Michael Barrier (06/29/06) to Jerry Beck to Tom Sito has said nice things about it.

The book is a good, easy read with much to offer anyone interestedkin animation.

Speaking of ASIFA-East, they have an open screening scheduled for Thursday night at 7PM at the School of Visual Arts.209 East 23rd Street, Rm. 502 Bet. 2nd & 3rd Ave

and then on Halloween (Oct. 31st) they show the The Best of British Animation Awards. Among those shown will be Rabbit which won the top short film prize at Annecy.
Same place; same time; different day. Come in costume.

6 Responses to “Plymptonia & Levymania”

  1. on 18 Oct 2006 at 4:12 am 1.Stephen Worth said …

    I really don’t see how TV is necessarily about character and independent film is necessarily about concept/story. It seems to me that whether a film is made for television or independent distribution, characters, concept and good story are all important.

    Amid’s point seems to have been totally missed. He wasn’t saying that one venue is better than another. He was saying that development executives are a hinderence to the creative process at best, and an obsticle between the animator and his audience in most cases.

    The people who are telling filmmakers how to make films are flat out unqualified. Just read the jaw dropping AWN Article John K links to in his Blog Post Today if you want proof of that straight from their own mouths.

    Friz Freleng said that the reason most television animation is lousy is because there’s a huge gulf between the filmmaker and his audience. In the old days, Friz would slip the projectionist at the Alex Theater five bucks to run his latest film, and he would stand in the back noting what got laughs and what didn’t. Then he’d go back to the studio and use what he learned in the next cartoon. In the modern age, they hire focus testers and executives to decide what the audience likes and doesn’t like. The middleman is the problem.

    Joe Barbera said it the plainest, “I never saw a network note that made a show better.”

    See ya

  2. on 18 Oct 2006 at 8:12 am 2.Michael said …

    I think David Levy picked up on something Amid said, and that wasn’t to compare movies to television. David felt that some people were going out of their way to produce pilots with their own money for series they were trying to pitch. They would obviously be better advised to produce a short independent film that they believed in rather than one they were trying to sell.
    I think that’s all he had to say.

  3. on 18 Oct 2006 at 3:21 pm 3.David Levy said …

    Good discussion.
    I don’t see the point of dwelling on how much development execs are in the way to what gets made. We are not development executives nor are we in a position to control how their jobs function. We can only control what we, as creators, can control. There is a lot one can learn from the craft you pick up from years working in the studios. Independent films are an important part of self expression while at the same time often lead to commericial opportunities. Amid and Pat oversimplified the equation… that was all I was trying to point out.
    Thanks for the conversation.

    Dave Levy

  4. on 19 Oct 2006 at 12:17 pm 4.Stephen Worth said …

    Executives don’t make cartoons. Animators do. Part of the reason TV animation is so messed up is because animators have allowed networks and executives to take over job functions that properly belong with creators and directors. Pointing out the idiocy of executive interference isn’t dwelling on something that we’re not in a position to control, it’s pointing out a blatant error in the production system that is compromising the quality of animation.

    I don’t know a single animation pro who doesn’t have “war stories” involving the boneheaded notes they’ve received from executives. I have a few thousand myself. Amid isn’t oversimplifying the situation, he’s pointing out the emprorer’s nakedness. This is a serious situation, and it’s not going to change unless the backwardness of the process is exposed to light and revealed for what it is.

    Joe Barbera described a pitch that he gave to Fred Quimby in an interview I read. He said that he sat down with Quimby all excited about the story… “See, the cat runs around the corner, and the mouse is there with a hammer…” He’s acting it out and hamming it up. Quimby has a far away look in his eye and says, “You know what? Nixon is a horse’s ass…” Barbera stopped dead in his pitch, and Quimby repeated it… “Yeah, that Nixon is a horse’s ass…” Barbera said that was the last time he pitched to Quimby. From then on, he only worried about pleasing his audience.

    We need more Quimbys and less meddling wannabe “creative” executives. And animators need to worry about pleasing audiences, not the whims of people who are unqualified to have an opinion.

    See ya

  5. on 19 Oct 2006 at 12:27 pm 5.Michael said …

    I certainly think more of Quimby now. I wonder what he would have thought of Bush?

    I also wish my war stories were as simple to resolve.


  6. on 16 Mar 2012 at 10:15 pm 6.sams said …


    Thank you four your nice writing on Plymptonia & Levymania.


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