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Apr 17, 2015

As much as I love all kinds of motion pictures, the genre I’ve always been most in awe of is animation. Not so much the modern, computer generated stuff in the Pixar/Dreamworks manner, but old-style, hand drawn projects, slavishly created one frame at a time.

BILL PLYMPTON podcast excerpt: "Hollywood doesn't believe there is an audience for adult-oriented animation, which I think is all wrong. You go to Europe or Japan and there are huge audiences for films that speak about adult ideas and adult situations. But for too long, we've been dominated by Disney -- and especially Pixar now -- with their computer animation and their fairytales. The distributors are afraid to handle anything else. Ralph Bakshi opened the door a little bit back in the early 1970s and it was immediately shut after he stopped doing it. I'm trying to open the door again with 'Cheatin.'"

It is an amazing craft and requires a focus and devotion I cannot imagine possessing.

But Bill Plympton does. Plympton, who has twice been nominated for Academy Awards his highly personalized animated shorts Your Face and Guard Dog – and who won the prestigious Palm d’Or in Cannes in 1991 for Push Comes to Shove – is back with a new, full-length animated feature he calls Cheatin.

BILL PLYMPTON podcast excerpt: "Dancing is always difficult to draw. There is a sequence in 'Cheatin' sort of like 'Yellow Submarine.' The music is called 'The Drinking Song.' That was hard to draw because the dimensions are always changing, the people are always changing, the clothing is always changing. But in the end, it did give me pleasure."

It is exactly what it sounds like – about the causes and impact of a cheating spouse on a once loving relationship. It’s beautifully drawn and easily propels its adult content – without adult images – from beginning to end. There are moments of sadness and quite a few at the end that made me burst out laughing.

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