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The first question I always ask animators is whether or not they dream in animation, and I am always surprised by the answer, no matter what it is. Bill Plympton, that master twisted reality and the poetic quality of the grotesque had a suitably original reply that didn’t disappoint. Nor did his response about turning down a job with Disney, which had been his childhood dream job.
When I spoke to him on April 17, 2015 about CHEATIN’, his seventh animated feature film, I was most interested in hearing him expound on the nature of passion. I loved the way he explored the way the intensity of passion doesn’t change, even when love turns to hate, as depicted in his film about true love gone off the rails. We went on to talk about his artistic process (part of which explains the nature of his dreams), maintaining a blog about the making the film from first drawings through clean-up, coloring, and foley, and why it is that Americans have such a problem with animation tackling adult subjects. We went on to discuss the three reasons he doesn’t do dialogue, the truth of hand-drawn animation, the irresistible incentive to contribute to his next film, REVENGENCE, and that altar to Bill that fellow animator, Signe Baumane (ROCKS IN MY POCKETS), has in her studio.
CHEATIN’ is a film about passion, lies, and screaming fish. A bumper car accident leads to a love story of epic proportions between Jake and Ella, a love that may be too perfect for this world. Hence the evil machinations of a would-be other woman that results in sex as revenge, murder as retribution, and a wild ride through a soul machine. Using fanciful imagery to tell a hard-boiled story that taunts the laws of physics while also describing the nature of passion, the good, the bad, and the fatal. Plympton directed from his own script, and this is his seventh animated feature film, and his previous work includes cartooning for The New York Times, Playboy, and Screw, authoring Make Toons That Sell Without Selling Out, as well as concocting the animated films HAIR HIGH, IDIOTS AND ANGELS, I MARRIED A STRANGE PERSON, the H episode of THE ABCs OF DEATH 2, Head Games, and the Oscar™-nominated short, YOUR FACE, a ceremony that he attended in a rented Japanese car.
Click on the link to listen to the interview (26:41) CHEATIN’ — Bill Plympton Interview.