Director Alexia Anastasio’s 'Adventures in Plymptoons!' explores the world of indie animator and cartoonist Bill Plympton, the Academy Award-nominated illustrator of the popular short 'Guard Dog.' Having turned down a one-million dollar deal to work for Disney, Plympton has managed to navigate a profitable, high-profile career in animation, gaining the respect of the art world for being the only animator to personally draw every frame of a full-length feature that's his own.
As her first film, Anastasio hopes Adventures will inspire other artists to complete their work, while remaining true to themselves.
Anastasio took a few moments to speak with TWIS.
TWIS: How did you get involved in the project?
Anastasio: I've known Bill for the past 12 years. I have multiple cards from Bill’s past films like 'Hair High' and 'Mutant Aliens.' The light bulb went off to complete the project when I attended his Master Class in New York. I realized he represents hope for a lot of people because he's his own boss and doesn't censor himself.TWIS: What is Bill Plympton best known for?
Anastasio: He’s a two-time Oscar nominee for his shorts 'Guard Dog' and 'Your Face.' He’s also known for MTV logos, where he used pencil stencils. He has seven feature films, the latest one being 'Idiots and Angels.' He’s also done two videos for Weird Al Yankovic, including ‘TMZ.’
TWIS: How did you get into documentary work?
Anastasio: I graduated from SUNY Purchase, where I studied new media. I took all the film history and computer classes. I actually used what I learned in college!
TWIS: What should viewers expect with Adventures?
Anastasio: It’s entertaining and funny. We play with Bill’s style, using a green screen to put the viewer in Plympton’s world. There are a lot of funny gags in the film. Ron Jeremy is in the film. Keith Carradine does a song. Martha Plimpton, one of the original ‘Goonies’ is in the film.
TWIS: What separates it from other documentaries?
Anastasio: It’s fun. I wanted it to be comedic because he’s comedic. My personal goal is to show people that they can make art no matter what.