WTFW: Bill Plympton and Hair High (2004)

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WTFW: Bill Plympton and Hair High (2004)

Bill Plympton (born April 30, 1946) is an American animator, graphic designer cartoonist, director, screenwriter and producer best known for his 1987 Academy Award-nominated animated short "Your Face" and his series of shorts "Guard Dog", "Guide Dog", "Hot Dog" and "Horn Dog".

Bill Plympton was born in Portland, Oregon, to Don and Wilda Plympton, and raised on a farm in nearby Oregon City, with five siblings.  From 1964 to 1968, he studied Graphic Design at Portland State University, where he was a member of the film society and worked on the yearbook.  In 1968, he transferred to the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he majored in cartooning.  He graduated from SVA in 1969.

Plympton's illustrations and cartoons have been published in The New York Times and the weekly newspaper The Village Voice, as well as in the magazines Vogue, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Penthouse, and National Lampoon. His political cartoon strip Plympton, which began in 1975 in the Soho Weekly News, eventually was syndicated and appeared in over 20 newspapers.  His distinctive style is easily recognized.

As of 2012, Plympton had created over 40 animated short films and six animated features.  He has also published a comic book, The Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton.

Plympton, together with other independent New York City animators, has released two DVDs of animated shorts, both titled Avoid Eye Contact.  His work also appeared on the 1992–1993 Fox comedy series The Edge; on MTV during the late 1980s; and on MTV's animated series Liquid Television in the early 1990s.  In 1995, he contributed animation  and graphics to a computer game collection,Take Your Best Shot.

From 2001 to 2003, he teamed with Don Hertzfeldt for the touring "The Don and Bill Show", which played throughout the United States.  In 2005, Plympton animated a music video for Kanye West's "Heard 'Em Say".  The following year, he created the music video for "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Don't Download This Song".


Hair High (2004)

  • Genre: Animation – Comedy – Horror
  • Directed: Bill Plympton
  • Produced:
    • Ron Diamond 
    • John Holderried 
    • Martha Plimpton 
    • Bill Plympton
  • Written: Bill Plympton
  • Starring: Eric Gilliland, Sarah Silverman, Dermot Mulroney, Beverly D'Angelo, David Carradine, Keith Carradine, Martha Plimpton, Tom Noonan, Zak Orth, Justin Long, Michael Showalter, Hayley DuMond, Ed Begley Jr., Craig Bierko, Jay O. Sanders, Peter Jason, Matt Groening, Don Hertzfeldt
  • Music:
    • Hank Bones 
    • Corey A. Jackson 
    • Maureen McElheron
  • Cinematography: John Donnelly
  • Editing: Bill Plympton
  • Studio: Plymptoons
  • Distributed:
    • Microcinema International  
    • E.D. Distribution
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: 17 April 2004 (US)
  • Running Time: 78 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

A gothic high-school comedy with a Carrie-like story. Cherri and Rod are the high-school king and queen and they justifiably rule their domain.  Spud, the new kid in town, accidentally offends both Cherri and Rod and so is forced to become Cherri's slave.  Naturally, they immediately hate each other, but later fall in love.  Cherri and Spud secretly decide to go to the prom together, and on prom night a rejected Rod forces their car off the road and into the lake.  In true 50's ballad style, their car sinks to the bottom of the lake as they share one last kiss.  While the bodies of Cherri and Spud lie in a timeless embrace, Rod is successful in thwarting any investigation and is able to get away with murder.  On the night of the following year's prom, the car magically comes to life and slowly drives out of the lake with Cherri and Spud, as if nothing had happened, only this time their bodies are in an advanced state of decomposition.  Their rusty and water-logged car drives to the prom and just as Rod is about to crown himself new king of the prom, Cherri and Spud enter the ballroom - the spotlight follows them as they cross the dance floor, with all the attendees in shock.  As they approach the stage, spiders, bugs, snakes, lizards and fish ooze from their sagging skin and skeletal bodies, and the prom attendees freak as they mount the stairs to the stage.  Spud takes the crown and places it on Cherri as the animals attack and devour Rod.

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