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Bill Plympton

Bill Plympton (born April 30, 1946) is an American animator best known for his 1987 Academy Award-nominated animated short Your Face.



Bill Plympton was born in Portland, Oregon, to Don and Wilda Plympton. From 1964 to 1968, he attended 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.

Plympton's illustrations and cartoons have been published in The New York Times and 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.

Plympton is considered the first animator to draw every frame for an animated feature film by himself. Signe Baumane, also a director and animator, has been inking and painting Plympton's cels for many years. As of 2006, Plympton had created 26 animated short films and five animated features. He has also published a comic book, The Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton. Plympton usually publishes a graphic novel version during the production of each feature in order to raise money for the film itself.

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.[1]

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".

The actress Martha Plimpton, "a distant relative," of his,[2] served as associate producer on Plympton's animated feature Hair High (2004), doing much of the casting. The movie's voice cast included her father Keith Carradine and her uncle David Carradine. Plympton contributed animation in the History Channel series, 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America, to illustrate the events of Shay's Rebellion.

Plympton in early 2007 was in production on an 80-minute feature, Idiots and Angels, that would have no dialog.[3] The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on 26 April 2008,[4] and was nominated in the feature film category at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2008.


  • 2008 MoCCA (Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art) - Cartoonist of the Year, MoCCA Art Festival
  • 2006 Special Career Award - Fantasporto Film Festival
  • 2006 Winsor McCay Award; Annie Awards by ASIFA Hollywood
  • 2005 2nd Oscar Academy Award Nomination for Short Animation "Guard Dog"
  • 2005 Life Time Achievement (Time Machine Award) SITGES Film Festival
  • 2001 Grand Prize for Short Films, Cannes Film Festival Critics' Week
  • 1987 1st Oscar Nomination Academy Award for Short Animation "Your Face"



Animated features

Plympton and guest at the 34th Annie Awards, in Glendale, California.

Live-action features

  • J. Lyle (1993)
  • Guns on the Clackamas (1995)
  • Walt Curtis, the Peckerneck Poet (1997)

Animated shorts

  • The Great Turn On (1968)
  • Lucas the Ear of Corn (1977)
  • Boomtown (1985)
  • Drawing Lesson #2 (1985)
  • Love in the Fast Lane (1985)
  • Your Face (1987)
  • One of Those Days (1988)
  • How to Kiss (1989)
  • 25 Ways to Quit Smoking (1989)
  • Plymptoons (1990)
  • Tango Schmango (1990)
  • Dig My Do (1990)
  • The Wise Man (1990)
  • Draw (1990)
  • Push Comes to Shove (1991)
  • Nosehair (1994)
  • Faded roads (1994)
  • How to Make Love to a Woman (1995)
  • Smell the Flowers (1996)
  • Boney D (1996)
  • Plympmania (1996)
  • Sex & Violence (1997)
  • The Exciting Life of a Tree (1998)
  • More Sex & Violence (1998)
  • Surprise Cinema (1999)
  • Can't Drag Race with Jesus (2000)
  • Eat (2001)
  • Parking (2001)
  • Twelve Tiny Christmas Tales (2001)
  • Guard Dog (2004)
  • The Fan & The Flower (2005)
  • Guide Dog (2006) (sequel to Guard Dog)
  • Shuteye Hotel (2007)
  • Gary Guitar (2008)
  • Hot Dog (2008) (third in the Guard Dog series)
  • Santa: The Fascist Years (2008)
  • Horn Dog (2009) (fourth in the Guard Dog series)

Compilations (DVD)

  • Avoid Eye Contact Vol. 1
  • Avoid Eye Contact Vol. 2
  • Bill Plympton's Dirty Shorts
  • Plymptoons: The Complete Early Works of Bill Plympton (1992)
  • Mondo Plympton (2007)
  • Bill Plympton's Dog Days (2009)

Music videos


  • The F-Word Documentary (2005)
  • United Airlines "Signature" (2005)
  • Geico Direct (6) (1999)
  • Microsoft Windows '95 (1995)
  • Taco Bell (1993)
  • Nik Naks (UK) (1993)
  • Soloflex (1992)
  • Trivial Pursuit (3) (1990-91)
  • Nutrasweet (1991)
  • MTV public service announcement "Acid Rain" (1989)





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