Austin Chronicle

DIRECTED BY: Bill Plympton

REVIEWED: 03-30-98

If you're a fan of facial gymnastics, fists to the nose, and things that go splat!, you'll likely enjoy Plymptoons, a collection of Bill Plympton's animated shorts. It's not all great stuff; the first third is a bit uneven, although "Drawing Lesson #2" is clever enough and the short saga "Lucas the Ear of Corn" is strangely affecting. The payoff comes in the collection's smart midsection, where Plympton's Gahan Wilson meets Monty Python meets Ballard Street sensibilities are on full display. (Is it just me, or is Ballard Street hands-down the best comic in the Statesman?) Highlights include "One of Those Days," a from-yer-own-eyes chronicle of a very bad day indeed; "How to Kiss," a tongue-in-cheek primer on the fine art of smooching; and the hilarious "25 Ways to Quit Smoking," an irreverent rib-tickler that's heavily invested in both self-mutilation and falling elephants. The tape concludes with a series of commercials and MTV shorts that are occasionally amusing but unspectacular as a whole. All three show the taste for the twisted seemingly required in modern animation, although Plympton comes off only a little strange and not certifiably insane like some of his peers.

--Jay Hardwig

Other Films by Bill Plympton
I Married a Strange Person
Walt Curtis: The Peckerneck Poet

Film Vault Suggested Links
Hugo Pool
Tromeo & Juliet
Welcome to the Dollhouse

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