Winsor McCay’s 1921 Short “The Flying House” Restored by Bill Plympton

Bill Plympton, Legendary Oscar-nominated Animator, announced today: The short film, The Flying House‘ (1921 / 2011) was screened, at the Second Annual Williamsburg Independent Film Festival, on Sunday, November 18, 2011 and won the Best Animated Film Award, 90 years after its original creation!

Bill Plympton stated:
”Using Winsor McCay’s beautiful artwork, I took it upon myself to resurrect his last animated short, Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend: The Flying House (1921), using contemporary digital technology. This landmark re-mastering of McCay’s beautiful film is attracting a great deal of attention and controversy. I hope that my updating of this obscure short film, will bring the genius of Winsor McCay, to the attention of a new generation of animation fans. This brilliant piece of animation was McCay’s last film; because he was forbidden to make any more films by press baron William Randolph Hearst. This demand quickly ended his passion for cartoons, and he died soon after.”

In August 2011, Bill Plympton’s studio completed the work of modernizing the film. The original black and white prints were in bad condition, deteriorating, scratched and dirty, there were no voices, sound effects, or music, and the word balloons and inter-titles made it hard to watch. Painstakingly, his studio digitally cleaned each frame of damaged footage, added full color, the voices of Patricia Clarkson and Matthew Modine, and a new score. Please save the date for the Film Premiere at the Society of Illustrators on February 8, 2012.

Synopsis: The Flying House’
A woman’s escapist dream, of discovering her husband about to fly their house away from their problems, could well be something that might happen today. This film has current overtones and themes, of a landlord threaten-ing impending mortgage foreclosure, people gathering in protest rallies who won’t take it anymore and the search for new worlds to live in.

Production Information:
The restoration and re-imagineering of the Winsor McCay, classic animated short film, Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend: The Flying House (1921)
Length: 8:28. Format: DVD Digital File; Dimension: 1920×1080, pillar box;

Cast and Crew:
Winsor McCay, Director, Original film.
Bill Plympton, Producer, modernization.

Associate Producer: Serge Bromberg (Lobster Films)
Co-Producer: Society of Illustrators
Executive Producers: Adam Rackoff And Matthew Modine (Cinco Dedos Peliculas)
Production Supervisor/Editor: Desiree Stavracos
Restoration Supervisor: Kerri Allegretta
Art Director/Color: Lindsay Woods
Digital Compositing: Celeste Lai, Judy Lee, Desiree Stavracos And Lindsay Woods
Voice Actors: Matthew Modine; Patricia Clarkson; John Holderreid; Bill Plympton
Music Composer: Thomas Vanoosting
Music Editor: Biljana Labovic
Sound Mix Designer: Weston Fonger
Clean-Up & Coloring: Julia Altabef, Rene Chandler, Che Min Hsiao (Pegasus), Emily Garrett, Yoomi Kim, Celeste Lai, Judy Lee, Bora Nah, Mina Sanwald, Ying Zhang.

Film Festival 2011 screenings as a Work In Progress:
Annecy Animation Festival, Annecy, France,June 6-11

Burbank Film Festival, Burbank, CA.

Sept. 15-18

Film Festival 2011 Screenings after August restoration completion date
Hamptons International FF, Easthampton/Montauk NY HD Cam Oct. 13-17
The Second Annual Williamsburg Independent FF, Brooklyn NY, Nov. 17-20,

Film Festivals Entered: Florida Sonoma; SXSW; Anifest; Stuttgart Trickfilm IFF, Interfilm Berlin; Martha’s Vineyard; New York Film Festival; Telluride.