Paul Fierlinger’s animated feature My Dog Tulip opens an exclusive two-week run on September 1st at the Film Forum in New York. It opens later elsewhere in the US (complete list of cities here). Fierlinger is an exceptional and exceptionally devoted animation filmmaker (he made the artwork for his film with only one other person–his wife, Sandra), and I can’t wait to finally see the results. As this article from the Boston Globe makes clear, the film isn’t conventional animated fare; the book on which its based, by J.R. Ackerley, has been called the “[most] preeminently disgusting of all great dog books” and derided as “meaningless filth about dogs.”
This is a revealing quote from Fierlinger from an interview in The Bark magazine, which says a lot about where he’s coming from:
From a very young age, I disliked Disney and loved The Little Prince because the fox explains to the boy [in The Little Prince] what he must do to tame him, the fox. If the fox would know this, wasn’t he already tame? But instinctively–I was seven or eight at the time–I undersatnd that it shows Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s understanding of nature. He wasn’t violating any rules, whereas Disney violated all the rules of nature. That’s what I want our film to be: the opposite of 101 Dalmatians. So that people would not want to buy a dog after they saw Tulip, like too many people do who watch Disney movies.