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Feature Film

Plympton’s Latest Feature Idiots and Angels

Idiots and Angels

Critics are beginning to weigh in on Bill Plympton’s latest feature Idiots and Angels, which is now playing around the festival circuit. There’s not many indies who can claim to have made their own animated feature, but this is, quite amazingly, Bill’s fifth(!) full-length animated feature, all funded entirely with his own money. My favorite review so far is this one from Variety which uses an uncommon if not impressive grouping of words to describe the film–words like “Manichean,” “Bukowskian,” and “physiognomic transmutations.”

This review from the Auteur’s Notebook is more mixed; it applauds Plympton’s visual ingenuity and storytelling over the originality of the story and character development, an argument that would hold water for many of Plympton’s efforts. Eye For Film has a view similar to that of the previous reviewer, though it concludes that the film is worth checking out: “[I]f the storyline is treading over some old ground, Plympton’s animation gives it a fresh lease of life.”

For my part, I’m looking forward to checking out the film next month in Annecy. I thought Bill’s last feature Hair High was his strongest to date, and I’m looking forward to seeing if he can top that accomplishment. Below is a short interview with Plympton from last month’s Tribeca Film Festival:

  • P.C. Unfunny

    Bill Plympton sure manages to get a lot of work.

  • Camera #2 apparently operated by a chimpanzee sitting on an anthill.

  • I interviewed Bill Plympton for I&A at Toon Zone News at and reviewed it at He’s an amazingly gracious man and I do think Idiots & Angels is his best feature film to date (though I haven’t seen all of Hair High).

    He’s also due to receive the MoCCA Art Festival Award next Saturday, June 7, at the MoCCA Art Fest in NYC.

  • Honestly, one of THE nicest guys in the industry. To add to his immense talent, he’s always approachable and friendly.

  • Paul N

    One of the nicest guys around, and a party animal. As my wife says, he’s truly doing what he was meant to do.

  • Dave

    Great guy with his own vision. Looking forward to this one.

  • robert

    Bill will be on hand Friday night at the Chicago premiere of the Animation Show. We’ll be screening “Hot Dog” with a Q&A and more info on this feature after the evening shows. Check us at the Music Box theatre website for more info.

  • Yes, he is a really nice guy. And he parties, he makes lots of personal appearances, he does commercial work, and on top of the features he has created over 30 shorts. He’s obviously like Droopy, there are dozens of him.

  • GW

    It’s also worth mentioning that the film will be showing the weekend after next at the Seattle International Film Festival for those in that several hundred mile radius of Seattle. The showtimes will be 9:30 PM on Friday the 30th, and 4:00 PM on Saturday the 31st. If you can’t make either of those showings but will be in Seattle this 1:30 PM Sunday at or 6:45 PM Monday, be sure to attend one of the showings of Sita Sings the Blues.

  • I was over in N.Y for the Comic Con with some students from here in the U.K. I saw Bill’s premier of Hot Dog and had a chat afterwards. It’s true, he’s a really nice guy, and we had a look around his studio too! Got a photo somewhere. Anyway, I wish him the best of luck and that he keeps the dream alive!