Last week at an animation screening in New York, the MC of the event, Bill Plympton, invited a member of the audience to take the stage and introduced him as a New York animation legend. The suspender-wearing pot-bellied gentleman looked about the farthest thing from a legend. I’d seen him at screenings before and never knew who he was, but I was certainly familiar with his famous work-in-progress animated film. It was none other than Michael Sullivan, who’s been working for over a decade on a stop-motion robot porno epic The Sex Life of Robots.

Michael has had a long career in animation, working on sets and puppets for projects like Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Joe’s Apartment, and Bear in the Big Blue House,, but it’s the exquisitely crafted robot porn that he’s been making in his apartment that has captured the most attention. Now he’s about to become a lot more famous thanks to a short documentary–Meaning of Robots–that will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this week. The trailer is above, and it’s directed by Matt Lenski who describes it as such:

In the Spring of 2011, after years of hiring him to build miniature sets for my films I asked Mike Sullivan for his help on an art project — A doll-sized protest kit. During the process I got a peek into his world and discovered that it was anything but miniature.

What I found was a man dedicated, overwhelmed, slightly lost and happy to share it with honesty and a little humor. I also found thousands of Robots with wieners. This is a character exploration, a documentary, a Henry Darger-esque allegory set in one studio apartment on 27th street in New York City.

Sullivan has been profiled on multiple occasions in the past. Click after the jump for more videos about his animation work, with plenty of NSFW clips from his work-in-progress film.

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