In a fateful bumper car collision, Jake and Ella meet and become the most loving couple in the long history of romance. But when a scheming "other" woman drives a wedge of jealousy into ...
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Much to his surprise, an utter misanthrope is transformed into a reluctant do-gooder, when a glorious pair of angelic snow-white wings sprouts up from his back. Now, everyone in town wants a piece of his feathered appendages.
A newlywed develops a strange lump on his neck that gives him the ability to transform people or objects at will. His wife is very upset. Meanwhile, the CEO of Smilecorp learns of this man ... See full summary »
"Hitler's Folly" explores what might have happened if Adolf Hitler's art career had been more successful and instead of becoming an evil dictator, he was inspired to become an animator like Walt Disney.
Eden S. Bales,
A taxi driver who lives in Napoli spend his time on his uncle's car thinking about happiness. His former brother took a road for happiness practicing Buddhism while he is always sad and ... See full summary »
It's 1941 but France is trapped in the nineteenth century, governed by steam and Napoleon V, where scientists vanish mysteriously. Avril (Marion Cotillard), a teenage girl, goes in search of her missing scientist parents.
In a fateful bumper car collision, Jake and Ella meet and become the most loving couple in the long history of romance. But when a scheming "other" woman drives a wedge of jealousy into their perfect courtship, insecurity and hatred spell out an untimely fate. With only the help of a disgraced magician and his forbidden "soul machine", Ella takes the form of Jake's numerous lovers, desperately fighting through the malfunction and deceit as they try to reclaim their destiny.Written by
Bill Plympton & Desiree Stavracos
The song El Merto pays for Ella on the gramophone is 'Your Face', co-written by Maureen McElheron (who sings at 1/3 the speed of a normal recording) and Bill Plympton for his 1987 cartoon of the same name. See more »
Director/animator Bill Plympton became famous for his detailed, surreal colored pencil animations that became something of a trademark, but his feature-length films have bounced between different processes and styles, and have, at times, lost some of the impressionistic charm of his shorts and early work. For his last feature, Idiots & Angels, he combined pencil-drawn frames with digital coloring, and in so doing managed to preserve the beautiful sketchy style that he's best known for.
Cheatin' continues Bill's tradition of experimentation and evolution, with some truly stunning results. While it seems to use a similar technical process to Idiots & Angels, it's about as far from that film's dingy noir as you can get. Every frame of Cheatin' is filled with vibrant colors, for a pastel watercolor look. Long, exaggerated shadows dance across scenes that always seem to take place at dawn or sunset. The character designs themselves are likewise a bit of a departure, with exaggerated anatomy that borders on grotesque. Whether by virtue of new technology, or just experience, this seems to be Bill's most fluid animation to date, as well. It certainly doesn't approach the liquid-smooth 24 frames per second of Disney animation, it's the closest Bill has ever come.
Cheatin' also provides further evidence that Plympton has matured -- and yes, perhaps mellowed -- in recent years. While not without its surreal twists and turns, Cheatin' is more grounded in reality and has a stronger human component that any of Plympton's earlier films. We're introduced to Ella, a beautiful woman who has closed her heart, preferring the solitude of books to the company of others. When the muscular, handsome Jake rescues her from a perilous bumper car accident, she opens her heart at last and falls madly in love. The two marry and move in together, but others jealous of their love seek to tear them apart, beginning a spiral of self-destruction, infidelity, and revenge.
This story is told visually, without any dialog, but it seems less concerned with the sight gags and slapstick violence that drive Bill's earlier works. The net result is a movie that seems more focused on its story, if perhaps not as laugh out loud funny. Some might see this as a toning down, but it's equally apparent that this is still not a movie for kids. There may not be as much blood and guts, but there's still plenty of sex and adult themes.
It's great to see someone as established as Bill moving out of his comfort zone and exploring new territory, both artistically, thematically, and technically, and the result is one of his strongest works yet.
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