Friday, March 5, 2010

The World Premier of “The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger”

I remember twenty years ago after the surprise success with “Your Face” I thought “How to Kiss” would also be a big success. So I invited about a hundred friends and business associates to my loft for the world premiere of the film and showed it on my small TV. The film and premier were both somewhat successful but for some reason I stopped doing that with my shorts.

Jump ahead to 2009 when I had my first year of the Bill Plympton School of Animation and as an instructional tool I made a short film so people could follow my work process. The class and I decided to gather for a drink after one session and went to a BBQ place to imbibe. The topic came up that this would be an appropriate venue to show “The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger” or maybe even have a premier to celebrate the film- Eureka! The world premier event was hatched!

That place is a wonderful country western bar called Hill Country BBQ ranch. They serve wonderful brisket, sausage, ribs but alas no burgers.

The big event was just last week. We had over three hundred people (most invited by Facebook). My close friend and collaborator Maureen McElheron played some classic country songs (“Tumbling Tumbleweeds”, etc) and Nicole Renaud brought out her glowing accordion and sang some fantastic French ballads. Then I invited the crew that worked on the film onstage- Biljana Labovic, Kerri Allegretta, John Holderried, Sandrine Flament , Celeste Lai, Judy Lee, and Che-Min Hsiao. Other celebrities showed up, cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty and famed writer Richard Smith and “Ren and Stimpy” artist Bob Camp.

Nicole Renaud and Bill

The Cow film went over very well with lots of applause but to me the surprise of the evening was that there weren’t a lot of laughs. I guess the film is more of a visual and dramatic piece than a laugh riot.

In any case the film is quite popular and is setting the festival circuit on fire. If you get a chance to see the film check it out. I think you’ll like it.

Bill with interns: Celeste Lai, Che-Min Hsiao, Judy Lee

Staff on stage:
Nicole Renaud, John Holderried, Kerri Allegretta, Biljana Labovic, Bill Plympton, Celeste Lai, Che-Min Hsiao, Judy Lee

Nicole Renaud performing

Maureen McElheron performing

Sandrine Flament with Kevin Michaels

The crowd at Hill Country


  1. If this animation thing doesn't work out, you've got a career ahead of you as an event organizer.

    It was an exceptionally well planned, well run event.

    I would say you should do it more often but I'm sure it takes nearly as much effort to produce as a short film.

  2. When's it showing in Portland? Can't wait!

  3. I was so going to take two trains to see it, but alas I had a math exam the day after!

  4. I can see myself in the last photo! Woohoo! Thanks for doing this event, Bill. It was definitely worth the trip up.