Monday, February 23, 2015

Enzian Theater's 30th Anniversary

I first attended the Florida Film Festival back in the early 1990's.  I went to this festival in Orlando and had a ball, because it was one of those rare festivals that seemed to care more about the filmmakers than the press or sponsors.  I was treated so well I decided to come back, and come back I did. 

They claim that I've had more films screen at the Florida Film Festival then any other filmmaker - and that led to me creating two trailers and two posters for the festival, and happily I was also commissioned to design a mural for their very popular Eden Bar. 

                             People drinking at the Eden Bar, with my mural in the background!

Since this February they were celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Enzian Theater (coincidentally, it's also my 30th Anniversary of working in animation) they asked me to create a new trailer to celebrate the event and they brought me down to be part of the celebration. 

The weather in NYC, as you all know, has been extremely frigid, so a long weekend break in sunny Florida seemed like the perfect getaway for Valentine's Day with my wife, Sandrine.

The big celebration at the Enzian was a marvelous event, presided over by Siggy, Henry and Liz, with great food and the typical warm family atmosphere that is the custom at the Florida Film Festival.

But the biggest news was the announcement of a massive new construction project to expand the one-screen cinema into a much larger three-screen cinema with a second kitchen and larger lobby.  It will be the centerpiece of culture in central Florida.

If you have a new film, please enter it in the Florida Film Festival, and be sure to attend.  You'll have a ball!

For more information about the Enzian Theater and the Florida Film Festival, please visit:

--Bill P.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Jennifer Aniston and Me

I got an invitation to see Jennifer Aniston's new film "Cake" and to also have dinner and drinks and meet the star herself.  I don't always go to these events - I'm usually too busy, but I thought this might be a good opportunity to introduce myself as the animator who drew her character on the FOX T.V. show "The Edge" years ago.  Also, I thought she might be interested in doing a voice for a new short film I'm starting work on, called "The Loneliest Stoplight".

So, I went to the packed screening of "Cake".  Aniston is, of course, wonderful in it, but the film itself is not my kind of movie.  It's very cynical and depressing. 

I took a cab to the reception, got there early and introduced myself to her, and I was just about to mention "The Edge" when some old friends of hers butted in, and slowly I got pushed to the periphery, then photographers told me to move out of the way so they could take pictures.

But I hung in there, knowing that she'd probably be delighted to meet the guy who did animation for the sketch comedy show she was on before "Friends" - perhaps she'd even ask me for a drawing.  More of her friends joined in the crowd, and the more I hung around, the more her personal bodyguards thought I was a stalker.

Finally, the burly bodyguard told me to back away from her so she could eat.  But I explained to the guy that I worked with her on a project and wanted to chat with her for a minute.  He then became very insistent that I move away so she could have her dinner. 

So I asked him if she or her management company actually paid $15,000 for this event so she could eat dinner, or if they forked over the big bucks so she could meet Academy voters and talk about her film for an Oscar nomination.  That didn't seem to convince him, as he moved his body directly between Ms. Aniston and me. 

I took the hint that my opportunity was now gone, as he seemed to single me out as a troublemaker.  So I grabbed my coat and as I left in frustration I said to the bodyguard, "Because of you, I'm not going to vote for Ms. Aniston or the film.  And I don't believe those are Jennifer's wishes." 

Boy, I really told him off - but in the end neither of us got nominated this time, so we couldn't meet up at the Governors Ball and laugh about the whole incident.  Now that would have been cool!

--Bill P.

Monday, February 9, 2015

My trip to the 2015 Annie Awards

I've just returned to the frozen tundra of NYC from the tropical paradise of L.A., where I attended the famous Annie Awards.  I also used that golden opportunity to make an appearance at Sony Pictures Animation, to see what they were doing and talk about my new films.

I also did a show at the Steve Allen Theater, where I showed clips from my new films, "Hitler's Folly" (which I was very nervous about, but people laughed a lot...) and "Revengeance" with Jim Lujan, which also got a great reception.

                                At the Annies with Ken Mora, Jim Lujan, Sandrine Plympton
                                                              and James Hancock.

                          On the red carpet with CHEATIN' composer Nicole Renaud and Sandrine.

But on to the Annies - it's a wonderful black-tie affair that takes place at UCLA's Royce Hall.  It's become the Oscars for animation - all the big studios put their big films and big stars on display.

 I got to hang out with Matt Groening - in fact, I introduced him to Phil Lord and Christopher Miller of  "LEGO Movie" fame.  (Chris used to be an intern at my studio years ago.)  It turns out they're mutual admirers. 

                  Matt Groening meets Christopher Miller and Phil Lord from "The LEGO Movie"

                 With Sandrine and Brandon Oldenburg and William Joyce of Moonbot Studios.

I said hello to Travis Knight of Laika House, producer of "The Boxtrolls", and I was also able to chat with Leslie Iwerks, granddaughter of the famous Ub Iwerks, and a great documentary filmmaker.  Also, I congratulated Bonnie Arnold on her big success, being hired as the head of Dreamworks Animation.  She's famous for producing "Toy Story" and a bunch of Pixar hits, but she also produced the big hit "How to Train Your Dragon 2", which I believe was the best animated film of 2014.

So I knew going in that had only a snowball's chance in hell of winning an Annie - but that's OK, because I just love hanging out in L.A. (the mecca of animation) and catching up with my friends and talking about animation. 

                              With David Silverman (producer/director on "The Simpsons")
                                  and Jerry Beck, animation historian ("Cartoon Research")

                                  With Tomm Moore ("Song of the Sea") and his wife, plus
                                       CHEATIN' composer Nicole Renaud and Sandrine.

If you're interested in finding out who the winners were, you can check them out at

--Bill Plympton

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

"Footprints" playing at IFC Center, NYC

Hey, gang, a quick programming note.  Shorts HD is playing a program of the Academy Award-nominated animated shorts in select theaters around the U.S.  If you're in the NYC area, for example, you can catch the program at the IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue (at 3rd St.) and here is a link to where you can buy tickets:

The program includes:
"Me and My Moulton", directed by Torill Kove
"Feast", directed by Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
"The Bigger Picture", directed by Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
"A Single Life", directed by Marieke Blaauw, Joris Oprins, Job Roggeveen
"The Dam Keeper", directed by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi

The program also includes a few shorts that were close to being nominated, such as:
"Duet", directed by Glen Keane
"Bus Story", directed by Tali
"Sweet Cocoon",
and "Footprints", directed by some guy named Bill Plympton -

The program is playing in over 350 theaters around the U.S. and Canada, so please check your local listings, and go out and support some animation this week!  It's a great way to see all of the nominated shorts before they hand out the Oscar!

For more information about the program, please visit:

To search for theaters near you playing this program, please follow this link: