Tribeca Review: The Animated Films of Tribeca

2008 Tribeca Film Festival

I was lucky to catch two animated films at Tribeca, one from Bill Plympton whose been working at his art for many years and the second by a new animator Leetal Platt.

Idiots and Angels

Bill Plympton’s animation style is unique. If you don’t think you’ve ever seen his work, you have in commercials (United Airlines, Microsoft) and you might have seen the Oscar nominated Guard Dog and its sequel, Guide Dog.

His newest work “Idiots and Angels” is a dark, wonderfully demented animated feature that would make David Lynch look like he makes breezy little films about suburbia.

It’s about a not so great guy, Angel who to his dismay grows some wings that don’t fit his less than stellar personality. He’s no angel, but these wings command him to be and he’s not happy about it. His inner goodness isn’t welcome.

Where’s the joy in flight if you can’t do some mischief?

Angel wants to be rid of the wings. Sure he can fly, but the wings put a damper on his darker side.

What’s a disgruntled winged guy to do?

Bart the Bartender wants the wings and when he gains possession he manages to overcome their will to do only good and inflicts damage on the town.

The battle over the unwanted wings will turn epic as Bart and Angel slug it out in a battle between evil and good, not only for the wings, but for the heart of Bart’s beautiful mistreated wife who has fallen for Angel.

Plympton hand draws all of his work and it’s a pleasure to see hand animation at it’s best. It’s nice to know there are still animators like Plympton who create a film one glorious drawing at a time.

Grade: A

Zombie Gets a Date

The second animated film I saw is a short called Zombie Gets a Date by Leetal Platt.

Platt began the film in her final year at New York University. Platt demonstrates not only great skill as an animator but a terrific sense of humor as well.

This quirky, funny animated film delves into the world of a lonely Zombie who in his quest for romance goes out on a date. But dating the undead isn’t what it’s cracked up to be and complications arise on the path to true love.
The film maybe be just over two minutes long but it’s filled with original ideas and imagery.

Grade: A

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