I finally got around to seeing DreamWorks’ Megamind. It’s pretty standard DW fare, save for an ending which packs some decent action and a nice emotional twist. But for most of its length, the film is an unfunny comedy with way too much chatter.
I would point out yet again that DreamWorks will never be on par with Pixar, but Cars 2 blurs the lines, frankly.
I do most of my Internet reading on the iPad. When I see what looks like an interesting article, I save it into an app called Instapaper. This program allows me to peruse a lot of headlines quickly and put off reading the content until a later time. Bearing that in mind, you’ll forgive me for linking to a Mark Mayerson essay from back in February. (I know I’m slack. You don’t have to tell me.)
In “False Comparisons“, Mayerson refutes some comments made by Michael Barrier. Barrier believes that modern computer animation hasn’t undergone the same sort of aesthetic maturation that took place in the Disney films of the 1930s. Mayerson finds fault with Barrier’s logic and makes his points eloquently. This piece is definitely worth a look — despite my calling it to your attention three months late.
Plymptoons is a DVD charting the career and artistic growth — in short film form — of animator Bill Plympton from the late 1960s through the middle 1990s. If you were around during the heyday of MTV, you’re sure to recognize Plympton’s strobe-y colored pencil animation style. In fact, several of the shorts on the DVD were either produced for MTV directly, or were shown on the network.
Plympton (who continues to work even today) is an insanely gifted draftsman with a unique sense of humor, but I thought I’d been sold a shoddy bill of goods during the early part of this presentation. The shorts are given in chronological order and the early work — which I assume was included to provide a sense of context — is really not worth your time. Once, these initial entries are out of the way, however, I was quickly reminded of what a tremendous talent Plympton truly is. Cartoons like “Your Face”, “25 Ways to Quit Smoking”, and the masterful “One of Those Days” made the entire undertaking worthwhile.
If you’re like me and you remember a time when the “M” in MTV stood for “music”, you may want to give Plymptoons a look. As I say, the man’s style is instantly recognizable and his off-kilter sense of humor makes him quite unlike anyone else working in short form animation.
Below is a quick sample of some of Plympton’s work…