Cartoon geeks know Bill Plympton as a pioneer of independent animation; his award-winning short films and headstrong work ethic are the stuff of legend. The average human is more likely to recognize the St. Louis International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award winner's work from late '80s MTV promos or Kanye West's "Heard 'Em Say" video. Adventures in Plymptoons! chronicles Bill's career and the development of his maniacal imagery. Unfortunately, with little information of interest to casual or potential Plympton fans, Adventures comes off as more of an ego-stroke than a documentary. In fairness, some members of the crew singing Bill's praises are impressive -- Moby, Ed Begley Jr., "Weird Al" Yankovic, Tom Kenny (the guy who does SpongeBob SquarePants' voice) -- but too many gushing interviews and blah stories drag down Adventures' running time. Perhaps director Alexia Anastasio could have learned from Plympton's work and kept things short. Adventures in Plymptoons! screens at 5 p.m. Saturday, November 12, at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; www.cinemastlouis.org). Admission is $10 to $12.
Sat., Nov. 12, 2011