Animator Biographies
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Bill Plympton

Animator and cartoonist Bill Plympton was born in Portland, Oregon. He grew up in a large family with three boys and three girls. Because of Oregons rainy climate he often stayed inside and worked on drawing and his imagination. When he was fourteen he sent Disney some of his cartoons and they told him he was to young but his drawings showed promise some day. After high school he attended Portland State University where he was a member of the film society where he started animating. Plympton joined the National Guard from 1967-1972 in order to avoid the Vietnam War. In 1968 he moved to New York City and studied at a school of visual arts, and soon after served as an illustrator, cartoonist, and magazine designer.

In 1975 he began the well known political cartoon strip The Plymptons and by 1981 it was syndicated in over 20 newspapers around the country. In 1983 he was asked to animate a film called Boomtown, his first short film. After that he did many more "prize winning" shorts and next he decided to make his first full-length movie, so he made and financed The Tune. Plympton was also asked to make some TV commercials for Trivial Pursuit and NutraSweet. He wanted to try live action so he first made J. Lyle and then in 1996 Guns on the Clackamas. He made many other films and he is still working on films to this day.

Animations Produced:

  • Boomtown, 1983
  • Your Face, 1987, 3:11
  • One of Those Days, 1988, 7:33
  • How to Kiss, 1989, 6:34
  • 25 Ways to Quit Smoking, 1989, 6:34
  • The Tune, 1992
  • I Married a Strange Person, 1998
  • Mutant Aliens, 2001
  • Mutant Aliens, 2002
  • Plymptoons: The classic works of Bill Plympton, 2002


Submitted by: Kara Gebhardt
as part of ARTC 400, History of Animation
Bowling Green State University
Prof. Bonnie Mitchell