By: Henry J. Fromage (Six Pack) –
Bill Plympton isn’t what you’d call a household name, unless you’re an animation buff, in which case he’s a legend. Even if you aren’t you’ve seen his trademark twisted style in Simpson’s couch gags, Oscar-nominated shorts, and music videos running the gamut between Kanye West and Weird Al Yankovic.
Not sure how far of a run that is, actually.
Plympton has another shortish film (67 minutes) out now, but Hitler’s Folly won’t be worrying about any Oscars. The plot is a mockumentary retelling of Hitler’s life if he’d pursued a career in the arts, in particular animation, and ended up in the same old megalomaniacal place.
Well, it’s only an hour long. Also, the animation component, a bunch of still drawings, especially of the Disneyland-like Hitler theme park, are appropriately grotesque and Plympton-y.
It’s not 100% apparent that this is even his film, though, as Michael Sullivan is being touted as the director in some circles- aka this might just be some dude with an iPhone, a library card, and a douchey haircut’s film. This might have been an attempt by Plympton to save some face, or some mockumentary-esque redirection for God knows what reason, but whoever takes ultimate responsibility, this is a surprisingly cheap, photoshop-polluted production, complete with cheesy sound effects, 100% uncomically deployed. It looks like the kind of satire that a bored middle school kid puts together with iMovie, then gets made fun of for 8 straight years by his peers for showing in class.
This is satire with no clear target- maybe Walt Disney? Big animation studios in general? If so, why have Hitler conquering the world again in the name of making his big animated Wagner opus, with Eva Braun the mastermind behind the whole thing? Why not actually deliver an alternate history of him in business or animation instead of apparently tailoring your story to the available stock footage?
This feels like the sort of thing that gets brainstormed in a haze of Colorado-grade medical-strength vapor. “How do we factor in the U-boats? Underwater cinemas with concessions delivered via torpedo, of course!” What in the ever loving fuck?
Erwin Rommel (ya know, the Desert Fox) wanted Freddie Fox to star in Hitler’s big cartoon instead of Hitler’s favorite, Downey Duck, so he concocts a plot to… stinkbomb him? Plympton and/or Sullivan display just enough knowledge of history to pack in plenty of this corny pun garbage, but not enough to do anything remotely clever with it.
“You know why they were called concentration camps? Because we “concentrated” on the drawing and painting so hard”- an interview of a concentration camp inmate.
Hitler’s Folly is an achievement in stupendously bad taste and entirely unsurprisingly cheap filmmaking. Just… why?
Hitler’s Folly (2016) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever Downey Duck shows up
Take a Drink: for non-Downey Duck Bill Plympton drawings
Take a Drink: for each chapter (it’ll hurt, but it’ll help)
Do a Shot: for shots of the Nazi(?) police banging on the door