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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 05/12/2009

Animated Reactions: A Few of Our Favorite Shorts

By Michael Cavna

The Maryland Film Festival unspooled in Baltimore
in recent days, and notably, the lineup included several
films by one of my favorite short-form animators, Bill Plympton.

I've been an avid fan of Plympton's color-pencil lines since the Oscar nominee's work would pop up in the Spike&Mike Animation Festival, when it traversed the Left Coast in the late-'80s and '90s. Among the works the Maryland festival included was "Mexican Standoff (Falling Into You)," in which Plympton animates a video for the Dutch band Parson Brown (for the uninitiated: He's also drawn for such artists as Kanye West and Weird Al Yankovic).

The festival also include Plympton's "Santa: The Fascist Years," as well as "Horn Dog," featuring Plympton's "plucky canine hero" from such films as the Oscar-nomiated "Guard Dog" and "Hot Dog" (here's a trailer for the latter):

The schedule also included Michael Ramsey's eerie "The Cave," an allegory of Plato's told in, well, virtual Play-Doh with a stirring candlelit creepiness::

The fest also offered "I Am So Proud of You" by the legendary Don Hertzfeldt, who has toured with Plympton. The video was a second chapter to his Sundance-winning short "Everything Will Be OK" (here's a trailer).

Meantime, if a handful of you have never seen Hertzfeldt's classic and influential "Rejected" -- an Oscar-nominated film featuring adverts that would-be commercial clients have (fictionally) spurned -- it's worth checking out here:

By Michael Cavna  | May 12, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
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