For the past 2 years, Bill Plympton has had a team of interns busy restoring Winsor McCay’s last short film, The Flying House, originally released in 1921. As work has progressed, Matthew Modine came onto the project as a producer and with assistance from business partner Adam Rakoff, has launched an online fundraising effort through Kickstarter.com .
Considered one of the seminal pioneers of animation history, McCay’s career began as an illustrator and comic artist. His best known newspaper comic strip, “Little Nemo in Slumberland,” ran from 1905-1914 and again from 1924-1927. He began animating during the height of his comic career, which put him at odds with his boss, William Randolph Hearst. In 1914, McCay released his most famous short, Gertie the Dinosaur. Performed live as a vaudeville act, Gertie was a sensation.
Bill’s tireless efforts to promote independent animation, both his own work and the works of others, is legendary. I was just with Bill in Annecy, where he seemed to be everywhere – showing films, promoting his new book, signing autographs, a one man force of nature. Take a few minutes to check out the film restoration project, which can be found here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1632099201/winsor-mccay-resurrection-project .
Find out everything Plympton at his site: http://www.plymptoons.com/ .