Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Tune - Bill Plympton's Masterpiece

The Tune is an animated musical made by Oscar winning animator Bill Plympton (Your Face) who also did every single drawing in this feature. A first for animated movies. With Bill Plympton's drawings and music by the talented Maureen McElheron, The Tune becomes a unique classic.
The story follows songwriter Dell on a journey to write a song so he could live happily ever after with the girl of his dreams, Didi, also played by Maureen McEhleron. He travels through the wonderous place of Floobynooby and learns to write songs with his heart, and not his pancreas.
Drawn solely in a style that looks like colored pencil, the look of the film tends to be uneven, but Bill Plympton's style itself is so unique and invitingly strange that one tends to ignore the style shift as each song in the story is presented with a unique look.
The music is in this movie is what really makes the film. Mauren McElheron juggles so many styles that it's hard to believe that she's the sole composer. We go from Old Broadway to Country, to 60's Beach Rock. We even get some Rhythm and Blues and a Tango Piece. The music in The Tune really celebrates the old American Classics.
The Tune really suffers during some long drawn out sequences and songs that do garner laughs, but many might seem to think that they detract from the story. (Namely a scene with a wise man and another scene with two business men inflicting torture upon each other's faces.) Still, even with these scenes, it's very easy for me to recommend a viewing of this film.

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