Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My Dog Tulip


One of the interesting trends of recent years is creation of animated features with small crews. Bill Plympton is one example with films like Hair High and Phil Nibbelink released Romeo & Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss last year.

Paul and Sandra Fierlinger are at work on a feature adapting J.R. Ackerley's novel My Dog Tulip, scheduled to be completed in mid-2008. Voice actors include Christopher Plummer and Lynn Redgrave.

The Fierlingers have created a large number of projects that have aired on PBS, with work for Sesame Street (Teeny Little Super Guy) as well as films aimed at adults including Paul's autobiographical films Drawn from Memory and Still Life with Animated Dogs. The Fierlingers are two of the relatively few who use animation for documentary purposes. In addition to the autobiographical films already mentioned, they've animated documentaries about alcoholism (...And Then I'll Stop) and loneliness (A Room Nearby).

You can read about their latest project here. I've had some trouble getting the animated clips to complete using two different web browsers, but you should have no trouble with the documentary clips or with looking at the stills and reading the biographical material.

No one expects this film to be a summer blockbuster. However, I've heard rumours that the budget is $3 million, so it doesn't need to be in order to make a profit. Plus the Fierlingers have the luxury of making the film at home without the overhead of a large crew. I hope that the film is successful as I think there's a need for animated features that are aimed at adult audiences and that aren't filled with explosions and special effects. Based on the Fierlingers' previous work, which is consistently subtle and intelligent, I look forward to seeing My Dog Tulip.

3 comments:

David N said...

"No one expects this film to be a summer blockbuster. However, I've heard rumours that the budget is $3 million, so it doesn't need to be in order to make a profit. Plus the Fierlingers have the luxury of making the film at home without the overhead of a large crew. I hope that the film is successful as I think there's a need for animated features that are aimed at adult audiences and that aren't filled with explosions and special effects."

Amen !

I think this is where 2D should go. Personal films with adult themes that can be produced on modest budgets which gives them the opportunity of making some money back .

I am fascinated too that Paul is animating this film entirely in a paperless animation technique. It's hand-drawn animation, but it's all paperless, animated on a Wacom tablet.

Mike Lynch said...

Thanks for this. MY DOG TULIP is subtle and adult -- and goodness knows (if they stay true to the book's integrity) how they'll market this. It sounds like it's in the hands of the right people.

Amy said...

I saw this film in Toronto at the Film Fest, and at the time I knew that it was one of my favorites. Now that it's a couple of weeks after the conclusion of TIFF I'm noticing that "My Dog Tulip" is the film that is sticking with me. Loved so many things about it, the artwork, the story, the music, the use of type when the written word is needed, its smarts. Just lovely all around. I do hope that it will be distributed so it can reach a larger audience. I'm telling everyone, who may care at least an inkling, about this film.
Thank you Fierlingers, the rest of the crew & Mr. Ackerley! I'm richer for having seen this.