Plympton, beloved for over 40 animated shorts, six features, a comic book, and even a Simpsons couch cag, has made enough brilliantly weird and weirdly brilliant art in his life to earn the benefit of the doubt. His 1987, Oscar-nominated short Your Face still charms:
But the crude idiocy of Hitler’s Folly comes out of left field. The film is about Hitler’s secret love—cartooning—a play on his early failure as a painter. Most of the film consists of a voiceover explaining how all Hitler really wanted to do was draw, as footage of Nazi Europe plays. Oddly, other than a few clips of Hitler’s cartoonist efforts, there is little animation.
The film is unconscionably boring, which is actually quite a feat given how offensive it can be. At its worst, an actor plays a concentration camp survivor who talks about the “big misunderstanding about the so-called concentration camps,” where inmates simply helped Hitler with his animation. “You see,” he tells the camera, “we were all very happy working there.”
Unintended moral of the film: Not everything free is worth taking.