Animation Outlaws (2020) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • This Spike & Mike documentary is a journey told through the stories of those they impacted - people like Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Nick Park and many others.

  • An interview style documentary film in the style of Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films about two hippie friends who set out to create a first of its kind animation festival and end up helping to start the rise of the animation industry and launch the careers of the artist and directors who run it.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Walt Disney said "We have created characters and animated them in the dimension of depth, revealing through them to our perturbed world that the things we have in common far outnumber and outweigh those that divide us." Outside of Walt himself there are few people who have brought together and united more animators in the history of the genre than Craig "Spike" Decker and Mike Gribble, known to all as Spike & Mike. They created an animation festival that helped launch the careers of John Lasseter, Peter Lord, Will Vinton, Bill Plympton and Mike Judge to name just a few. Their Spike & Mike festival had an enormous impact on animation that was felt the world over. The festival was known as much for the breakthrough animation it presented as the outrageous antics of the founders. But who were Spike & Mike, how did they start and where did it lead them? That's what this 90-minute documentary will reveal. Similar to Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films and All Things Must Pass the Spike & Mike film is a journey told through the stories of those they impacted - people like Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo), Tim Burton (Nightmare Before Christmas), Pete Docter (Monsters Inc.), Nick Park (Wallace and Gromit) and many others. It is an adventure of highs; as they discovered amazing new talent and incredible lows; Mike Gribble's untimely death from cancer in 1994. Interspersed archival footage of their stage appearances with Scotty the Shredding Wonder Dog will highlight the legacy of these two showmen while underscoring the impact, both cultural and economic that animation has had on film making. The film is broken into three acts, each separated animation transitions that reflect the time period in which it takes place. Classic cel-style, stop motion and eventually CG versions of Spike and Mike support the transitions in their lives and the festival itself through the 70's and early 2000's.

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