Friday, November 11, 2011

Animated Inspiration: Kick Me

So back in the early to mid-1980s, I saw a cartoon on PBS. It was basically a line drawing of a pair of legs (red, I think) on a white background. The legs did a little hop dance and then started walking around. Well, shortly afterwards the legs started running up and down a stairwell, got chased by a giant bouncing ball (which got eaten by a giant spider), got chased by a giant spider, and ran away from a bunch of little spiders that made a net with their spider-silk (which blocked a passage in the stairwell). Yeh, I know, kinda surreal. For the past four years, I've been wondering about this animation--who did it, how was it made, etc. After fruitless searches on the net, searching through film databases at the National Film Board of Canada, and asking on forums, I was no closer to an answer. Then, I wake up today and log in to Cartoon Brew (which I often do in the mornings after looking at my e-mail and checking Facebook), and there it is! Animation Historian extraordinaire Jerry Beck is tracking down this film for another reader. Within an hour, we have an answer: it's called "Kick Me", an academy award nominated film from 1975, produced by Robert Swarthe. With the mystery solved, you can now enjoy this 'direct-on-film' flashback from my youth.