La Linea

This is a quirky little series of short cartoons. There is no real dialog, it’s all in “italian” gibberish (how that differs from “english” gibberish or “german” gibberish, or any other gibberish is beyond me). Each cartoon is about a little man who kind of resembles the Little Caesar’s mascot. As the name suggests, the cartoon is (mostly) just a single white line, which bulges up to form the guy, various props, etc. The background color varies, depending on the character’s current mood. It usually defaults to either blue or green, but then turns dark or red when he’s mad.

This cartoon series breaks the 4th wall constantly, by having the artist’s hand & pencil appear in the shot, and interact with the character. In a typical cartoon, the guy will be walking along his little line, then encounter something strange, then speak to the artist in his gibberish. At this point, the artist will come in and draw something involving the oddity, which the character will then interact with. The artist is rather sadistic though, as the cartoons always turn out bad for the main character.

I remember seeing these a lot on various kids’ TV in the 80s. In addition to being one of the featured cartoons on some shows, they were often used as filler if a show ran a little short. This may have been due to their short runtime (typically around 2.5 minutes), which allowed them to be used where the more conventional 5-7 minute cartoons couldn’t.

Drahken

Team Retroist Chief Nostalgia Psychic...

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7 thoughts on “La Linea

  1. Batfan says:

    Seems they showed a lot of European cartoons on various kids TV segments, during the 80’s. I used to catch “Henry’s Cat” on Showtime and “Mr. Rossi” & “Asterix” movies on Disney Channel.

  2. Yeah, romper room (syndicated version at least) included paddington bear & simon in the land of chalk cartoons (both from britain), pinwheel included many cartoons from europe & the UK, 80s era nickelodeon had a lot of japanese cartoons & a few spanish and french cartoons.

  3. Atari Adventure Square says:

    La Linea was a treat in cartoon shows of both languages around here.

    It made TV feel like a wild, unpredictable ride to see these shorts pop up in the few minutes in-between other types of shows.

    It was less of a market (made clear by the 70s short The Retroist posted a week or so ago, with the animated dude being warned about over-consumption), so there was a free-form vibe to the local programming.

    Great to see these imaginative cartoons again.

  4. Great post, Drahken!! I’m not sure how I missed seeing this series before, it’s absolutely fantastic.

    @Brian Arnold Thanks for the heads up, friend. I’ll be sure to watch those you’ve posted on your blog! :)

  5. blinddog says:

    This is another thing from my past that I had completely forgot about until it showed up here on this website. I must have watched them on the Great Space Coaster like Alphacentaurian. Great to see it again

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