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.


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