391. The Dot and the Line – Chuck Jones, Maurice Noble

dotlinesquiggle

SUMMARY: A line falls in love with a dot but the dot prefers the more anarchic charms of a squiggle.

WHY IT’S HERE: MGM’s ‘The Dot and the Line’ (subtitled ‘A Romance in Lower Mathematics’), directed by the ever reliable Chuck Jones, was based on a book by Norton Juster, who wrote the novel that most influenced me as a child, the wonderful ‘Phantom Tollbooth’ (Jones also made a feature length cartoon based on that book). If you removed the narration from ‘The Dot and the Line’ it would look like one of those abstract floating shape cartoons that Mel Brooks spoofed in ‘The Critic’ a couple of years previously. But, with Juster’s storyline wonderfully narrated by Robert Morley, it becomes a deeply human story of love and self discovery. From it initial premise of a line that is perceived as too rigid and straight to be of any interest to a dot, to it’s brilliant final pun that comes as a result of the line demonstrating that it can do more than just be long and straight, ‘The Dot and the Line’ is a clever, warm and funny delight.

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