To the vector belongs the spoils.

The Dot & The Line; A Romance in Lower Mathematics.


I remember seeing this as a kid one Saturday morning. At the time I was a little confused as to where Bugs and Elmer where, but still intrigued. So I was quite tickled when I came across it again this Saturday morning. Who knows, maybe this short is one of the reasons I do what I do.

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This is the anguished tale of a sensible straight line who falls in love with a dot. The dot, however, finding the line stiff, dull, and conventional, turns her affections toward a wild and unkempt squiggle. Though dejected, the line was not without determination, and, after much concentration, managed to bend himself, giving rise to shapes so complex he had to letter his sides and angles to keep his place. Before long he was able to express himself in any shape he wished, from helices to spider webs to Paul Klee’s little jester. Overwhelmed by the line’s geometric contortionistic prowess, the dot realized that what she had seen in the squiggle to be freedom and joy was nothing more than chaos and sloth. Thence, the line and the dot lived “if not happily ever after, at least reasonably so.”

The story, in Juster’s words, “is a romance destined to take its place among the immortal works of our literature. But is it merely a poignant and exquisite evocation of an eternal theme? A sensitive, soul-searching examination of an essential problem? Or is it rather, in these uncertain times when man stands alienated from the very meaning of life itself, more like a beacon — a shaft of light illuminating a path to some higher understanding? We doubt it.”

To give the squiggle in the animated cartoon adaptation an unkempt appearance, the animation drawings were inked on rice paper. The ink bled, creating a textured line that was then Xeroxed onto cel.


(via design for freedom)

Apr.28, 2007 | Category: Art & Design


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