When I was a kid watching the Academy Awards the category of Best Animated Short Film always frustrated me. They’d show little snippets of these films that looked funny and brilliant and I had absolutely no way to see them. Even though these were short films I know if they showed each one in its entirety it would make the ridiculously long ceremony even longer (I usually fell asleep well before the Best Picture was awarded) but it annoyed me that I was missing them.
And then we got cable TV and various channels, including Nickelodeon which, in those days, seemed to have trouble finding enough content to fill the twelve hours it was on the air, ran short animated films, including current and former Oscar nominees. They typically ran during the commercial breaks–the space that’s now entirely filled by commercials.
One of those was Kick Me. It was weird and hilarious and made no sense whatsoever and I loved it. I still love it. I think it influenced my sense of humor, or maybe it just spoke to the sense of humor I already had.This was before we got a VCR and it was only by luck that I’d see it, but I managed to catch it two or three times. I’ve never forgotten it, and thanks to YouTube I’ve been able to relive the experience.
It’s a short film by Robert Swarthe who, in addition to being an animator, has done special effects on some very well-known science fiction films, including Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. It’s his birthday today and here’s Kick Me.