La Linea (“The Line”) is an Italian animated series created by Osvaldo Cavandoli in 1969. Due to its short duration (usually 2 minutes 30 seconds), it is often used as an interstitial program.
In 1969, the well-known brand of pressure cookers Lagostina decided to promote themselves on television using a short cartoon feature. In that short (of about 2 and a half minutes) a curious cartoon with a huge nose and an even bigger latin personality would talk about the product’s qualities. He was Mr. Agostino Lagostina. He was special because he was drawn using a single line that would start and finish in the base of the image. After 8 publicity episodes, the cartoon gained a life of his own and became known as La Linea in television sets all over the world.
The cartoon features a man (known as “Mr. Linea” or, in some parts of Europe, “Balou”, as well as “Linus på linjen” (Linus on the Line) in Sweden, “Badum badum” in Slovenia, “Złośniczek” in Poland, “Menő Manó” in Hungary, “Mar Kav” (Mister Line) in Israel, “Bajram” in Albania, “Streken” in Norway, “Stregen” in Denmark, “Línan” in Iceland, “Baljum Baljum” (Баљум Баљум) in the Republic of Macedonia, “Bay Meraklı” (Mr. Curious) in Turkey, “Барум Барум” / “Barum Barum” or “Абаракандиши Ди Фјури” / “Abarakandiši Di Fjuri”(Abaracandici Di Fiori) in Serbia and “Lineman” in the U.S.) drawn as a single outline around his silhouette, walking on an infinite line of which he is a part. The character encounters obstacles and often turns to the cartoonist to draw him a solution, with various degrees of success. One recurring obstacle was an abrupt end of line. The character would often almost fall off the edge into oblivion and get angry with the cartoonist and complain about it. He was voiced by Carlo Bonomi in Italian gibberish, giving the cartoon the possibility to be easily exported without dubbing.
The author of the drawing was cartoonist Osvaldo Cavandoli. Cava (as he was called) would sometimes be featured in the cartoon as well, interacting with the character or simply drawing. On the whole, he drew up to more than a hundred episodes. The success of the series can be explained, not only for its humour and creativity, but also for its television format. Furthermore, its short duration was responsible for its use between tv shows and commercials and even in the cinema.
More La Linea videos from YouTube