La Linea (TV series)
|Created by||Osvaldo Cavandoli (Cava)|
|Voices of||Carlo Bonomi (most voices)|
|Theme music composer||Franco Godi|
|Country of origin||Italy|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||90|
|Running time||2-4 minutes|
|Production company(s)||B. Del Vita (season 1)
HDH Film/TV (season 2)
|Original release||1971 – 1991|
La Linea ("The Line") is an Italian animated series created by the Italian cartoonist Osvaldo Cavandoli. The series consists of 90 episodes, which were originally broadcast on the Italian channel RAI between 1971 and 1986. All episodes were short subjects, ranging from 2:28 to 6:37 in runtime. Over the years the series aired in more than 40 countries around the world. Due to the short length of episodes, the series have often been used in many networks as an interstitial program. The tune played in the background of the series was created by Franco Godi.
Even though the episodes are numbered up to 225, there are, in fact, only 90 La Linea episodes. The 1971 series had 8 (4 min) episodes, the 1978 series had 56 (101-156), and the 1986 series had 26 (200-225). All episodes of the series are available today on DVD.
The cartoon features a man (known as "Mr. Linea") 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, represented as a live-action hand holding a white grease pencil, to draw him a solution, with various degrees of success. One recurring obstacle was an abrupt end of the 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 a mock version of Milanese that resembled gibberish as much as possible, giving the cartoon the possibility to be easily exported without dubbing. The voice resembles Pingu's, the Swiss animated penguin, which was also voiced by Bonomi.
The first 8 episodes of the series were, in fact, created to publicize Lagostina kitchenware products, and the accompanying narration identified Mr. Linea as "Agostino Lagostina, a sharp little man with a truly expressive nose." After the 8th episode, however, the series broke its association with Lagostina.
From 1972 on La Linea was shown on numerous TV stations in Europe as well as in cinema, mostly as interstitial between commercials. La Linea was shown in more than 40 countries over the world. The series won prizes 1972 in Annecy and 1973 in Zagreb.
- In the United States, the cartoons were featured on the children's TV series The Great Space Coaster, although La Linea was given different names by the show's characters before the cartoon was played. Not all La Linea cartoons were featured on this show, as some had a mature theme and were therefore inappropriate for children.
- La Linea was also featured on the Nickelodeon (TV channel) during Pinwheel (TV series) as one of their animated shorts.
- It was screened on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Australia as a filler between longer programmes.
- From June 30, 2008 until October 31, 2008, the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet published all episodes of La Linea  as daily episodes on its website(La Linea 1-8, La Linea 101-156, and La Linea 200-225).
A set of three DVDs containing all the episodes was released in Germany in 2003 and re-edited in September 2008. The first volume was released in France, Hungary, Serbia and Scandinavia. A set of two DVDs containing 56 episodes is sold in Quebec since 2008 by Imavision. The complete series was released in Scandinavia in the beginning of 2008 in a 3-disc box set.
- The La Linea style was used in two music videos for Italian disco artist Gigi D'Agostino: 1999's "Bla Bla Bla" and 2000's "The Riddle".
- In 2005, the video for the Jamiroquai song "(Don't) Give Hate a Chance" paid homage to La Linea. The video is an animated commentary on the War on Terrorism and features 3D representations of the familiar La Linea character, as well as the animator's hand and pencil.
- A similar concept was used in the final introduction for the British version of Whose Line is it Anyway?.
- Cavandoli drew La Linea for the last time, just before his death, for use in advertisements of an Icelandic bank called Kaupthing.
- Home appliance producer Vestel used La Linea in its TV ad campaign in Turkey.
- BabyFirst TV uses a La Linea style animation for the opening and closing animation for their BabyFirst TV FYI segments
- In October 2012 Ford ran a TV ad campaign for its C-MAX hybrid using La Linea.
The show is known by different names around the world, including:
- "Bay Meraklı" (Mr. Curious) and "Çizgi Adam" (Line Man) in Turkey
- "Aghaaye Khat" / "آقای خط" (Mr. Line) in Iran
- "Linus på linjen" (Linus on the line) in Sweden
- "Linus linjalla" (Linus on the line) in Finland
- "Linea" in Slovenia
- "Balum balum" and sometimes "Złośniczek" in Poland
- "Menő Manó" in Hungary
- "Mar Kav" / "מר קו" (Mr. Line) in Israel
- "Bajram" in Albania
- "Streken" in Norway
- "Stregen" in Denmark
- "Línan" in Iceland
- "Бајум Бајум" in Republic of Macedonia
- "Барум Барум" / "Barum Barum" or "Абаракандиши Ди Фјури" / "Abarakandiši Di Fjuri" in Serbia
- "Lineman" in the United States
- "La Linéa" in France
- "A Linha" in Brazil
- "Lijntje" in the Netherlands
- "Abelardo" in Argentina
- "La ligne" in Québec, Canada
- "Bajum Badum" in Croatia