Wednesday, May 1, 2013

La Linea: The Inspiration Behind Fragile

The following blog was written by Kaitlin McCafferty, Communications Apprentice.

Fragile is the story of a puppet whose journey home contains more surprises, swerves and squiggles than expected. Though Fragile’s creative and captivating journey is one-of-a-kind, it shares inspiration with a number of other creative projects. Les Clan des Songesthe company that created Fragilecredits La Linea, an Italian animation, as their primary muse.

La Linea was created in 1971 by Osvaldo Cavandoli, an Italian cartoonist who goes by the pen name Cava. While the innovative animation was originally created for an advertisement, it went on to become a television serial with over 90 episodes airing in over 40 countries around the world. Clocking in at 2-3 minutes per episode, this animated short follows the journeys of Mr. Linea, a character who is physically part of the line he travels along. Elements of La Linea are found in countless advertisements, music videos, TV shows, artwork and much more. Tune into an episode of La Linea below, and scroll down to check out a few other places you might meet Mr. Linea.


From 1970 to 1978, La Linea was featured in advertisements for Massimo Lagostina. These commercials for the Italian cookware company were ultimately the first episodes of La Linea that Cava created.

The intro for the hit TV show Who’s Line Is It Anyway? is based on the style of La Linea. The bit features four Mr. Linea-esque characters clowning around with props, as they do in the show, but drawn as part of one continuous line.

The 2005 music video for Jamiroquai’s single (Don't) Give Hate a Chance features 3D representations of Mr. Linea. The music video also shows an artist's hand drawing the characters, just like Cava's original creation.

French Artist Frank Scurti made his own La Linea episodes with financial reports used for the background. These videos were projected and featured at the Anne de Villepax Gallery in Paris in 2002. Scurti’s works created a striking irony by contrasting the playfulness of Mr. Linea and his line with the complexity of economic statistics.

Most recently, Mr. Linea was spotted in 2012 commercials for the Ford C-Max Hybrid. Mr. Linea is shown driving a simple white outline of Ford’s Hybrid car against the classic bright blue background used in the original episodes of La Linea. 

Kaitlin McCafferty is one of the Communications Apprentices at The New 42nd Street. She is a senior in Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business. Kaitlin is interested in using her communications skills to promote nonprofit arts organizations with a focus on youth development. She is graduating in May 2013 with a degree in Marketing.

1 comment:

  1. It's great to know that Italy isn't only famous for Berlusconi, Pizza, Mafia.
    This almost makes me shed a tear. Even if I was born in the 90s, I miss this. I miss it in the sense that I never had the chance to see simple and fun stuff like this.
    I'm glad to know that this comes from Italy, like I said.