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Web Animation / Lucas the Spider

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"I have too many eyeballs."

Lucas the Spider is a slice-of-life series of short (around thirty seconds) animated films created by Joshua Slice and voiced by his nephew, who plays the titular spider. Each of the episodes features Lucas in a different situation and gradually rising in complexity. New episodes are released every three to four weeks and are hosted on YouTube.

In 2018, Fresh TV acquired the rights to the series. In 2020, a full series was ordered to air on Cartoon Network and Boomerang, consisting of 78 seven-minute shorts via the channel's Cartoonito block. It also airs in Fresh TV's native Canada on Family Jr..

Lucas the Spider provides examples of:

  • Art Evolution: Each episode steadily rises in complexity, length, and animation quality from the previous one. The jump is most notable from the introductory episode to the ninth, "Naptime." In the first, Lucas merely introduces himself against a single background of a chair. "Naptime" involves Lucas exploring several different scenes with very dynamic lighting and even camera changes.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • In the first installment, Lucas claims to have a web, despite appearing to be a jumping spider (which don't build webs). This could be due to his childlike mindset, though. Lampshaded in the episode "Spinning Webs", where Lucas mentions how someone apparently told him this. He proceeds to prove them wrong by making a web out of ropes.
    • Lucas's eyes look and function more like a human's than an actual spider, having irises that become more or less visible, implying that they're roughly spherical. Jumping spiders have conical eyes without irises where only the retinas move.
    • Lucas points out that he enjoys buttered toast in "I'm Starving". Unless Lucas knows how to operate a blender, there's no way he could eat toast since spiders are unable to chew their food.
    • Lucas and Findley are shown enjoying chocolate. Chocolate contains caffeine, which not only causes spiders to become drunk, but is also toxic to insects and spiders in large amounts.
  • Balloon Belly: Lucas gains this after eating chocolate in "I'm Starving". Findley doesn't gain one due to "fast metabolism" flies have. A weird example since Lucas's stomach, as with all of a spider's organs, is in the backside.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: Lucas wears a Halloween costume like this in the title card for "Scary Stories".
  • Brick Joke:
    • A bird steals Lucas' harp in the episode "Encore". In "Naptime", when he's looking for a place to sleep, he finds the harp in the bird's nest.
    • In "Giant Spider", Lucas claims that he "wouldn't hurt a fly". Several shorts later, he meets Findley and shows that it's Not Hyperbole.
  • Butt-Monkey: Many of the videos feature Lucas undergoing some kind of misfortune, which he always takes in stride. So far, Lucas has been locked outside in the cold, had his homemade harp stolen by a random bird, has knocked down the wooden village he was trying to make friends with, been captured by humans, and chased by a dog.
  • Call-Back: A couple to "Musical Spider":
    • "One Man Band" has the ending mbira part echo the lyric "My name is Lucas/I am a spider" from Lucas's song from "Musical Spider".
    • In "Where Did It Go?" Lucas plays the first part on his harp, singing, "My name is Lucas/I am a spider/I wanna be your friend, pretty please?"
  • Carnivore Confusion: Played with. In "I'm Starving", Lucas says he's hungry, which freaks Findley out a bit before learning that Lucas doesn't eat flies, and they spend the remainder of the episode looking for food they both can enjoy. This is actually a trait of certain species of real life jumping spiders, which are indeed herbivores.
  • Cheerful Child: Lucas has the personality of one. He sings happy little songs, befriends wooden toy people, boops a "polar bear" on the nose to say hi, and even waves with a cheery "Hiiii!" at a human who's captured him.
  • Clip Show: Save for an announcement of new content coming, the episodes released in the first half of 2021 were all compilations of prior episodes or music videos made up of dialogue arranged to sound musical. The second half unveiled new content however, now under Cartoonito.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Almost literally at the end of "Giant Spider" where Lucas finds a wooden diorama of a town and a windmill. The trees act as the dominoes and knock it over.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first three episodes did not have a title card. The first episode to have one was "Captured".
  • Extra Eyes: Lucas lampshades this about himself in his introductory video, although he also inverts the trope in that he has twice as many eyes as a human, but half as many eyes as an actual jumping spider.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Spider: This is a YouTube video series dedicated to making the titular young spider as tooth-erodingly cute as possible.
  • Furry Confusion: The animals vary wildly in how realistically they are drawn and whether or not they can speak.
  • Giant Flyer: The "Weird Looking Bird" (actually an Atlas moth) from the episode "Where Did It Go?" is this compared to Lucas and Findley. Given that it's an Atlas moth, it's also generally big by moth standards.
  • Giant Spider: Downplayed. While Lucas isn't anywhere near "giant", he's huge compared to your average jumping spider, which are generally a few millimeters long while Lucas seems to be about three inches long. Played straight in the aptly-named "Giant Spider" short, at least in comparison to the wooden block village.
  • Glassy Prison: Taken literally in one short, where Lucas has been trapped under a wine glass. He waits until the man (who can been seen looking at him in the reflection) has turned his back and then pushes the glass to the edge of the table to get out.
  • Halloween Episode: "Scary Stories", which was released on October 12th, 2018, and has Lucas telling a scary story.
  • Herbivores Are Friendly: Lucas is an herbivorous spider and is quite friendly.
  • Malaproper: There's a minor example in "Scary Stories" with Lucas using "unexpecting" rather than "unsuspecting" as he tells his story.
  • Minimalist Cast: Early episodes are usually centered around Lucas interacting with real life. "New Friend" starts to subvert this by introducing another recurring Funny Animal for Lucas to interact with, Findley the Fly. The Cartoonito shorts introduce a supporting cast of CGI talking animals.
  • MST3K Mantra: Invoked in "Encore", where Lucas sings a song while playing a harp made out of sticks and webs. Part of the song goes:
    Lucas: You're prob'ly wond'ring how I learned to sing
    Well, it's not important — watch me play this thing!
  • Not Hyperbole: Lucas proclaims that he "wouldn't hurt a fly" in Giant Spider. Come I'm Starving, and we see that he wasn't kidding.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • In "Polar Bear", Lucas screams and runs away after accidentally waking up the white dog.
      Lucas: Aaah! Don't eat meeeeeee!
    • And again when he hears the sound of a vacuum cleaner in "Scary Stories".
      Lucas: Aaah! The legends are truuuuuue!
  • One-Letter Pun: In the episode Lucas The Pirate, the intro has Lucas in his pirate outfit saying "What's your favorite letter? Mine's Rrrrrr!"
  • Protagonist Title: The titular Lucas is the main, and often only, character.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Two of Lucas's eyes are enormous, to play up his cuteness. Truth in Television, as real life jumping spiders do in fact have big puppy dog eyes (though they have four of them in real life); that being said, Lucas's eyes are huge even by those standards.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter:
    • Lucas is adorable despite being a spider, as many comments on the videos point out. His child-like voice and sweetly enthusiastic nature also make him rather endearing.
    • Houseflies are known more for being pests than for being cute, but Findley manages to pull it off, mainly because of the Puppy-Dog Eyes.
  • Shown Their Work: Apart from some artistic licences (in order to make Lucas more appealing to audiences), Joshua Slice has clearly done research on how spiders function.
    • Lucas handles things using his pedipalps (a pair of appendages near his fangs) instead of his legs.
    • While they don't build webs, jumping spiders do make nests out of silk. Lucas's child-like mentality likely confused the two.
    • Although they cannot play instruments like Lucas, many species of jumping spider (particularly of the Portia genus) are known to pluck the webs of other spiders to mimic struggling prey. They can learn how to produce different tones and vibrations.
    • Lucas wants to be the "World's Most Musical Spider" which jumping spiders really are. Male jumping spiders will perform an elaborate song-and-dance routine to attract a mate.
    • Lucas is revealed in "I'm Starving" to not be carnivorous. This is actually true of several real-life species of Jumping Spiders, who are some of the few mostly herbivorous spiders.
  • Spiders Are Scary:
    • Intentionally averted:invoked Word of God claims that his intention with the videos was to prove that spiders can be cute. Thus, Lucas is a very cute spider with a fluffy appearance. It also helps that he's much smaller than humans and is absolutely harmless, and is based on a jumping spider, which is one of the few types of spiders regularly acknowledged to be cute.
    • When Lucas wants to read a scary story to the viewers in "Scary Stories," he unknowingly picks one about a spider. He abruptly stops reading on realizing this ("Hey, spiders aren't scary!") and instead decides to make up a story about a scary vacuum cleaner.
    • In-Universe, Findley is at first scared of Lucas, due to the fact he's a fly, but in "Don't Eat Me", they become friends after Lucas gives him a bit of a candy cane and gives him a high-five.
  • Stealth Pun: In the episode "One Man Band", Lucas plays instruments that are either the tiniest variation of them, or improvised from sticks and webbing. The exception is the violin, which still looks the same as a normal sized instrument. Lucas is playing the World's Smallest Violin.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Discussed in "It's Hot" when Lucas is trying to find a place to cool off from the summer heat. He finds a swimming pool and considers going in it, but mentions that he can't swim very well.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • In "Naptime" Lucas not only finds a nice place to nap with little drama, he even finds his harp.
    • In "Don't Eat Me", Lucas makes friends with Findley.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Subverted in "I'm Starving". When Lucas tells Findley that he's hungry, the fly is frightened and tells him right to his face that spiders normally eat flies. Lucas is promptly disgusted, but doesn't feel much else.
  • Vague Age: Lucas has the personality andinvoked voice of a child, but is much bigger than any real life jumping spider, much less any real life spiderling. If he is a child, then he belongs to a spider species much bigger than any real-world spiders.
  • Vegetarian Carnivore: Subverted in that Lucas is an herbivorous species of jumping spider.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?:
    • The series tries its hardest to design and animate a hairy spider as cutely as possible, and gives it the voice and personality of a child. This is an even bigger feat since, as observed with the picture above, compared to most cartoon spiders, Lucas is relatively realistic in anatomy. Again, it helps that he's a type of jumping spider, which is one of the few (if not the only) species of spider to be openly described as cute.
    • In "New Friend" we're introduced to Bzzt the fly, who's pretty cute for a fly. ("Fun with Findley" reveals that Bzzt's real name is Findley.)
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Lucas points out that "Bzzt" is a weird name. Come the newer episodes, we find out that Bzzt's real name is Findley.