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Western Animation / Here's Nudnik

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Here's Nudnik is a 1965 animated short film (six minutes) directed by Gene Deitch.

Nudnik is, per Word of God, a "loveable loser." He lives in a ratty apartment in a crumbling New York building that has been condemned. One day he wakes up and, in the process of attempting to perform various routine tasks—get out of bed, put on a hat, make bread—he proceeds to destroy his apartment.

First of twelve "Nudnik" shorts produced 1965-67, before Paramount got out of the theatrical animation business along with the rest of Hollywood as The Dark Age of Animation began.


  • All Cloth Unravels: After Nudnik crawls out of the sofa chair a second time, his suspenders catch on the upholstery. All the upholstery unravels, and then the whole chair collapses.
  • The Big Rotten Apple: Nudnik is living in a crumbling apartment building with a "Building Condemned" sign out front. There are cracks in the walls of his apartment.
  • Born Unlucky: Poor Nudnik. Most of what happens to him in the episode isn't his fault. He picks up a bag of flour and the flour dumps out when the bottom of the bag ruptures. He tries to turn off the water in his sink, but the handle to the spigot breaks. He tries to pull out the drain stopper, but the chain rips out.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The water that Nudnik keeps dumping out his window onto the awning over the building entrance, and the valve out front prominently marked "WATER MAIN". He dashes out to try and shut the water main, only to get drenched when the awning collapses.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every Nudnik episode had his name in it. This one was followed by "Drive On, Nudnik", "Home Sweet Nudnik", etc. Even better, the title of this first Nudnik short was originally "Nudnik #2."
  • Impossible Leavening: Nudnik tries to put just a little bit of yeast in his dough, but the packet breaks and all the yeast falls into the mixture, causing it to expand exponentially. Nudnik then has to hide all the extra dough on drawers all over the house.
  • Minimalist Cast: Nudnik is the only character onscreen. Later entries introduce a small cast of recurring characters.
  • Murphy's Bed: The short opens with Nudnik crawling out from between the cushions of a sofa chair. After he gets out, the sofa chair flips out into a bed. Delighted, Nudnik gets back into bed—and the bed flips back into a sofa chair, forcing him to crawl out again.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: Ends with Nudnik walking away from the camera after the awning collapses and dumps a bunch of water onto him.
  • Shrunk in the Wash: After all the water from the awning falls on him, Nudnik's clothes shrink until they are uncomfortably tight.
  • Silence Is Golden: No dialogue in the cartoon.
  • Surrealism: Nudnik the goof manages to accidentally dump his bankroll into a blender, shredding all his dollar bills. He then makes dough out of the flour and shredded money, only to come out with a loaf that looks like a dollar bill. He takes a bite, winces, and withdraws coins from his mouth.
  • This Loser Is You: Nudnik is essentially an optimist, who keeps struggling despite the obvious fact that Fate is against him. After he accidentally dumps all the flour into his pants, he simply shakes it out of his pants leg into the bowl. Note his happy little smile as he puts his bread dough into the oven.
  • Trouser Space: Nudnik keeps various objects inside his baggy pants.