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Western Animation / Kick Me

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Kick Me is an Academy Award-nominated 1975 animated short film (eight minutes) by SFX artist Robert Swarthe (Star Trek: The Motion Picture).

It's about a pair of red legs and his misadventures with a giant baseball, a giant spider and the film itself. As the film itself states in the opening frames, all of the animation was done by scratching directly onto film stock, as opposed to photographing cels.



  • Animate Inanimate Object: At first the legs have to dodge a baseball that seems like just a simple baseball. Then the baseball starts to grow in size and actively chases the legs around. After a scene where the baseball chases the legs underwater, the baseball emerges and shakes itself like a wet dog.
  • Camera Screw: In a gag that was probably stolen from the iconic cartoon "Duck Amuck", at one point the film frame gets stuck halfway in the picture, with the "bottom" on the top. This results in the pair of legs leaping up at the top and reappearing in the bottom of the frame.
  • Deranged Animation: Think of it as Norman McLaren's ode to Looney Tunes.
  • Excuse Plot: A pair of legs kicking stuff and so on.
  • Fuzzball Spider: The spider that attacks the main character is a one-eyed ball with eight small legs. In fact, it doesn't walk, it just bounces like a basketball.
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  • Giant Spider: The legs are chased by a large spider with one eye.
  • Limited Animation: It was scratched directly onto film, after all. The very simple, abstract animation shows a pair of legs, which are themselves nothing more than two lines, having a series of adventures in a landscape that is also abstract line drawings.
  • Line Boil: A lot of this, starting with the opening titles, since as the film itself states it was scratched directly on film.
  • Melting-Film Effect: The film melts just as the spider is about to get the legs, allowing the legs to escape. Then, as the legs start to dance happily, the film melts a second time.
  • Old-Timey Cinema Countdown: Used for a gag in which the legs stumble into a reel of film leader, and are knocked around by the sweeping hand of the clock counting down.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Filled with standard public domain snippets like the William Tell Overture and "Stars and Stripes Forever".