Chuck Jones, the man responsible for Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes, gave us some immortal exclamations through his most famous characters, from Bugs Bunny’s “What’s up, doc?” to the Road Runner’s “Beep, beep!” Yet, when it came to love–about which humanity has yet to run out of things to say, for better or for worse–Jones had no words at all.
His 1965 Academy Award-winning animated short feature, “The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics,” instead offers a semaphore of seduction, at once abstract and achingly familiar. It informs the shallow symbols of the formulaic rom-com–the hopeless crush, the idealized beauty, the attractive but inane rival for affections, the makeover montage–with unseen depths. As the Line reaches within to woo the Dot, Jones realizes fascinating artistic, cultural and mathematical dimensions not only to his heartsick protagonist, but also to the world that surrounds the viewer.
In its narrative stretching of simple shapes and playful mix of media, the Noble Savage sees Kazimir Malevich, Saul Bass, John Baldessari and Pac-Man in Jones’s work. Ultimately, though, it all adds up to one thing: love. Watch below and enjoy more animated art films on The Noble Savage Youtube Channel.