The Adventures of * (1957)
aka The Adventures of an Asterisk
Article 5628 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by John Hubley
What it is: Animated short
A little asterisk takes a frolicking, fun-loving approach to life, despite the scorn of his fuddy-duddy father. However, the asterisk ages and becomes a father himself…. but will he lose his sense of wonder and love of life?
Though there’s plenty of abstract imagery in this animated short, the primary fantastic content is, of course, an anthropomorphized punctuation symbol. However, it should be pointed out that the story itself doesn’t require that the hero be a punctuation symbol; it would work just the same if the hero was a human being, which is pretty much what the anthropomorphism accomplishes. Nevertheless, it’s a fun and enjoyable short, and the jazz soundtrack (from Benny Carter and Lionel Hampton) is excellent. I’m also glad to say that it chose the ending I didn’t expect rather than the one it seemed to be pointing to; it’s nice to have an upbeat story that buoys you up.