Jot the Dot
Jot the Dot, or simply Jot, was a series of short Christian animated films created and produced by the Southern Baptist Radio and Television Board between 1965 and 1981. It was syndicated to local secular and Christian TV channels around the United States, but it was also a longtime staple of the local Dallas children's program Peppermint Place on WFAA-TV.
Created as a Baptist version of Art Clokey's Lutheran cartoon Davey and Goliath, Jot was little white dot with arms and legs who taught gentle biblical lessons with the help of his parents and adult elders, who always were heard off-screen but never seen on camera. The simple animation, character design and backgrounds were such that they would not draw attention to the Scripture message being conveyed.
Unfortunately, Jot has been all but forgotten in today's modern world of Christian animation. Jot seems to be out of place with faster paced, more action oriented cartoons such as VeggieTales, 3-2-1 Penguins and Paws and Tales. The series is currently owned by Rural Media, the owners of the RFD TV and FamilyNet channels, and makes regular appearances on the Smile of a Child channel owned by the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
I rediscovered Jot last year and am currently creating fan art in the original style of the series, but updating it to reflect how a dot like Jot would act in the 21st century, mainly with action sports, smartphones and computers. But the tone and message would still be the same.
So What Makes Him Different?
Trailblazer: Jot was one of the first Christian cartoons made for television, along with the better known Davey and Goliath. It was also one of the first to be seen on secular as well as religious broadcasting outlets.
Graphics: A reflection of the "Googie" or "Jet Age" style of graphic art popular in the late 1950's and early 1960's, Jot's character and background design are pleasingly unique, simple and stand out from the crowd even in today's jaded, cynical cartoon age.
Gentle Pacing: I've been emotionally touched with the slow, gentle pacing of the Jot stories, designed so that even the youngest viewers can follow along and not get lost in the story. It's almost like it's being told by a beloved kindergarten teacher. Unless you watch Disney Junior or Nick Jr. with your kids, it's almost impossible to find any new animation with the same care and heart put into the storylines.
Jot the Dot 2013
September 2013, work in progress
From rollerblading to using a laptop, Jot happily bounces into the 21st century in a new character style sheet I am currently developing.