Hot Stuff, 1971

Hot Stuff is a short animated cartoon I remember seeing on Curiosity Shop, a children’s educational program from the early seventies.

The dialogue is exactly what I remember (“No! Not the fork!”). The animation seems different, but I may be conflating it with something else. For a long time I searched for this without success thinking it was Fire! by Michael Glyn, made in 1969.

I was only able to get this by asking a librarian. If you go the the cleaners and say, “I lost my ticket, but it’s a blue sport coat” they can’t do much for you, and may well show a bit of annoyance. (Surprisingly, they don’t sort them by color). If you go to a librarian and say, “I’m looking for that one video with the fire demons and the toaster,” they’ll keep at it until they track it down.

Hot Stuff, by Zlatko Grgic, is a nine-minute educational cartoon from Canada, designed to promote fire safety. It’s pretty funny. The site, by the National Film Board of Canada (Office National du Film du Canada) has other good stuff too, for different age groups.


5 Replies to “Hot Stuff, 1971”

  1. I’m glad you found it. I can see how it would be memorable. I’m still looking for some movie I saw as a child in which there were different colored factions (red, blue, and yellow) and they all lived in worlds that had pipes going everywhere that were exclusively their respective color. No luck so far.

    Regarding “Hot Stuff” I get how it’s a cautionary tale, but it seems fairly inappropriate for children (or I’m a stick-in-the-mud). Plus, there’s the fact that electricity is in no way “fire waiting to get out.” Fire is a chemical reaction. Electricity isn’t. The fact that an electrical problem can cause heat that could start a fire doesn’t really make them the same thing. I realize of course, that you weren’t actually advocating the use of it as an educational tool, just sharing that you found it. And of course, librarians are great.

    1. I’ve remembered it for years, and had no idea it was supposed to be educational or about fire safety. It probably suffers mildly from the ideas that began to afflict us in the late sixties: everything must be subversive, transgressive, and hilariously irreverent with vaguely salacious innuendo. If you notice that and don’t like it, that’s all to the good. Part of my motivation for The Big Movie Project was to find stuff that doesn’t include this nihilism. But yes, mostly this is just a funny cartoon I remembered. I’m pretty sure it didn’t make me more respectful of fire.

  2. Surprising that even during that time, the “gods” decided it would be best to give fire to the woman next time.

    1. Well, “Women are Wonderful”. Most tv writers in 1970 were just repeating a joke that worked. A few academics might have preened to think they were subverting the patriarchy. A tv producer seeking funding from the government might have said he was supporting women’s liberation. Now it’s 2011, I wonder if anyone feels liberated.

  3. As I am always looking for even the hint of an opportunity to quote something by James Thurber…

    “She came naturally by her confused and groundless fears, for her own mother lived the latter years of her life in the horrible suspicion that electricity was dripping invisibly all over the house. It leaked, she contended, out of empty sockets if the wall switch had been left on. She would go around screwing in bulbs, and if they lighted up she would hastily and fearfully turn off the wall switch and go back to her Pearson’s or Everybody’s, happy in the satisfaction that she had stopped not only a costly but a dangerous leakage.”

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