JOT

JOT was, like Davey and Goliath, an animated show with an underlying Christian message that didn't pound the fundamentalism into kids' brains, and thus was perfectly enjoyable even to those who would normally rebel against such proselytizing.

Jot JOT was basically a boy portrayed as a white blob with a face, as well as ropy arms and legs, and who moved about by bouncing (with the arms and legs tucked somewhere while in bouncing mode - reportedly a cost-cutting measure). The animation was crude and the backgrounds consisted mainly of large impressionistic swaths of color, possibly with a few props thrown in here and there (such as a swing set or a chalkboard) to establish place or mood. One interesting stylistic touch was that the character's body color and even his shape would change according to the situation - a naughty Jot would appear red, while a Jot deep in sorrow appeared to be melting. The stories, of course, focused upon instilling values into children, in this case values that dovetailed with a Christian outlook on life.

JOT was the creation of Ruth Byers, a children's theater producer, and Ted Perry, who was with the Southern Baptist Radio & Television Commission. The two were hired by SBRTC president Paul Stevens to create a children's TV show with simple moral messages, and packaged in such a way as to appeal to, and be understood by, even the smallest kids. Care was taken to conform to theological underpinnings in every episode.

Thirty episodes were eventually produced between 1963 and 1974, which were syndicated worldwide for several years afterward. Although JOT didn't inspire a line of kid-marketed merchandise, such items as Vacation Bible School lesson plans and Sunday school teaching materials were produced.

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