The Corner

Film & TV

Math and Romance Meet

Whimsical and profound are perhaps its best descriptors, and its cleverness will make you laugh out loud. I’m referring to Norton Juster’s 1963 book, The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics. Juster is also the author of another wonderful book, The Phantom Tollbooth, which, if you’ve never read it, deserves a spot on your list. (Yes, there is a 1970 movie of Phantom Tollbooth, but nothing can truly create those characters like your own imagination.)

Back to The Dot and the Line, though. The book was picked up by the inestimable Chuck Jones — of Bugs Bunny/Looney Toons fame — and he turned it into an animated short film. Narrated by English actor Robert Morley, the quirky story won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1965 and still charms viewers today. Simple, funny, and straightforward, this little short will delight you and maybe even give you a better appreciation for those concepts our math teachers tried so hard to make us remember.

Sarah Schutte is the podcast manager for National Review and an associate editor for National Review magazine. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, she is a children's literature aficionado and Mendelssohn 4 enthusiast.

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