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Featured Animator: Bud Luckey, That's About the Size (Infinity Song)

Bud Luckey (1934-2018)
Image: Muppet Wiki
Sesame Street was one of my staples as a young child but I haven't watch it in years. The other day, for no reason at all, I had the chorus from the Sesame Street animated short song That's About the Size (also known as Infinity) running around my head.

That's about the size,
Where you put your eyes.
That's about the size of it.

It was frustrating me because I knew the song had more words but I couldn't for the life of me think what they were so... YouTube.



The animated clip first debuted on Sesame Street in 1971, with music and animation by Bud Lukey, lyrics by his friend and writing partner Don Hadley. The song was sung by Bud, instrumentals by Jazz legend Turk Murphy and his band, with Bud on the banjo.

All of which I didn't know until I decided to look up the written lyrics because watching the song over and over wasn't helping me memorize the words. I'd gone from being frustrated about not knowing the rest of the song to not being able to retain the words to this catchy tune because, lyrically, the words turn some sharp corners.

Ohh, everything comes in its own special size
I guess it can be measured,
by where you put your eyes
It so big when you're close,
it looks smaller back a bit
That's about the size of it.

The start of the third or fourth line of every verse had me in a dead end every time. It's taken me days to retain the whole song so I no longer have to be stuck with three lines of the chorus.

Bud animated at least seventeen shorts for Sesame Street. Almost all of them can get stuck in your head. They're all designed to be catchy and fun. Most teach kids to count. The Alligator King is another that has been stuck in my head on occasion - though never as bad as this.

Bud started his animation career as an inbetweener for Disney animator Art Babbitt's commercial studio (pre 1961), would go on to run his own animation studio for many years, and would eventually wind up working for Pixar. He's credited for designing Woody and other Toy Story characters and worked on most of the studio's films up to Toy Story 3.



It's actually quite interesting to see his early work for Sesame Street, seeing that he wasn't just an animator but also was a music composer, singer, voice actor, and writer/director of his work. A tradition that continues for many aspiring independent animators today.

On the odd occasion I've stumbled across an episode of Sesame Street on TV and noticed that Bud's animated shorts are still in the mix. The songs are pretty timeless. If you enjoyed them as a child, you can't help but sing along as an adult.

The last verse of That's About the Size is particularly relevant and, as it turns out, the hardest to memorize.

Let the Big become the Little,
that's the way it seems to go,
that they make up a larger thing
is something good to know.
It's nice to know that though it's small
there's always room to grow
and that's about the size of it.

I mean if that isn't an analogy for life and following your dreams in a dinky little song for kids. Breaking up bigger things into smaller things so you can move on to bigger things... It's not a bad song to have stuck in your head.

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