When I was little, I saw an animated TV movie, PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON AND THE INCREDIBLE MR. NOBODY. It’s about a boy named Terry who has an imaginary friend, an anthropomorphic duck named Nobody. Terry’s active imagination is met with scorn from parents, teachers, and kids. He makes some art for class using spaghetti, but it’s so well done that the teacher doesn’t believe that he made it himself, so eventually he starts attributing his art and talent to Nobody. I think I must have been too little (probably five or younger) to cope with the many surreal sequences in the movie. It also traumatized me because I also was very creative as a kid, and adults and kids treated me like that all the time!
There is a crack under Terry’s window and he says he sees a path in it. Everyone thinks he’s totally weird. The scene where the crack transforms into a path leading to a trippy sunset was really disturbing to me as a kid. It’s probably the thing about the movie that traumatized me the most. I realize that it was supposed to be this kid’s happy fantasy, but it just seemed awful to me that you could disappear into a wall and walk along a path that seemed to stretch on forever. That image haunted me, and I even remember being scared of an actual crack on the wall of my house.
Then when Terry gets fed up with being misunderstood, he tries to run away, but Puff the Magic Dragon transforms the crack in the wall into an actual path, and the two of them go to a surreal fantasy world together. All sorts of bizarre things happen. One of the most disturbing was when Puff shows Terry some kids who are being very mean and evil. They also look at a large version of Terry’s pasta art that really creeped me out, especially the spider-like trees. And the surreal sequence of musical instruments floating through the sky scared me as well. They made me feel threatened, like they were swarms of monsters or something. These images were so embedded in my subconscious that they still seem creepy to me now, even though other people seem to think it’s a cute, heartwarming movie.