Pinwheel "Clock Man" (Lost Animated Short; Existence Unconfirmed; 1970s-1980s)


"Clock Man" short (1970s/1980s)
Artist's impression of the "Clock Man" wizard. Art by Gaucelm/Reynard.
Artist's impression of the "Clock Man" wizard. Art by Gaucelm/Reynard.
Status Existence Unconfirmed

During Nickelodeon's Pinwheel in the early-to-mid 1980s (or possibly as early as 1977, its debut) was a alleged short stop-motion animation that had apparently first aired on this show and possibly continued airing as late as 1990.

"Clock Man" - as it would now be commonly referred/nicknamed - was brought to mass online attention in 2012 by bungie.net user "Commander Santa" on its Off-Topic forum aka "The Flood".[1]

Original descriptions

According to Commander Santa, the short involved a young boy laying in his bed, who gets snatched up by the "Clock Man", a discoloured, unkempt entity that emerges from the wall clock above the child's bed at the stroke of midnight. The boy, after being taken on an eerie adventure, is subsequently returned to his room before sunrise.

An uncannily similar description of a scary Pinwheel short can be found within a 2002-2004 animationnation.com forum thread, (as recounted in a 2004 comment by user Michael W Howe), involving a young girl making a deal with a wizard, after losing her red shoes; the deal being that the wizard would replace the shoes, so long as the child told her mother about the extraordinary event. Incidentally, the girl decides not to tell her mother, to which the wizard responds by emerging out of her wall clock, snatching her up and demanding an explanation. She eventually agrees to make it up to the wizard by sewing stars to be placed in the night sky, before being returned to her mother, to whom she then recounts the entire experience.[2]

Still renditions by Commander Santa.
While the two descriptions provided differ in many ways, they may very well be referring to the same piece of animation, given that things of such an obscure nature are often misremembered, especially if witnessed during childhood.


Although several other people claim to have seen the short, its validity has yet to be actually proven, with many writing off the "Clock Man" as a mere creepypasta (largely on account of an over-the-top comment made by Commander Santa, in which he suggests that Pinwheel used to hypnotise children, giving them visual hallucinations). There may yet be some truth to this short, however, especially given the huge gap between (what seems to be) the first and most recent online recounts of it, but until some form of solid proof emerges, we will never really know. It may be worth noting that a user of 4chan's /x/ board also apparently recalled the clip, citing the boy's name as Benjamin, though this too has never been confirmed.

Whether real or a hoax, no footage (either proven or alleged) from the short has ever emerged, the closest thing being a few still renditions as created by Commander Santa.

Potential Origins

Pinwheel aired a number of shorts from a variety of countries, a (possibly incomplete) list of programming is available here. The shorts were dubbed into English, so it's likely the Clock Man came from a foreign country, and probably aired on multiple networks, perhaps in different languages and different countries.

Denmark

The short in question bares a strong resemblance to Hans Christian Andersen's The Red Shoes. To summarize the story, a poor orphaned girl is adopted and cared for by a rich woman; she soon becomes spoiled. One day, her caretaker decides to buy her a pair of new red shoes, and soon the girl becomes obsessed with them. The girl wears the shoes to church, but is scolded by an old woman (perhaps a nun), and is told to only wear black shoes to church. Despite this, the girl decides to wear the shoes to church again, and this time, a red-bearded soldier talks to the shoes, saying "Oh, what beautiful shoes for dancing, never come off when you dance". After this, the girl's shoes begin to dance, and she can't stop the dancing and suffers misfortune. The girl later gets her feet amputated, but the shoes still dance anyway. The girl asks for forgiveness before she is finally exalted into heaven.

There are many strong themes that are shared in common with the accounts, namely the theme of not being spoiled, but also the theme of a bearded man, a mother, and red shoes. There are major differences; in Clockman, the punishment is simply sewing stars, whereas in Red Shoes, the punishment is misery or even death. It's possible these were altered, as it was a kids short.

The Red Shoes has been parodied/homaged since the 1940s. It's possible the short originated in Denmark and was dubbed into other languages, including English, before being picked up by Nickelodeon.

Ireland/United Kingdom

There are some reports that the clock man in the short had an Irish accent, and was supposed to be a leprechaun. While there are no exact matches that describe the short in Irish folklore, there are some running themes, such as a cobbler, or shoemaker. The short also seems to loosely follow the tale of a changeling. Changelings were believed to be fairy children who were put in place of a real child; the child was kidnapped by the fairies for a variety of reasons, such as acting as a servant, out of pure love, or even malice or extortion.

It's possible the short was animated in the Republic of Ireland or the United Kingdom, and could possibly be a hybrid of Irish folklore and the story of the Red Shoes.

Update

On the Lost Media Wiki Discord, user "YoshiKiller2S" said that his cousin had seen it multiple times. User "Notelu" posted a summary of what he said on the forums:

"He recalls seeing Clock man 2 or 3 times once in 1982 and a second time in 1983. He does not remember much about it but what he does remember is him coming out of the clock and saying "You did not tell your mother" and had an Irish laugh (possibly made in Ireland?) He remembers clock man like everybody else, Big white eyes, Green skin, big toothy smile, and A bowler hat with a belt buckle(?) on it, and the girl had brown hair, a white gown with white dots on it, and black eyes, the bed sheets were blue. And Blue or White Slippers.

The Clock man comes out of the clock with a big thump and wakes up the kid with an Irish laugh, and says "You did not tell your mother" the kid tries to apologize but fails, and she is taken away through the window, and they go through a field, and the girl has to help the Clockman with chores.

He says the room is very similar to Commander Santa's picture, but there were photos on the wall, and curtains on the window.

He says that it had very poor claymation.

During the day the kid had a hair band on, and her hair was straight down. Also, there might have been a vase in the room with 2-3 flowers in it. '''

References

  1. Commander Santa's 2012 "Clock Man" forum post on bungie.net. Retrieved 15 Jan '14.
  2. The aforementioned 2002-2004 animationnation.com forum thread. Retrieved 15 Jan '14.

Comments


avatar

JackIsCool Productions

8 months ago
Score 0++
I really want to see this. Just to see how creepy it apparently is.
avatar

Dinglus

6 months ago
Score 0++
Seeing as this likely wasn't made in the UK, the next best thing would be to search up whatever we can in either a Scandavian language or an Eastern European language. First guess to do is to search this short's description or name up in Serbo-Croatian, since Pinwheel did air a fair number of Yugoslav shorts back then.
avatar

Anonymous user #4

2 months ago
Score -1++
That would make sense if it is from Scandinavian , Serbo-croatian , or Slavic country. Some evidence is that most of Pinwheel's animated sort were from other shows like it in Europe. Also due to the fact the eastern- Europe is known for odd, surreal, and creepy children's media. Also the fact that most episodes of this show are lost could mean that this short was compiled in one of the lost or partially found episodes of Pinwheel. But one hole is that only a few people recall seeing this which could point to it being fake. I also think that " The Clock-man " wasn't lost just it was not taken good care of and years later no one cared to remaster it and it just ended up in a deep dark corner of Viacom's archives with no acknowledgement from workers.
avatar

Anonymous user #1

6 months ago
Score 0++
This needs to be updated
avatar

Anonymous user #2

4 months ago
Score 0++
Crack master was the first now this now it going to a endless loop till we all die
avatar

Steady N Ready

3 months ago
Score 0++
WTF DUDE?!!???!!!???
avatar

Anonymous user #4

2 months ago
Score 0++
Sadly your right it's just that in the 80s and 70s television was not taken care of, I mean my grandfather was a local news anchor in the 60s and 70s for a large city, but 97% of his work is lost forever.
avatar

Floobadoo99

2 months ago
Score 0++
Sounds really neat, if we found the Electric Piper and Ready n' Steady maybe we can see if this one's a gem?
avatar

Anonymous user #3

2 months ago
Score 0++
was this aired in Australia? if anyone knows pls reply.
avatar

Retrony

2 months ago
Score 0++
Well, it says in the Wikipedia that it did, but maybe look in other websites to confirm it.
avatar

Anonymous user #5

2 months ago
Score 0++

I found something that might help, I found this website that sells a 3 - disk dvd set of Pinwheel for 15 dollars. I do not know if this may have the elusive clock man short, but you can give it a shot. You might find something interesting. Maybe you've already heard of it. These are fanmade disks and there is information to contact the seller and what is on the disk. Anyway, here is the link. www.freewebs.com/stuffilike/pinwheel.html

If this link doesn't work, just look up Nickelodeon Pinwheel dvd and click on the link that begins like such: www.freewebs.com/stufflike/pinwheel
avatar

TheYoshiState

2 months ago
Score 0++
One of our contributors has that DVD and Clock Man isn't on there.
avatar

Retrony

2 months ago
Score 0++
Hi TheYoshiState , I wrote the thing from anonymous user #6, thank you for claryfing on the DVD. I just got an account and am new. Thanks! I hope this short gets found though!
avatar

Retrony

2 months ago
Score 0++
Well I don't know if you have heard of this, but Pinwheel is actually a channel, not a show, so it's going to be a little bit harder to find this, if anyone, it is either Nickelodeon (the name that was given to the Pinwheel channel in 1979 due to Warner cable purchasing the rights or something like that), the Warner cable company or C-3, the creator of Pinwheel/Nickelodeon. Unfortunately I have found barely any information of C-3 other than it was based in Columbus, Ohio. I guess our best bet right now is to keep pestering Nickelodeon or Warner every chance we get to see if they can release some segments of Pinwheel or something else of that matter. Maybe they could at least give us the official name of the "Clock man" short and the name of the company that produced it, so we can finally track the short down.
avatar

Anonymous user #6

2 months ago
Score 0++
Pinwheel was both the name of a show and a channel - it was originally the only show on the channel. And most people say they remember seeing this short around 1984- by that time the channel had already been renamed Nickelodeon, but the show was still airing on it
avatar

LeakGaming

2 months ago
Score 0++
Can I have a link to the LMW Discord
avatar

Yoshikiller2S

2 months ago
Score 0++
I'll get you one
avatar

LeakGaming

2 months ago
Score 0++
I didn't think or believe that Pinwheel was a show then it would just be weird a show in a show so I thought Pinwheel must be a TV channel
avatar

TheYoshiState

2 months ago
Score 0++
Pinwheel was also a channel and when it first started the only show on it's lineup was the namesake show.
avatar

DigitalDiamalra

2 months ago
Score 0++
"the girl had brown hair, a white gown with white dots on it, and
avatar

DigitalDiamalra

2 months ago
Score 0++
Great, half of my comment is gone. I was going to say how I depict the girl.
avatar

DigitalDiamalra

2 months ago
Score 0++
Here's what my comment said if you check the recent changes: "the girl had brown hair, a white gown with white dots on it, and
avatar

Anonymous user #7

2 months ago
Score 0++
How do you see white dots on a white how ¿
avatar

DigitalDiamalra

2 months ago
Score 0++
As what the description in the page says. I wanted to make an art of the girl if I wasn't so busy.
avatar

LaptiNek

28 days ago
Score 0++
Reminds me of Cracks.
avatar

Anonymous user #8

11 days ago
Score 0++
So apparently they found part of it in the deep web.
avatar

Chris426

11 days ago
Score 0++
WHERE?!?!? WHATS THE .onion LINK?!?!
avatar

Anonymous user #10

13 hours 33 minutes ago
Score 0++
bullshit
avatar

Anonymous user #9

1 days 3 hours 28 minutes ago
Score 0++
hmmmm
Add your comment
The Lost Media Wiki welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.


This site is best viewed at 1920x1080 screen resolution.
Powered by MediaWiki Creative Commons Licence