Lost Media; What is it Exactly?
Within each industry, (usually the movie and entertainment industry) not everything is free and open to the public. Sometimes, the studios that make the movies, cartoons, and even news programs have to keep private things safe from the typical viewers’ eyes. Sometimes, things merely get lost and are soon found. But sometimes, it never gets found.
And that… is lost media.
Lost media can be anything but usually takes the form of a forgotten video game, movie, play, or TV show or cartoon. Heck, a book can even be lost media! However, that is a story for another day.
Take this journey, reader, as a sort of lesson. A lesson of how memories dissolve and come back in stronger forms. A scarier form, even. And how they can even break a website down.
This is the story of “The Clockman."
Pinwheel Turns The Clock
Long before the 1990’s, where Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network were duking it out in a war of who made better, more nostalgic cartoons, Nickelodeon (In the 1980’s) had a popular show called Pinwheel that was VASTLY different than Nickelodeon nowadays.
It had a lot more live action programs than it does now and the animation segments on the network were in sip bits or short films (that we’ll get to later).
However, with such a popular network, you’d think that most of it would be reserved by long term fans, right? Well, not in this case. All of the skits and episodes of Pinwheel were never turned into VHS or DVD’s during its long run. So, a lot of its programs were lost to time.
But were they really?
Because more often than not, episodes are popping up more and more, with no reason as to why. However, the internet is a strange place. You can find almost anything on it. Vast tutorials, let’s plays, and even- strange cartoons.
Commander Santa Versus 4Chan
In late 2012, a website known as “4Chan” had a big break. A user, known as Commander Santa posted a picture and a summary of a strange memory. A cartoon that was rumored to air on Pinwheel. The short was told as if it were the creepiest thing that ever graced the platform.
His post was summarized like this;
“I am looking for a particular animated short that terrified me as a child. I’ve been looking on and off for nearly 4 years. Maybe it doesn’t exist. Maybe… nobody should ever find it. But if someone can- it’s The Flood.”
“This short animation was terrifying as a child. The scene is still burned into my mind (28 years later). It’s of a young boy sleeping in his bed. Above his bed is a ticking clock. All the lights in the room are off and it is very dark. Suddenly the clock begins to slow down, it's ticking and eventually it stops…on midnight. When the clock stops a Greenish/Bluish man climbs out of the clock. The boy wakes up just in time to see this man dressed in black grab him out of bed and kidnap him by carrying him through a window. The “Clock Man” takes the boy on some kind of terrifying adventure and brings him back to his bed before sunrise."
Although the post went incredibly viral, not everyone thought the post was real, and that it was all “creepypasta bait.” However, this was not the end of the Clock Man short. It was merely the beginning of it.
The Ticking 5 Years
In 2012, a few months after Commander Santa’s post went viral, people took to several different internet forums to find answers.
However, 8 years before Commander Santa made his post, a person on the blog site called the “Animation Nation” named Micheal W. Howe made a post similar to the one in 2012, with some… interesting and minor changes.
“Then there was one based on this story of a little girl who lost her red shoes. So she asked the local wizard to help (who could appear and disappear from anywhere). He helped her, but told her she had to tell her mom. The little girl goes home and doesn’t hoping the wizard would forget. But then the music gets eerie as the narrator says ‘But the Wizard… did not, forget.’ And we see him appearing and disappearing along the house floors, till he suddenly pops out of her clock and steals her away, demanding to know why she didn’t tell her mom. She makes up for it by sewing stars to put in the night sky, and the next day is returned home, and tells her mom the truth.”
This was a groundbreaking discovery for the community on 4Chan.
They now had 2 pretty reliable sources for this mysterious Pinwheel short; even Commander Santa confirmed Micheal’s words to be incredibly accurate. Those who doubted him reconsidered, and joined in with the search with the words;
“We are going to find Clock Man - TONIGHT”
Although the search took 5 years, it died down a little for 2 of those years. -But then Dycaite, the creator of the Lost Media Wiki, decided to post the search (so far) online. He then went on to reach out to old executive producers of the show Pinwheel; Micheal Karp, and Luis “Tippi” Fortune to get answers. Although Micheal wasn’t the best help, Luis gave some interesting information.
The short was more than likely lended from Coe Films, a company that made its money by purchasing films from other film and TV companies.
Dycaite, with this new information from Luis, decided to contact the owner(s) of Coe Films, although he ran into a few problems. First off, the company was sold after the owner died back in 2001. However, the owner’s daughter, Jane, helped with the search with her own research, but no such luck, because the people she contacted brought nothing new to the table that Dycaite already knew.
Everything seemed hopeless... until December 10, 2017.
After 5 whole years of searching and hard work, an anonymous user was busy trying to find an educational short called “The Wizard” on the search engine “Wildcat.” They, however, found a short called “Sally” instead, that included a strange YouTube link.
Guess what? It was the Clockman.
This person then posted the link to the Lost Media Wiki forums, and informed Commander Santa of its existence. And only a few minutes later, Commander Santa confirmed that it WAS the Clockman short that traumatized him so long ago. Now, a quest arose.
To find the English dub of the short, since the original short was in Portuguese.
Only a month later on January 18, 2018, the short’s English dub was posted to YouTube by a YouTube channel named “AAA Studios,” an animation studio in the Czech republic, this short was made years ago somewhere between the 1960’s-1970’s.
The original studio was based somewhere in the east close to Russia. The film’s rights were passed on to Coe Films, and was bought out to Nickelodeon for the program Pinwheel.
The Short Itself
Before I talk and say my closing words, I want to discuss the short itself. Since the short was found in English in 2018, there were a lot of changes to the short than from Commander Santa’s post from long ago.
However, if you want to check the short out for yourself, there’s a video of the newly found english dub you can check out.
But for those who want a brief summary, here it is.
A young girl named Sally flourishes in really nice things by her mom. The mom, however, is very fussy, since she doesn’t want her playful and energetic daughter to lose the things she has. One day, Sally wants to go outside and play, but her mom gives her a pair of yellow gloves.
She promises to not lose the gloves, but somehow misplaces them while playing.
Sally looks everywhere around the town for her gloves in all but one place. Mr. Kadabra’s house. He is the town wizard that likes to help people, and has the ability to teleport to places and produce trees in less than 5 seconds.
After knocking on Mr. Kadabra’s door, he helps Sally out by giving her a new pair of gloves that look just like the ones Sally lost.
However, Mr. Kadabra wants Sally to tell her mom the truth about her losing the gloves.
Later that night, when Sally finally got home from playing, she never told her mother the truth about her gloves. This ticked the Wizard off, and wanted answers. Sally thought the Wizard would forget their deal.
But the Wizard... did not forget.
At the strike at midnight, Mr. Kadabra steals the girl away, demanding answers why she didn’t tell her mom. Sally responds saying she was too embarrassed and nervous to tell her. Because of this, Mr. Kadabra tells little Sally to sew some stars into the night sky, in order for her to learn her lesson.
She does so, and tells her mom the next morning when she wakes up. All’s well that ends well.
After half a decade of searching for this mysterious short, how are the people doing now? What else is to be found?
Well, a lot of things.
The biggest thing in the Lost Media community is a VHS tape of a show nicknamed “The Pink Morning Cartoon-” which is still being looked into.
AAA Studios, the ones who currently have the rights over Clock Man, are doing well, and are in the process of making a film franchise with their movie “Goat Story,” which can be found also on YouTube on their channel.
If any of you are just curious about Clock Man and other lost media stuff as I am, then hit up the Lost Media Wiki! It’s a nice community full of cool people and interesting things to look for.
So until a new piece of lost media gets big, the search for Clock Man will forever be the most dedicated piece of lost media within the community.
Until then, we will celebrate Clockman for its accomplishments, its creativity, and it’s wonder.