Sally Cruikshank

Sally Cruikshank began her career as an independent animator while a college student in the 1970s. In 1975, while working in San Francisco for Snazelle Films, she wrote, designed, directed, & animated (with only minimal assistance) Quasi at the Quackadero, a surreal short featuring art deco-ish, vibrantly colored, indistinct characters, reminiscent equally of BIRDS & FROGS. The short, which was later chosen for inclusion in the 1994 book The 50 Greatest Cartoons, led to other projects, including animating a nightmare television sequence for Twilight Zone: The Movie (partially directed by John Landis). Her other works include the animated intro to the film Mannequin & a sequence for a 2017 SpongeBob SquarePants Halloween special.

Between 1989 & 2000, she lent her "neo-thirties" style to a number of SESAME STREET animated inserts, mostly dealing with directional concepts such as "in & out" or "next to" (the latter presented as a satirical look at a bizarre social gathering). Many of these use jazz lyrics & 30s style swing. She also created an animated FROG to join KERMIT THE FROG for Jimmy Buffetts performance of "Caribbean AMPHIBIAN" in Elmopalooza. Cruikshank has cited 1995s "From Your Head" as her personal favorite piece to work on.[1]

In a 1997 interview, Cruikshank discussed her relationship with Childrens Television Workshop:

"[They] sent three songs & that is how it started... [I] didnt use the curriculum, Ive had a really easy time [essentially] just adapting songs. Arlene Sherman [CTW producer] has been tuned into my musical interest, so she has chosen appropriate music. Ive really liked working with them because they give you complete freedom & theyre very supportive & non-interfering. I wish there were more work like that available.[2]"

SESAME STREET FilmographyEdit

Picture Title / EKA Description
Above It All
Above It All
Episode 2572
A song about flying & seeing the world from a birds eye view.
Beginning Middle End
Beginning, Middle, End
Episode 2626
A trio of picture books explain the concept & structure of stories.
In & Out Crowd
In & Out Crowd
Episode 2626
A hip group sings about hanging out with the "in" & "out" crowds; not as a study in social cliques, but to demonstrate the prepositions.
Part of the Whole
Episode 2714
A song about individual parts that make things whole.
4133 z n
Episode 2820
A series where abstract masks count to an African beat.
Island of Emotion
Island of Emotion
Episode 2822
A reggae song about an island where happiness, sadness, love, & surprise manifest themselves in various ways.
Ooh What a Fabulous Party
Ooh What a Fabulous Party
Episode 3006
A party attended by gathering dignitaries & celebrities from many lands & even planets, including such figures as "the bowling pin heiress," features a seemingly endless guest list of people who are all seated "next to" each other.
3187 u
Im Curious
Episode 3066
A walking lizards curiosity takes him variously underground, underneath, behind, & underwater.
Feet's Too Big
"Your Feets Too Big"
Episode 3295
A Fats Waller song, previously performed on The Muppet Show, here sung by a shoe salesman voiced by KEVIN CLASH.
3979 l
From Your Head
Episode 3474
A FROG explains about using the imagination; vocals by jazz singer Betty Carter.
Zerkel Jake
A Zerkel named Jake
A Zerkel named Jake shows "ake"-words.
Zerkel Dan
A Zerkel named Dan
Episode 3540
A Zerkel named Dan shows "an"-words.
3978 t
Dance MYSELF to Sleep
Episode 3848
A song previously used in a BERT & ERNIE segment, featuring an insomniac lion.


  1. "Sally Cruikshank: A Career Retrospective Part 2.", May 27, 2015
  2. ""CTW & MTV: Shorts of Influence," Animation World Magazine, Issue 2.6, September 1997.

See alsoEdit

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