Girl Midget

You might find this hard to believe, but I love Gidget. Here’s the quick synopsis: Gidget wants to learn to surf, but girls don’t surf so nobody will teach her. She persists and finally becomes part of the gang. She’s not busty, blonde and tall like the other women on the beach, so the boys think of her as their kid sister. All types of high-jinx occur as Gidget navigates the wacky world of high-school, Southern California, and surfing. There was a movie with Sandra Dee, then others where Gidget goes to Hawaii, Rome, other places, and then the TV show with Sally Field.

The Gidget movie has a good title sequence, but I’m not so keen on the Sandra Dee Gidget. There’s something wrong with her; she’s just too jumpy. I suspect enormous amounts of coffee before hitting the beach. If she were my child, I’d send her to rehab in Malibu or, at least, sedate her with Nyquil. Sally Field, however, has the right amount of cute with less frenetic nervous energy. She has a snappy style, is nice, and tries really hard to be a good surfer. Then there is the real Gidget, Kathy Kohner, who inspired the character. She's badass in real life, smoking, surfing, and eating crackers at the beach.

Kathy Kohner, 1957

Kathy Kohner, 1957

I love the fake surfing scenes. Her best friend LaRue is a wonderful sidekick. Gidget already has learned that you should hang out with someone less attractive and dowdy and you’ll look better. The title sequence must have cost 49 cents, and stole the type from I Dream of Jeannie. But how can you not love Gidget’s cute facial expressions and costume choices? For those who aren’t Gidget aficionados, Gidget is a mix of Girl and Midget, hence Gidget.

Gidget and LaRue

Sean Adams

Sean Adams is the Chair of the undergraduate and graduate Graphic Design Program at ArtCenter, founder of Burning Settlers Cabin studio, and on-screen author for LinkedIn Learning/Lynda.com He is the only two term AIGA national president in AIGA’s 100 year history. In 2014, Adams was awarded the AIGA Medal, the highest honor in the profession. He is an AIGA Fellow, and Aspen Design Fellow. He has been recognized by every major competition and publication including; How, Print, Step, Communication Arts, Graphis, AIGA, The Type Directors Club, The British Art Director’s Club, and the Art Director’s Club. Adams has been exhibited often, including a solo exhibition at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Adams is an author of multiple magazine columns, and several best-selling books. He has been cited as one of the forty most important people shaping design internationally, and one of the top ten influential designers in the United States. Previously, Adams was a founding partner at AdamsMorioka, whose clients included The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Disney, Mohawk Fine Papers, The Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Richard Meier & Partners, Sundance, and the University of Southern California.

Angels in Malibu

I have a reel that I show my first year students at Art Center. It’s a collection of my favorite classic film titles. Of course I have multiple Saul Bass titles, such as Psycho and North by Northwest. I have Stephen Frankfurt’s beautiful sequence for To Kill a Mockingbird, and other incredible examples. I also have the title sequence for Gidget. Why? Because I love Gidget. If you don’t you are probably a Communist. The sequence is pretty cheesy, but perfect. So laugh if you must at my inclusion of Gidget in my Top 10 titles list. Some day, however, Gidget will be recognized as genius. A little bit of trivia: Sally Field played Gidget, and her brother on Brothers and Sisters, Ron Rifkin, played Mel, one of the gang on Gidget.

Caviar Breakfasts and Champagne Dreams

If you've never seen Tommy directed by Ken Russell you are missing the cultural equivalent of landing the man on the moon. And Ann-Margret is unbelievably beautiful. I still don't know what any of it means, but it looks great. I used to think the writers on Brothers and Sisters based the family names on my family. We have Tommy Walker, Kitty Walker, etc. But, as it turns out, they used Tommy. The original Nora Walker is Ann-Margret in Tommy. I think Sally Field should use the Ann-Margret portrayal as a starting point for her Nora Walker.

Angels in Malibu

You might find this hard to believe, but I love Gidget. Here’s the quick synopsis: Gidget wants to learn to surf, but girls don’t surf so nobody will teach her. She persists and finally becomes part of the gang. She’s not busty, blonde and tall like the other women on the beach, so the boys think of her as their kid sister. All types of high-jinx occur as Gidget navigates the wacky world of high-school, Southern California, and surfing. There was a movie with Sandra Dee, and then the TV show with Sally Field.

I’m not so keen on the Sandra Dee Gidget. There’s something wrong with her; she’s just too perky. I suspect amphetamines. If she were my child, I’d send her to rehab in Malibu. Sally Field, however, has the right amount of cute with less frenetic nervous energy. She has a snappy style, is nice, and tries really hard to be a good surfer. I love the fake surfing scenes and her best friend LaRue is a wonderful sidekick. Gidget already has learned that you should hang out with someone less attractive and dowdy and you’ll look better. The title sequence must have cost 49 cents, and stole the type from I Dream of Jeannie. But how can you not love Gidget’s cute facial expressions and costume choices? For those who aren’t Gidget aficionados, Gidget is a mix of Girl and Midget, hence Gidget.