Gustafer Yellowgold

Gustafer Yellowgold is yellow and animated, but the comparisons to Spongebob stop there. Gustafer is an alien visitor from the sun who now lives in a cottage in the woods of Minnesota. He has a purple pet eel named Slim (short for Slimothy); one of his friends is a pterodactyl; another is a dragon named Asparagus. He smashes cakes on his kitchen floor when he’s not hanging out with a trio of emotional bees. But Gustafer isn’t just a cartoon. The creation of New York musician/illustrator Morgan Taylor, Gustafer has a live show that has opened for Wilco and the Polyphonic Spree, giving him way more street cred than Barney. He actually looks more like Oblio from Harry Nilsson’s The Point; and Taylor’s ’70s-sounding soft-rock songs are very Nilsson- or Beatles-esque. Performing this morning as part of the Children’s Film Festival, Taylor will combine cartoons and music. His mellowed tunes are touching, almost absurdist expressions of Gustafer’s wonderment at life on Earth. On “Birds,” he sings, “I’m always shaking hands with the birds/And I’ve never caught any germs.” Kids will dig it. And their parents needn’t worry about compromising their cool. E. THOMPSON

Sat., Jan. 30, 11 a.m., 2010

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