The Canadian cartoon mystery is finally solved after 6 years thanks to the internet

The Canadian cartoon mystery is finally solved after 6 years thanks to the internet

How well can you remember the names of cartoon characters from your childhood?

Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Pikachu is easy enough. But a nondescript caricature seen in a Christmas photo stumbled across the internet for years, with some losing sleep trying to figure out exactly where it came from.

And perhaps none more so than Emily Sharett, whose father first took the photo in their Ottawa home in 1992.

Sharett stumbled upon the photo again a few years ago. But that genie, with gray hair, beard, glasses and suits, has puzzled her ever since.

“It just drives you crazy,” she said. “It’s like you think you can remember an actor’s name or something on the tip of your tongue.”

So in 2016, when the marketing agency she was working for decided to run an office photo-guessing contest, Charette decided to submit the photo in the hope that her colleagues would be able to find out the origins of the elf.

Emily Sharett, center, poses for a photo with her older brother and sister in 1992 during the Christmas holidays at the family’s home in Ottawa. (Provided by Emily Sharett)

Regardless of who I introduced, no one seemed to be able to pinpoint the character’s source. Unable to solve the mystery, Charette and her friends turned to the Internet, and posted a photo of the photo on the Internet.

This led to years of research by citizens around the world that finally culminated in last week’s answer.

For a week, this was my full time job

What, do you think we’ll tell you the answer right away?

In 2016, Sophie Campbell, an illustrator for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles In New York, I heard about the imp from some friends at the agency.

Looking for an answer, hey Spread About the mystery elf on her Tumblr page – she even offers a cash reward to anyone who can solve the case with evidence.

“All these suggestions started coming in, and my friend and I were watching all these horrible old cartoons,” Campbell told CBC Toronto.

Sophie Campbell posted about the mysterious troll on her Tumblr page in 2016 — she’s even offered a cash reward to anyone who can solve the case with evidence. (Sophie C/Tumblr)

Overwhelmed with advice, Campbell watched over 30 old cartoons in search of an answer, all to no avail.

“For a week, this was my full time job… keeping up with that stupid thing on Tumblr,” she said. “And then, it kind of faded away.”

But online posts have continued to garner occasional attention over the years, with Campbell receiving sporadic letters from strangers asking if she had analyzed the case.

The corridor cools until the last virus

Enter Will Sloan, a Toronto writer who first heard about the photo in 2019 from his girlfriend.

Curious about the mystery, Sloan created his own posts on Twitter and Reddit in search of exciting potential clients. Three more years passed without luck. The lane was as cold as ever.

He said, “Two days ago my partner said, ‘Hey, you have more followers on Twitter than in 2019. Can you post it for the last time?’” Maybe we can finally solve this mystery once and for all.”

After what he did. And this time, the matter went to the gangster bands, which led to another wave of attempts to identify the mysterious dwarf.

After a few days, the perpetual mystery was finally over.

After six years and more than 11 million views on social media, two brothers from the United States have finally resolved the case.

“Oh my God, that’s it!”

Lucas and Josh Rustia, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, had no idea that the old VHS tape gathering dust in their home would be the key to unlocking the Internet mystery.

Josh Rastia – who doesn’t use Twitter or Tumblr and wasn’t previously aware of the photo – learned about the mystery while on YouTube last week.

It was then that the two realized that they might know the answer.

Coincidentally, a few years ago Lucas Rustia was looking for a special Christmas show he grew up watching. So he started looking for mysterious cartoons.

Lucas Rastia, left, and Joshua Rastia of Green Bay, Wisconsin, say they’re happy to solve this Canadian cartoon puzzle. (CBC)

“I just started going down the rabbit hole,” he said.

Almost giving up, he finally found the offer in the bundled VHS box set he had bought on eBay. Among the tapes there was a TV movie called Soulmates: the gift of light, It was created in 1991 by Canadian screenwriter Gabriel St. George.

Josh said he looked at Karit’s photo multiple times to make sure it matched the genie on his brother’s tape.

“Finally, and I’m watching this thing all the way around, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, this is it,'” he said.

A VHS version of The Christmas Gift of Light can be seen here from the collection of Rastia Brothers in Wisconsin. (Provided by Lucas and Joshua Rastia)

The brothers sent the answer to a friend who posted on Sloan’s Twitter thread, which at that point reached several thousand views.

Sloan replied, “We’ve found it…God in heaven, I can’t believe it.”

Even the mystery caught my eye Animation Maker, St. George, who said she had no idea that her decades-old cartoon elf had become an internet mystery. According to St. George, the special aired on CBC for five years and sold internationally before being shown on video.

Definitely adding animation to Christmas movie list

The Rastas say they are just happy to preserve a piece of history and solve a mystery that many of them feel like children again.

Meanwhile, Sharett says she never imagined a family photo taken 30 years ago would become such a phenomenon.

“I was like, ‘Holy crap,” she said. “I loved this whole adventure of mystery animation. This is the power of the internet.”

Sharett said her family is enjoying the moment, too.

“My parents think it’s cool. We’re definitely adding this movie to my Christmas movie list for years to come.”

Emily Sharett says she was shocked six years later to learn that someone had found the answer to the mystery cartoon. (CBC)


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