LUCKY YOU is an animated short safety film from 1956, “presented in the Interest of Safe Living and Education by Your Coca-Cola Bottler,” that educates viewers—primarily children—on safe ways to avoid injuries from sharp objects, falling, shooting, hot objects, and crashes. The film uses an animated circus featuring “the most unusual injury defying death defying creatures in the universe”: the “Cutabus,” the “Fallabus,” the “Shootabus,” the “Burnabus,” and the “Hitabus” to present each area of danger. The narrator discuses how human skin is prone to cuts and wounds from carless handling of knives or jagged cans; a person demonstrates how to cut away from the body, as well as returning tools and knives where they go. The “Fallabus” character (03:50) has a gravity resister to avoid injuries from falling. However, people do not. A boy climbs a tree (04:05). The narrator talks about crashing and falling. A montage of children and people climbing steps, branches, and more show the potential dangers of a fall. A girl (05:14) climbs on a chair in the kitchen to take out a dish from the cupboard. Ladder safety is discussed, as a boy safely repositions the legs of his ladder on a wooden board. “Shootabus” (07:16) is a perforated character that can take a shot. The film covers basic gun safety. Boys shoot BB guns; a girl uses a bow to shoot an arrow; a boy fires his slingshot. “Burnabus” cannot be burned (09:14), unlike humans. Women relax on beach (09:28) as the narrator talks about potential burns from steam, cooking grease, and open flames. A young girl in the kitchen (10:18) uses hot pads to avoid being burned. A boy lights fire in metal container (10:40); another boy lights a camp fire (11:00). The narrator reviews the importance of ensuring that campfires are completely snuffed out. “Hitabus” (11:40) can safely take the impact of being hit by a car. Children must be alert and cautious when crossing roads. Two girls look for cars before crossing a street. Kids follow safe rules when crossing a street. A boy stops to look both ways before crossing street to fetch a baseball that was hit out of the ballpark (13:12). The narrator encourages viewers to be smart and use their brains to stay safe. Schoolchildren leave Wyoming Fork School (14:03). A boy about to dive off an unfamiliar dock first checks the water below for depth and potential hazards (14:23). A boat motors around a lake (14:53). A kid rides his bike (15:06) close behind truck, putting himself in an unsafe situation. The narrator advises viewers to avoid accepting dares, such as throwing rocks, that may cause an injury. The film concludes with children riding bikes (16:35) as the narrator says that “when you stop to think, you prevent an accident.”

A variety of bizarre Dr. Seuss-like cartoon creatures (the Cutabus, Fallabus, Shootabus, Burnabus and Hitabus) at a circus sideshow illustrate how not to practice common-sense safety precautions. Each one is impervious to injury because of his particular physical characteristic, such as Fallabus, a pink inflated fish that cannot be injured in a fall.

Each one of these cartoon freaks dies a violent death at the close of its starring segment. We’re then reminded that we’re not built like that and are susceptible to injuries from falling, as reenactments demonstrate. The film covers several areas of safety with comedy segments between the serious lessons. “Actually, there is only one kind of creature who can be completely safe, and that creature is… you.

Yes, lucky you. You are cutable, breakable, puncturable, burnable, hurtable, drownable, yet you can be 100% lucky because you can think. And stopping to think can prevent accidents!” Some mildly disturbing content, as the animated creatures are burned, shot, punctured, etc., and the threat of the same to kids’ bodies is present everywhere.

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