On this day in 1892 Charles-Emile Reynaud projected the first animated film, Pauvre Peirrot
, at the Musee Grevin in Paris. To mark the occasion, the Association Internationale du Film d'Animation declared October 28th International Animation Day.
I thought I would take the opportunity to shine a little light on some of the contributions from my own country. From Raoul Barre helping invent the perforations and peg bar set-up for drawing paper to Mainframe Entertainment developing ReBoot
- the first full-length computer animated television series - Canada has a rich history of animated work and innovation.
Some of Canada's finest and most experimental work has come from the National Film Board. Fortunately, the NFB has an immense online video archive that includes dozens of animated works . I've made a few quick picks below, but I encourage you to have a look around the whole collection
. Most films are short and there is a variety of styles and genres. Some films are arty and strange, some sombre and serious while others are just silly fun.
Neighbours by Norman McLaren 1952
Norman McLaren used a variety of techniques including drawing directly on film or, as in this Oscar-winning short, applying stop-motion-like method to live actors. While it isn't animation in the strictest sense, I would recommend also watching McLaren's Pas de deux
simply because it's so damn pretty.
Walking by Ryan Larkin 1968 NOTE: there is some artistic nudity in this one, so it may be unsafe for work.
Even something as simple as walking can be beautiful in the hands of an artist. Ryan Larkin himself later became the subject of an animated film by Chris Landreth. It is available for viewing
but it is a bit disturbing and full of salty language so "viewer discretion advised" as they say.
Flutter by Howie Shia 2006
I really liked how the pen and water colour wash style makes this film look like a sketchbook that's sprung to life.
The Cat Came Back by Cordell Barker 1988
Fun shorts like this one were often shown on television between other programmes. They became well loved staples of many a Canadian childhood.
So make some time today to enjoy something animated. Revisit an old favourite or check out something new! Animation is a wonderful collision of art, science and communication that deserves appreciation no matter where in the world it came from.