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A little history

The cartoon tradition

<strong><em>The Romance of Transportation in Canada</em></strong> (1952) - Colin Low.  NFB

The Romance of Transportation in Canada (1952) - Colin Low.  NFB

<strong><em>Hot Stuff</em></strong> (1971) - Zlatko Grgic.  NFB

Hot Stuff (1971) - Zlatko Grgic.  NFB

<strong><em>Every Child</em></strong> (1980) - Eugene Fedorenko.  NFB

Every Child (1980) - Eugene Fedorenko.  NFB

<strong><em>Getting Started</em></strong> (1983) - Richard Condie.  NFB

Getting Started (1983) - Richard Condie.  NFB

<strong><em>Special Delivery</em></strong> (1978) - Eunice Macaulay and John Weldon.  NFB

Special Delivery (1978) - Eunice Macaulay and John Weldon.  NFB

It was not until 1952 that animation of a more industrial nature began to emerge at the NFB. That year, Colin Low completed production on The Romance of Transportation in Canada, a whimsical look at the history of transportation inspired by the style and techniques of the UPA studio in the United States. Drawn on cels, the film exhibits the playful and educational approach that came to characterize a number of Canadian productions. Among the most famous films made in this vein are My Financial Career (1962) by Gerald Potterton and Grant Munro, Hot Stuff! (1971) by the Croatian animator Zlatko Grgic, Cat’s Cradle (1973) by Paul Driessen, and Every Child (1980) by Eugene Fedorenko.

The tradition of this form of cartoon-making was maintained at the NFB, most notably by several Winnipeg filmmakers. Richard Condie, for example, became known for his slow-paced, quirky films, typified by their humorous tongue-in-cheek takes on everyday situations. His Getting Started (1979) recounts the trials and tribulations of a pianist plagued by procrastination. Cordell Barker won notoriety for his energetic style, evidenced by films such as Strange Invaders (2001).

Despite the fact that comic animation films were not the dominant trend at the NFB, they continued to play a significant role, owing especially to the influence of Derek Lamb (who was Executive Producer of the NFB's English Animation Studio from 1976 to 1982) and to films by animators like John Weldon, whose Special Delivery (co-directed by Eunice Macaulay, 1978) is a hilarious fantasy about a man who neglects to shovel the snow off the front steps of his house.

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