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A little history

The first team

The first team of animators at the NFB around 1950. Photo: Herb Taylor. © NFB

The first team of animators at the NFB around 1950. Photo: Herb Taylor. © NFB

The first offices of the National Film Board of Canada, in Ottawa. Photo: F. Tyrell. © NFB

The first offices of the National Film Board of Canada, in Ottawa. Photo: F. Tyrell. © NFB

Toward the end of 1942, NFB chairman John Grierson asked Norman McLaren to put together a team of young animators who could craft films using conventional methods. Gradually, the pioneers in the development of Canadian animation began joining the NFB: Evelyn Lambart (1942), Jean-Paul Ladouceur (1942), René Jodoin (1943), Grant Munro (1944) and Robert Verrall (1945).

Two series marked the NFB animation team’s first years of production: Chants populaires and Let’s All Sing Together. McLaren, who was in charge of the Chants populaires project, made C’est l’aviron (1944), Alouette (co-directed by R. Jodoin, 1944) and Là-haut sur ces montagnes (1945) using whatever resources were available. Alexandre Alexeïeff created En passant (1945) for the same series, using his famous pinscreen technique.

René Jodoin was designated to oversee the Let’s All Sing Together series, highlighted by such films as Grant Munro’s My Darling Clementine (1945), made with jointed cut-outs.

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