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A little history

French animated films

René Jodoin, a long time collaborator of McLaren, founded NFB’s French animation in 1966. © NFB

René Jodoin, a long time collaborator of McLaren, founded NFB’s French animation in 1966. © NFB

<strong><em>The Sand Castle</em></strong> (1977) - Co Hoedeman. © NFB

The Sand Castle (1977) - Co Hoedeman. © NFB

<strong><em>The Studio</em></strong> (1988) - Suzanne Gervais. © NFB

The Studio (1988) - Suzanne Gervais. © NFB

<strong><em>Mindscape</em></strong> (1976) - Jacques Drouin. © NFB

Mindscape (1976) - Jacques Drouin. © NFB

<strong><em>Black Soul</em></strong> (2000) - Martine Chartrand. © NFB

Black Soul (2000) - Martine Chartrand. © NFB

In 1966, René Jodoin, one of Norman McLaren’s initial collaborators, took on the responsibility of setting up an animation studio at the NFB’s French Program, where his leadership was guided by a philosophy derived from McLaren’s. With few resources, Jodoin looked to the early stages of animation at the NFB for inspiration, producing Chansons Contemporaines, a series of short films by young animators based on popular Quebec songs.

The studio quickly gained a reputation for its broad range of techniques. Co Hoedeman made brilliant use of puppets to animate films for children (The Sand Castle, 1977). Through her multileveled use of animated paper cut-outs, Suzanne Gervais developed a form of expression that gives shape to an inner voice (The Studio, 1988). Jacques Drouin experimented with the Alexeïeff-Parker pinscreen technique (Mindscape, 1976). Martine Chartrand used painting on glass to relate the history of Black people (Black Soul, 2001).

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