Kaj Pindal: An Animated Retrospective


“Animation begins where live-action gives up!”



Video introduction from Kaj Pindal!
Plus, post-screening animation activity with The Cinematheque's Education + Outreach Department

Danish-born Canadian animator and educator Kaj Pindal (b. 1927) is a gem of the National Film Board of Canada’s world-renowned animation department. With his strong, simple graphics, quirky humour, and whimsical handling of hefty social issues — PSAs were his specialty! — Pindal created, between 1957 and 1988, a body of short films for the Board that evinced a master animator (and satirist) at work. Today, Pindal is perhaps best known as the creator of the Emmy-winning PBS children’s program Peep and the Big Wide World — originally a 1962 NFB short, made from black-and-white drawings on adding-machine tape. But his most acclaimed and accomplished work is undoubtedly the Oscar-nominated What on Earth! (1966), a brilliant, biting commentary on urbanization and the automotive explosion, told from the perspective of a Martian field reporter who, quite rightly, assumes that our planet is inhabited by cars, with human beings their pesky parasites!

To celebrate Kaj Pindal’s 90th birthday this year (Happy Birthday, Kaj!), we present a select retrospective of the animator’s eclectic work for the NFB, including his masterpiece What on Earth!, his jazzy art installation for Expo ’70, The City (Osaka) (1970), his imaginative anti-smoking announcement, King Size (1968), and more!

Hors-d’oeuvre | 1960. Kaj Pindal et al./1960 7 min.
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly | Derek Lamb/1964. 5 min.
What on Earth! | Les Drew, Kaj Pindal/1966. 9 min.
King Size | Kaj Pindal/1968. 6 min.
The City (Osaka) | Kaj Pindal/1970. 7 min.
Caninabis | Kaj Pindal/1979. 9 min.
Peep and the Big Wide World | Kaj Pindal/1988. 34 min

Total program: approx. 77 min.