“A huge success over the years, the NFB has won over 5000 awards, including  over 70 Academy Award nominations, creating Canada’s reputation as a world center of animation.”                                                                                                      Stephen Cavalier. The World History Of Animation. 2011: 17.

At the instigation of the Canadian government, it was founded 1939 by John Grierson, a Scottish documentary film maker “often considered the father of British and Canadian documentary film”* its function was to create World War 2, propaganda film.

In 1940 it launched animation production by commissioning Disney to create such features as The Wise Little Pig which was used to sell war stamps, but when Disney commissions become too expensive it moved away from mainstream cel animation into more experimental form. The significant move in this direction was the hiring in 1941, of another Scot Norman McLaren to create in house features.

In 1955, it created the first Canadian animated feature film Le village enchanté animated by Marcel & Réal Racicot.

In 1995, the Federal Government cut the NFB’s budget by $20 million over three years. NFB’s Vancouver offices were closed. The NFB archives were closed to the public.



Based on Canadian Songs:

Blackfly Song. Composer, Wade Hemsworth. Animator, Christopher Hilton. Singer, Wade Hemsworth,

Kate & Anna McGarrigle. Producer, William Pettigre. National Film Board, 1991. Film, 05m, 06s.

Canada Vignettes: Log Driver’s Waltz. Composer, Wade Hemsworth. Animator, John Weldon. Singers, Kate & Anna McGarrigle. Producer, David Verrall. National Film Board, 1979. Film, 03m, 17s.

Based on Canadian stories:

The Awful Fate of Melpomenus Jones. Writ., Stephen Leacock. Animator, Gerald Potterton. Producer, David Verrall. National Film Board, 1983. Film, 07m,

My Financial Career. Writ., Stephen Leacock. Co animators, Gerald Potterton & Grant Munro. Producers, Colin Low & Tom Daly. National Film Board, 1962. Film, 06m, 30 s.  48s.


Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie King. Writ., Ann Marie Fleming. Co-produced by Stickgirl Productions the National Film Board. Actress Sandra Oh was the Executive Producer and the voice of lead character Rosie Ming. Kevin Langdale was principal illustrator and animator. This film was made into a graphic novel of the same name and published by Bedside Press.



1952: Neighbours, Dir., Norman McLaren.

Palm d’or Cannes,

1953: Romance of Transportation In Canada, (Part of Canada Carries On Series). Dir., Wolf Koening Colin Low & Robert Verrall.


Article book:

Canadian Film Reader. Eds., Seth Feldman & Joyce Nelson. Peter Martin Associates/Take One, 1977: “National Film Board of Canada.”

Take One’s Essential Guide to Canadian Film. Ed., Wyndham Lewis. University of Toronto Press, 2001: “National Film Board”: 150-151.

The World History of Animation. Writ., Stephen Cavalier. University of California Press, 2011: 17.

Article in periodical:

Canadian Art, Winter/Dec. 1987: “Animated Magnetism.” Writ., Martin Hunter: 76-81.

Shift, July 1997: “The Great Animation Conspiracy”: 42..

Take One, Summer 1997: “O Canada – Point of View.” Linda Simensky: 40-41.

“The United Nations of Animation.” Writ., Marc Glassman. 6-11.


*“John Grierson” Accessed 15 Apr. 2019.