No Camera? No Problem!

Norman McLaren drawing directly on film.
Norman McLaren, of the animation department, National Film Board of Canada, drawing directly on film

Animator and film director, Norman McLaren, was born on April 11, 1914.  He is best remembered for his work at the NFB (National Film Board) where he produced the film “Neighbours.”   Besides the brilliant combination of visuals and sound, the film has a very strong social message against violence and war. For this work alone, he received the Academy Awards Oscar and Academy Awards Best Short Subject, and the Canadian Film Award (1953).

Norman McLaren was a pioneer in a number of areas of animation and filmmaking, including drawn-on-film animation, visual music, abstract film, pixilation and graphical sound.   His early experiments with film and animation included actually scratching and painting the film stock itself, as he did not have ready access to a camera.

He died on January 27, 1987 at the age of 72 in Montreal, Quebec.

To read more about McLaren, I would suggest National Film Board, and the Canadian Film Encyclopedia, as well as Internet Movie Database (IMDB).


  1. How very interesting…I did not know this.

    A family, Canadian, that I would like to know more about is the Masseys. Vincent and his actor brother Raymond. I went to Vincent Massey elementary school for grades 4 and 5 in Ottawa.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brings back memories. Our local library could order all the National Film Board offerings. I worked as a day camp program coordinator one summer and, on rainy days, we’d show all the cool old shorts. The kids loved them, but I don’t know who loved them more–the kids or the relieved staff members!

    Liked by 1 person

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