In this feature-length documentary, two Cape Breton musicians visit Ireland and Scotland in search of their musical roots. Diving deep into Cape Breton music – from the past and present – Celtic Spirits also offers an intimate look at life in the region.
This short documentary profiles an imaginative inventor and craftsman who makes whimsical stringed instruments out of unlikely items. In his hands, shovels, rakes, baseball bats, and stop signs become beautiful and functional guitars, violins, banjos, and fiddles.After a near-death experience, retired machinist Lorne Collie embarked on his creative journey, and this heartening film offers a folksy, one-of-a-kind portrait of Collie's spirit and talent. Through weathered doc footage and hand-crafted animation, the film shows that Collie is having more fun than he’s had in a long time and feeling more than alive.
A sing-song film, with the popular Four Gentlemen Quartet leading in four old favourites: Camptown Races, Bury Me Out on the Lone Prairie, Grandfather's Clock and Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay.
This short documentary traces the history of the fiddle’s arrival in Canada 300 years ago via Scottish traders from Orkney Island. The Cree population of what is now Northern Québec adopted the instrument, and many contemporary Cree residents are master fiddlers. In this film, two Cree fiddlers travel to the Orkney Islands, the birthplace of the music they learned from their fathers and grandfathers. The film captures the warmth and good will of this reunion.
The NFB's 56th Oscar®-nominated film.
This hilarious animated short is based on the century-old folk song of the same name. Old Mr. Johnson makes increasingly manic attempts to rid himself of a little yellow cat that just won't stay away...
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This short animation film is cartoon illustration of the eponymous nonsense song by Canadian folksinger Alan Mills. Sung by Burl Ives, the song is given an unbridled interpretation by the cartoonist, and by the end of the song, our old lady has swallowed much more than a fly.
The NFB's 59th Oscar®-nominated film.
This animated film about the pesky blackfly is based on the song of the same title, written and sung by Canadian folk singer Wade Hemsworth, with back-up vocals by the McGarrigle sisters. It recounts Hemsworth's battles with this quintessential "critter" during a summer of surveying in Northern Ontario.
In this colourful animated short by renowned filmmaker Evelyn Lambart, a handsome frog courts and wins a mouse for his bride. The story was inspired by a popular old folk song and nursery rhyme, originally published in 1548. Sung by Derek Lamb to lute accompaniment.
The film’s ending, which is also taken from the original song, might not be suitable for some audiences, especially very young audiences. Parental discretion is advised.
Three songs: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, Rock-A-Bye Baby, One More River to Cross, and the piano exercise Chopsticks, illustrated by animated figures.
Easily one of the most often-requested films in the NFB collection, this lighthearted animated short is based on the song “The Log Driver’s Waltz” by Wade Hemsworth. Kate and Anna McGarrigle sing along to the tale of a young girl who loves to dance and chooses to marry a log driver over his more well-to-do competitors.
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