Who is Monsieur Pug? Why, a dog with bad cholesterol and high blood pressure! And a dog who loves his pie and ice cream. Who relaxes by making origami. In other words, definitely not your ordinary pooch! For he’s also a paranoiac, convinced he’s the target in a vast conspiracy, and pretending to be a pet, the better to hide from his pursuers. Schizoid, perhaps? Hmm… but is Monsieur Pug even a real dog to begin with?
A delirious fable about a particular brand of modern madness—that brought on by the omnipresence of smartphones in our lives—Monsieur Pug is directed with verve by Janet Perlman, whose The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Animated Short in 1982.
Monsieur Pug is one strange film about the life of one strange dog!
This series of three 10-minute films features Peep the chicken, Chirp the robin and Quack the duck. On their travels, they meet a cat, a ladybug, a turtle and a frog who speaks from both sides of his mouth. Narrated by Peter Ustinov, these films are great for young children aged 3–5.
Created by award-winning animator/director Les Drew, this animated short features Doris Dingle and her family of three cats. Sure to appeal to children of all ages, The Dingles shows what happens when an unexpected violent wind disrupts the family's idyllic life. The film is based on the book The Dingles, written by Helen Levchuk and illustrated by John Bianchi.
In this animated short by Sheldon Cohen, young May wants a dog more than anything else in the world. She thinks about dogs all the time; she talks about them, reads about them and covers the walls of her bedroom with dog pictures. But every time she asks her parents for a puppy, they tell her to wait till she's older. But sticking to her motto of "If at first you don’t succeed, try again," May comes up with an ingenious idea to change her parents' minds. Based on the book by Dayal Kaur Khalsa.
After losing his best friend, an elderly pug named Henry must depend on his owner for help and companionship. Writer/director Ann Marie Fleming (Window Horses) makes visible the tender work of caretaking in her new animated short, Old Dog. All dogs (and people) should be so lucky and so loved.
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This short animation adapted from a short story by Heather O’Neill, who also narrates the film, follows three fallen angels seeking companionship in Montreal’s red-light district. The survivor of traumatic childhood experiences, Johnny is a handsome thief who finds himself drawn to Mia’s fragile beauty. Both have a soft spot for Johnny’s best friend and partner in crime, Pinky. But when one of Pinky’s endearing quirks sets off a tragicomic chain of events, Johnny plots his revenge with methodical detachment. Peopled with characters living on the margins of society, this film casts light on the frailty of human relationships. The film features hand-drawn pencil and pastel animation rendered in stereoscopic 3D.
This short animation takes a look at the redemptive power of food, wine, music and love through the eyes of our protagonist, Chuck. A husband and father, Chuck is jovially cooking dinner and listening to Chopin when his wife Sylvie spontaneously invites a group of boisterous colleagues over for dinner. The festivities begin to spiral out of control, and Chuck must find his way through a planned diner à deux that has turned into pandemonium. Filmmaker Bruce Alcock follows the fine tradition of beloved food films such as Babette’s Feast, using the preparation of a meal as a vehicle for exploring the grand themes of love and life through simple yet evocative line drawings.
An animated cartoon to help children explore why and how animals move as they do. A little boy discovers that he cannot compete with a monkey, a snake or a horse by imitating the way they move. He can only outdistance them when he climbs into a vehicle that can travel in any environment, proving that the human capacity for technological invention creates a wholly different relationship to our environment.
A mysterious invitation of a romantic nature kicks off this adventure of parallel lives and parallel worlds. Acclaimed animator Paul Driessen’s latest short is a wandering tale of desire and disappointment told in four different story-windows. As an anthropomorphic cat and dog meander through their alternate and intersecting realities, each story-window ends on a cliffhanger and transitions to another tale.
Even though the pursuit of romance fuels our protagonists’ journeys, it is ultimately each character’s unique persona that determines their fate. The dog in this capricious tale is by turns impulsive, adventurous, and goal-oriented, while the cat we meet is typically thoughtful and confident, yet subdued. Ultimately, our characters’ wayward adventures in love and life reveal their animalistic nature—a primal force found beneath “civilized” exteriors.
Featuring a lively soundtrack, this film employs Driessen’s signature mixture of drama and comedy to explore the ways in which life can surprise us when the choices we make determine the outcome of our journeys.
This animated short about literacy introduces us to Meena, a young girl who hates books even though her parents love to read. Books are everywhere in Meena's house, in cupboards, drawers and even piled up on the stairs. Still, she refuses to even open one up. But when her cat Max accidentally knocks down a huge stack, pandemonium ensues and nothing is ever the same again.
Part of the Talespinners collection, which uses vibrant animation to bring popular children’s stories from a wide range of cultural communities to the screen.
In this animated short, Roch Carrier recounts the most mortifying moment of his childhood. At a time when all his friends worshipped Maurice "Rocket" Richard and wore his number 9 Canadiens hockey jersey, the boy was mistakenly sent a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey from Eaton's. Unable to convince his mother to send it back, he must face his friends wearing the colours of the opposing team. This short film, based on the book The Hockey Sweater, is an NFB classic that appeals to hockey lovers of all ages.
Ages 8 to 12
English Language Arts - Children's Stories/Fables
Media Education - Internet and Social Media
Technology Education - Communications and Technology
Discuss how this animated short addresses issues of conformity and identity. Explore whether people’s online personas accurately represent or approximate their real-life personality; is this why we have user names or avatars? Debate whether individuals are now too “connected” online to actually form meaningful connections with others. Explain whether Monsieur Pug has lost his way in attempting to be just like everyone else. Does this film have something to say about those who refuse to use social media or who distrust it?