This animated short by Norman McLaren and René Jodoin is a play on motion set against a background of multi-hued sky. Spheres of translucent pearl float weightlessly in the unlimited panorama of the sky, grouping, regrouping or colliding like the stylized burst of some atomic chain reaction. The dance is set to the musical cadences of Bach, played by pianist Glenn Gould.
This animated short by Norman McLaren features synchronization of image and sound in the truest sense of the word. To make this film, McLaren employed novel optical techniques to compose the piano rhythms of the sound track, which he then moved, in multicolor, onto the picture area of the screen so that, in effect, you see what you hear.
This short experimental animation tempts the eye with gradually unfolding yet increasingly complex movement, colour and sound. Reminiscent of the mid-20th-century style of “op art,” McLaren and Lambart’s film follows a single tiny square as it divides and multiplies, eventually forming a colourful, hypnotic mosaic set to the animators’ precise and deliberate musical orchestration.
The NFB's 24th Oscar®-nominated film.
This short film by Norman McLaren is a cinematic study of the choreography of ballet. A bare, black set with the back-lit figures of dancers Margaret Mercier and Vincent Warren create a dream-like, hypnotic effect. This award-winning film comes complete with the visual effects one expects from this master filmmaker.
Norman McLaren and Grant Munro use three different animation techniques to provide visual representations of canons in a film designed to teach viewers about this ancient musical form. The soundtrack combines both recorded classical music and sounds produced by a synthesizer.
This animated short co-animated by René Jodoin and Norman McLaren was produced for inclusion in the Let's All Sing Together sing-along series. It illustrates the popular song Alouette, gentille alouette. The technique used is single-frame animation of paper cutouts.
In this extraordinary short animation, Evelyn Lambart and Norman McLaren painted colours, shapes, and transformations directly on to their filmstrip. The result is a vivid interpretation, in fluid lines and colour, of jazz music played by the Oscar Peterson Trio.
In this short animation film the triangle achieves the distinction of principal dancer in a geometric ballet. The triangle is shown splitting into some three hundred transformations, dividing and sub-dividing with grace and symmetry to the music of a waltz. The film's artist and animator is René Jodoin, whose credits include Dance Squared and several collaborations with Norman McLaren. Film without words.
Ages 11 to 17
Arts Education - Visual Arts
History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Media Education - Film Animation
Ask media and film students to discuss: the effect of classical music as inspiration and key element; the use of flowing spheres; the animation technique; and the effect of the butterfly. Before viewing, have music and art students listen only; after viewing, discuss how music might be visual, and draw or sculpt in response to music. Mathematics students can explore the presence of geometry and algebra in the visual images.