The NFB's 45th Oscar®-nominated film.
This short animation is a zany version of the classic fairy tale, with the leading role played by a mistreated, romantic penguin, with hilarious results. Cinderella Penguin loses her magic flipper as she runs to meet her midnight deadline, but all ends well when Prince Charming finds the right webbed foot and the nasty step-family is brought to heel.
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.
A variation on a fable by Aesop ("The Lion and the Mouse") in which a mouse aids a mighty lion who had once spared his life. This children's film casts real animals – with a big brown bear in the role of the lion, and proves that little friends can prove to be great friends indeed.
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.
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.
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.
This short cartoon film for young kids tells the adventures of a little chick from the time he falls from an egg basket and breaks out of his shell. Together with a duck who waddles along, he goes to explore the world and discovers there is much to learn, even in his own farmyard. (The Peep Show is an early version of the acclaimed cartoon Peep and the Big Wide World.)
The NFB's 51st Oscar®-nominated film.
In this short animation film, a magnificent bird performs for the Emperor inside a glittering palace. Its plumage is a blaze of colour. A blackbird, watching enviously, strives to acquire what he so desperately covets, only to discover that a golden cage can’t compete with the open skies.
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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In this short cut-out animation by Evelyn Lambart, two duelling birds get the urge to change their plumage. A blue jay wants to be decked out in the green of cedar, and a loon dons the burnished red of oak leaves, but neither bird foresees the consequences of vanity. A strong gust of wind teaches both birds that their natural, well-anchored feathers provided better protection than their costumes.
Ages 9 to 12
English Language Arts - Children's Stories/Fables
Family Studies/Home Economics - Feminism
Health/Personal Development - Bullying & Discrimination
History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Before viewing, have elementary students research well-known fairy tales. After viewing, they choose a tale to rework through change of gender, animal/species, age, environment, or culture, and then tell it through animation, writing, acting, or drawn/photographed visuals. Have students pose media literacy questions: what qualities do we associate with animals in popular culture? How does the form of a story change our understanding of it? What societal values do fairy tales reveal?