In this Oscar®-nominated short film, a chair, animated by Evelyn Lambart, refuses to be sat upon, forcing a young man to perform a sort of dance with the chair. The musical accompaniment is by Ravi Shankar and Chatur Lal. This virtuoso film is the result of a collaboration between Norman McLaren and Claude Jutra.
As filmmaking, A Chairy Tale is a virtuoso piece. A mélange of single-frame animation of a chair and an actor, multi-speed shooting, reverse shooting, moving time exposures, and the chair-as-marionette, being operated with black nylon thread, for the most part by Evelyn Lambart and Herb Taylor. A chair refuses to let a man sit on it. After many trials, the man (Claude Jutra) realizes that the chair wants the same privilege. The man concedes. Only then does the chair agree to accept his role in life, that of being sat upon. The film, with an improvised score by Ravi Shankar, was a big success, yet co-directors McLaren and Jutra were uneasy. Brilliant though it was, they realized they had in fact made a film about assimilation. The chair was still the loser.Donald McWilliams
From the playlist: Norman McLaren: Hands-on Animation