Welcome to Canada!

Welcome to Canada!

The National Film Board of Canada is proud to help welcome you into the Canadian family! On this page, you will find a collection of great short films for all ages that showcase Canada and offer a taste of its diverse cultures and stories.

Enjoy!

  • The Railrodder
    1965|24 min

    This short film from director Gerald Potterton (Heavy Metal) stars Buster Keaton in one of the last films of his long career. As "the railrodder", Keaton crosses Canada from east to west on a railway track speeder. True to Keaton's genre, the film is full of sight gags as our protagonist putt-putts his way to British Columbia. Not a word is spoken throughout, and Keaton is as spry and ingenious at fetching laughs as he was in the old days of the silent slapsticks.

    For more background information about this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.

  • The Boy and the Snow Goose
    1984|10 min

    This animated short tells the story of a young boy who finds an injured snow goose and nurses it back to health. Constant companions through the sun-filled days of summer, the two sadly separate in the fall when the bird obeys the call to join its flock for the annual flight south. Will the friendship endure?

  • Canada Vignettes: Log Driver's Waltz
    1979|3 min

    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.

    Love this film? Bring it home with you with its’official merchandise!

  • Cosmic Zoom
    1968|8 min

    This short animation transports us from the farthest conceivable point of the universe to the tiniest particle of existence, an atom of a living human cell. The art of animation and animation camera achieve this exhilarating journey with a freshness and clarity. Without words.

  • A Day in Pacific Rim
    1978|6 min

    This short film illustrates a day in the life at Pacific Rim National Park. Located on Vancouver Island, the park houses giant trees, drooping moss and beautiful ocean views that provide breathtaking material for an eager eye.

  • Meltdown

    In this short animation, a polar bear must try his luck finding a job in the big city when the last of his Arctic ice environment disappears. It’s hard fitting into the human world, however, so this bear finds a more creative solution to his predicament.

    This film was made as part of the 8th edition of the NFB's Hothouse apprenticeship.

  • The Juggler
    1980|12 min

    A juggler in a park opens his magic box and takes out 3 balls. The audience marvels at his dexterity, until one ball escapes. The mutinous ball takes on magical properties as it draws the juggler into a series of adventures with many levels of meaning: appearance, fantasy and love. Without words.

  • Juke-Bar
    1989|10 min

    This animated short introduces a juke box into a greasy spoon diner overrun with cockroaches. The cockroaches get caught up in the music as their lives are transformed by the arrival of this new machine. But the restaurant's owner has a plan: will he be able to outsmart his uninvited guests?

  • Marianne's Theatre
    2004|15 min

    In Co Hoedeman's animated short about a troupe of marionette acrobats, everything that can go wrong does. No matter what the ringleader does, each act goes awry until we begin to wonder who's really running the show. Even when Marianne, the master puppeteer, emerges at the end of the show to take her final bow, those little acrobats still seem to have a mind of their own. Brilliantly executed, this film dissolves the boundaries between theatre and animated film to create a magical experience.

  • Orange
    2009|1 min

    This animated short poses some interesting questions: what if buildings pulsed, trees tapped out beats, or shadows could whistle a tune? Through the creative interpretation and animation of the city's natural rhythms, Orange orchestrates a contagious urban dance.

    This film was made as part of the 5th edition of the NFB's Hothouse apprenticeship.

  • The Rink
    1962|10 min

    This short, silent film captures a Sunday afternoon at a community skating rink. Iconic Quebec director Gilles Carle has the camera follow toddlers learning to skate, young girls flashing their skates and boys decked out in the colours of their favourite hockey teams. A picture perfect moment on a bright winter's day.

  • The Ride
    1963|6 min

    From Gerald Potterton (director of the cult classic Heavy Metal), this short film depicts the daydream of a chauffeur awaiting his employer. On a hot summer day, he begins to imagine that it's winter—the residential street where he's parked transforms into snowy mountains, and a series of comic misadventures begin. As the car is replaced by a toboggan, it carries the tycoon away on a dizzying ride. The chase includes some unforgettable antics in the snow, including a piggyback ride on an incredulous skier.

  • Zea

    A superb visual trick that will mystify its audience, this animated film transforms the commonplace into magic.

  • Sunday
    2011|9 min

    This Oscar®-nominated animated short is a magical tale about life as seen through the eyes of a child. In keeping with their Sunday tradition, after mass a family flocks to grandma and grandpa’s house, where the chaotic discussion soon begins to resemble a raucous gathering of crows on power lines. The local factory has shut its doors and, naturally, the adults can’t stop fretting about their money woes. On this particular grey Sunday, a young boy drops a coin on some nearby train tracks out of sheer boredom. Picking the coin up after a train has run over it, he discovers to his astonishment that an amazing transformation has taken place.

  • Sleeping Betty
    2007|9 min

    In this animated short, Sleeping Betty is stuck in bed, victim to a strange bout of narcolepsy. The King calls on his subjects to rescue her and they all respond to the call: Uncle Henry VIII, Aunt Victoria, an oddly emotional alien, a funky witch and a handsome prince. But will a kiss really be enough to wake the sleeping princess? The film, drawn in ink, is a classic example of the anachronistic and playful world of Claude Cloutier.

  • Islet
    2003|7 min

    Combining figurative abstraction with magic realism, this animated short depicts a world in which whales fall out of the sky and fish turn into balloons. It is a black and white evocation of the real world, transformed by the director's special sense of whimsy. With bold lines reminiscent of the stark simplicity of Inuit art, this cautionary tale is a reminder of the interconnectedness of all things. We are all affected by the fate of the Arctic, which each year is disappearing a little farther into the ocean.

  • Loon Dreaming
    2002|7 min

    This animated short makes us see the world through the eyes of a loon. We dive down deep into the waters in pursuit of fish, launch skyward from the water and fly high over the busy highways and sprawling subdivisions that scar the natural world--before gently splashing down on a secluded lake.

  • Asthma Tech
    2006|7 min

    In this animated short, young Winston, who suffers from chronic asthma, isn’t able to participate in the everyday activities of his peers and classmates. He copes with the predicament through his vivid imagination, with paper and crayons. On one particularly rainy afternoon, Winston discovers that the magic of imagination has the power to transform and empower, and his skills and talents save the day.

    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.

  • The Dingles
    1988|7 min

    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.

  • Getting Started
    1979|12 min

    This hilarious short animated film stars a man who procrastinates. Our hero attempts to practice a piece of music on the piano, but distractions get in the way. When he finally sits down to play, pandemonium breaks loose.

  • The Girl Who Hated Books
    2006|7 min

    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.

  • How Dinosaurs Learned to Fly
    1995|6 min

    The dinosaurs were headed for trouble. They ate nothing but junk food. They never brushed their teeth. They stayed up all night. And though they loved jumping off cliffs, they didn't like the landings much. The early mammals tried to warn them. "Keep that up and you'll all be extinct!" they said. But the dinosaurs just laughed... and over time, they evolved into birds.

  • I Want a Dog
    2002|10 min

    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.

  • Science Please! Part 1
    2001|16 min

    The Science Please! collection uses archival footage, animated illustrations and amusing narration to explain various scientific discoveries and phenomena. This compilation includes: The Atom, The State of the Matter, The Dirt on Soap, Explosives, Gravity, Operation Lever, The Force of Water, Lift Off, Wheel Meets Friction, The Internal Combustion Engine, Fire, The Wind, Slippery Ice and The Refrigerator.

  • Science Please! Part 2
    2001|15 min

    The Science Please! collection uses archival footage, animated illustrations and amusing narration to explain various scientific discoveries and phenomena. This compilation includes: Lightning, Magnets, Battery, Electricity, The Light Bulb, Electromagnetic Radiation, Sound Is Vibration, The Telephone, The Wonderful World of Colour, The Moon Changes, Mirrors and Why Is the Sky Blue ?

  • The Underground Movie
    1972|14 min

    Everyone has wondered what it would be like to dig right through to the other side of the Earth. This animated short takes that notion one step further. Here, the probe is accomplished by an ingenious machine dubbed Old Chucknose, which with the help of amazing gadgetry, bores through every layer of the Earth’s crust and centre.

    For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.