Canada lends animation artwork to LA’s Academy Museum of Motion Pictures


Montreal – The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures inLos Angeles will showcase legendary National Film Board of Canada (NFB) animation beginning May 12—with Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart’s Begone Dull Care and Ishu Patel’s Paradise featured as part of Inventing Worlds and Characters: Animation. The gallery takes visitors on a journey through animation, highlighting nearly a century of animation history, as told through the stories of diverse filmmakers.

“I’m thrilled that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is featuring the work of cutting-edge NFB talents who have expanded the boundaries of animation. For more than 80 years, NFB innovators have had a profound impact on cinematic storytelling, across all genres, in Hollywood and around the world. The NFB’s archives are a legacy for film lovers everywhere, and we’re delighted to collaborate with the museum in sharing the artistry and vision of Canadian animation trailblazers.”

– Suzanne Guèvremont, Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson

“As Canada’s senior representative in LA, I am proud to celebrate the collaboration between these two great institutions. The National Film Board of Canada has been a leader and steward of Canada’s film heritage for decades, and it is great news that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is including the work of two groundbreaking Canadian animators in its upcoming exhibit. Film, in so many ways, unites the world, and I am proud this exhibit continues to bring our two countries together while also highlighting our intertwined history of cinema.”

– Zaib Shaikh, Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles

Preservation is one of the cornerstones of the National Film Board’s mandate. Since 1939, the NFB has been the guardian of a priceless heritage collection of Canadian works, serving as a worldwide reference in the conservation and digitization of audiovisual archives. Comprising more than 16,000 titles, this collection grows richer every day—because history is written every day and in every way. These works go far beyond the screen and reach an ever-growing audience, thanks to institutions like the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures that attract visitors from across the world.

NFB animation excellence on display

The dazzling visual music short film Begone Dull Care by Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart will be presented in its entirety with sound on a continuous loop in the museum’s Animation gallery, accompanied by enlargements that will help audiences to discover the painstaking drawn-on-film process.

Original artwork from Ishu Patel’s Paradise will explore the stunning range of animation techniques used to create the film, which combines hand-drawn animation with cut-out, back-lit plasticine, sand and painted-glass animation.

More about the films

Begone Dull Care | 7 min | 1949

In this extraordinary short film, NFB animation innovators Evelyn Lambart and Norman McLaren paint colours, shapes and transformations directly onto a filmstrip. The result is a vivid interpretation, in fluid lines and colour, of jazz music by the famed Oscar Peterson Trio. The “First Lady of Canadian animation,” Evelyn Lambart helped pave the way for a tradition of great animation by women at the NFB. Founder of the NFB’s animation unit, Norman McLaren was an Academy Award winner for his 1952 stop-motion pixilated classic Neighbours, and was nominated for multiple Oscars.

Paradise | 15 min | 1984

Its plumage a blaze of colour, a magnificent bird performs for the Emperor inside a glittering palace. 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. International honours for the film include a nomination for Best Animated Short Film at the 57th Academy Awards.

NFB and Hollywood

NFB films have received 78 Academy Award nominations, more than any film organization based outside of Hollywood. NFB productions and co-productions have won 11 Oscars, with the NFB also receiving a 1988 Honorary Award in recognition of its 50th anniversary and its dedicated commitment to originate artistic, creative and technological activity and excellence in every area of filmmaking.

Alongside McLaren, NFB creators with multiple Academy Award nominations include Torill Kove, Oscar winner for her 2006 Mikrofilm AS/NFB short The Danish Poet; documentarian and animation director Colin Low; and the animation duo of Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby. In documentary, the NFB’s track record of Oscar achievement spans nine decades, from the first-ever Academy Award for Documentary Short for 1941’s Churchill’s Island, directed by Stuart Legg, to Nisha Pahuja’s Notice Pictures/NFB co-production To Kill a Tiger, nominated in 2024 for Documentary Feature Film.

Inventing Worlds and Characters: Animation Gallery at the Academy Museum

Beginning on May 12, 2024, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is presenting the third iteration of Inventing Worlds and Characters: Animation, highlighting nearly a century of animated filmmaking. In addition to the NFB’s materials, the gallery will showcase concept artwork, layout drawings, animation cels, character maquettes and other objects from films such as The Skeleton Dance (USA, 1929), Pinocchio (USA, 1940), Asparagus (USA, 1979), Akira (Japan, 1988), WALL•E (USA, 2008), Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (USA, 2022), and more.

Inventing Worlds and Characters: Animation is curated by Senior Exhibitions Curator Jenny He and Assistant Curator Nicholas Barlow.