Animated films

41st Birthweek Bonanza Day 4: 5 Animated Films Worth Watching If You Like Art, Music, and Stories of Hope & Heart

Day 4 already? Time flies when you're having fun!

Today's list offers stories and visuals that enchant along with toe-tapping soundtracks. Here are five animated films worth watching if you like art, music, and stories of hope & heart. Some are short films, some are full length. I enjoyed all of them, I hope you do too.


1. The Painting

What kind of stories does a painters craft with his brush? What if you could enter his masterpiece and find out? Beautiful and enchanting, I can think of no better way to describe this one.

2. Chico & Rita

Warning: This one is NOT for the kids, we're talking full animated frontal m'kay? You've been warned. If you like jazz (Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Bebo Valdés...), hot drama and a gritty, vintage animation style, you might enjoy this story set mostly in 1948 Havana & New York. I couldn't get enough of it.

3. L'homme qui plantait des arbres (The Man Who Planted Trees)

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and Short Film Palme d'Or in 1987, this is a beautiful piece – both story and animation. It's written by Jean Giono and directed by Frédéric Back who, I was dismayed to discover while writing this post, passed away this past Christmas Eve (this article by the Globe and Mail offers a comprehensive look at his career). This is one of those films that touches your heart. Last year I found a used copy of the book by Jean Giono illustrated with wood engravings. Needless to say it came home with me.

4. Crac

Another Academy award winner by Frédéric Back, this one took the prize for Best Animated Short Film in 1981. A toe-tapping, visually stunning, heartwarming story that follows the life of a rocking chair through generations of the Quebecois family that owns it. Well worth 15 minutes of your time.

5. Begone Dull Care

From the National Film Board of Canada's website: “An extraordinary animation in which Evelyn Lambart and Norman McLaren painted directly on film. The result is a vivid interpretation, in fluid lines and colour, of jazz music played by the Oscar Peterson Trio.” Created in 1949 and less than eight minutes in length, this is a fascinating mix of music and imagery.


I hope you get a chance to enjoy at least one of these. Day 5, coming up next!


41st Birthweek Bonanza so far:

Day 1: 4 Art Classes of Workshops That Were Pivotal In My Artistic Journey

Day 2: 7 Websites For Lifelong Learners and Creative Types

Day 3: 6 New Recipes We Tried That Made It Into the “Keeper” File