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Animation from the Great White North

A long long time ago, when a student at UC Berkeley, I volunteered for the organization that brought movies to campus. A perk of that role was the ability to get paid Real Cash Money to work the annual Spike and Mike Festival of Animation, which, in the early 90s, was still pretty obscure, and little known beyond college campuses.

I saw a bunch of groundbreaking shorts this way — the original Beavis and Butthead short “Frog Baseball”, Milton, Lupo the Butcher, Mutilator, Bambi meets Godzilla, and the like.

Among the favorites were two shorts that, even then, I noticed were funded by the National Film Board of Canada. Imagine! A federal government giving money to make cartoons!

Now, The National Film Board has just released 50 shorts for viewing online, including those two: The Big Snit (a husband-and-wife Scrabble game goes awry), and The Cat Came Back (a deliriously frustrating cartoon for cat haters).

These are both movies that, because I worked the shows, I saw literally dozens of times. And they’re still funny.