|Created in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada has produced and distributed literally thousands of films by and about Canadians, including hundreds of animated shorts. But despite the fact that these innovative cartoons received several Oscar wins and nominations, most were little-seen by Canada’s neighbors to the south.
In 1997, The Cartoon Network began to rectify that situation with the debut of O Canada. The half-hour show was a compilation of the NFB’s most inspired works, including “The Cat Came Back” (about a man who couldn’t seem to get rid of a pesky cat) “The Big Snit” (nuclear war outside, fighting over the TV inside), and the Oscar winning “Bob’s Birthday” (about a dentist’s 40th birthday).
These weren’t your typical Saturday morning cartoons, but that was part of their charm. Better yet, kids could excuse watching O Canada by claiming they were broadening their cultural horizons. The show wasn’t an overwhelming success, but at least U.S. audiences were able to get to know a bit more about Canadian entertainment than Strange Brew and Kids in the Hall.