Norman McLaren

Active - 1939 - 2009  |   Born - Apr 11, 1914   |   Died - Jan 27, 1987   |   Genres - Avant-garde / Experimental

Share on

Biography by Sandra Brennan

Innovative and distinguished animator Norman McLaren has made a number of award-winning animated films and is credited for perfecting Len Lye's technique of painting images to be animated directly on the film stock. McLaren was also a founding member of the Canadian National Film Board. Born in Stirling, Scotland, McLaren was still a student at the Glasgow School of Art and only 19 years old when he began making his first live-action short films. He was 21 when he made his first animated film and entered it in an amateur film festival. Filmmaker John Grierson saw McLaren's film and convinced the youth to begin working for Grierson's GPO film unit in 1936. Three years later, McLaren moved to the U.S. and perfected his technique for drawing on film. In 1941, McLaren accepted an invitation from Grierson and became a member of the newly created National Film Board of Canada and two years later was running the organization's animated film department where he was given total artistic freedom and plenty of Canadian grant money. The result was many internationally acclaimed films, including the Oscar-winning Neighbors (1957). In 1984, McLaren was presented with a special Genie Award to honor his many achievements.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography