Neighbours (1952)

Genres - Avant-garde / Experimental, Children's/Family  |   Sub-Genres - Surrealist Film  |   Run Time - 8 min.  |   Countries - Canada  |  
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Canadian animator Norman McLaren helms Neighbours, a 1952 comic short funded by the National Film Board of Canada that comments on postwar suburban attitudes and mores. Stylistically groundbreaking in its day, Neighbours employs an unusual technique that became widespread in successive decades. McLaren animates two live actors (Jean-Paul Ladouceur and Grant Munro) via stop motion, as one would animate illustrated characters. Ladouceur and Munro play the neighbors of the title, two newspaper-immersed suburbanites seated in opposing lawnchairs, who quarrel over the ownership of a flower. McLaren's unprecedented stylistic approach, the absurd newspaper headlines (one of which reads, "Peace certain if no war," and the other, "War certain if no peace,") and the papier-mache cutout houses behind the actors lend the work a hefty dose of surrealism



argument, neighbor, newspaper, suburbs