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Cartoon Friday Watercooler


It’s Cartoon Friday, again!

B&W photo of Norman McLaren at work

McLaren created innovative animation techniques such as drawing directly on film stock.

Blinkity Blank is an award-winning film by pioneer animator Norman McLaren, best known for his work with the National Film Board of Canada, which has funded many great works of animation over the decades.

Created in 1955, the film uses the innovative technique of scratching designs directly onto film. From the National Film Board description:

This experimental short film by Norman McLaren is a playful exercise in intermittent animation and spasmodic imagery. Playing with the laws relating to persistence of vision and after-image on the retina of the eye, McLaren engraves pictures on blank film creating vivid, percussive effects.

The Wikipedia article points out McLaren’s deliberate use of blank frames:

McLaren also left some frames blank, which he described as ‘sprinkling on the empty band of time.’

Given the prolific nature of National Film Board animation, I am sure we’ll visit the work of their animators again on Cartoon Friday.

What are your favorite cartoons from any country? I’ll use them in future installments if I can.


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What’s on your mind tonight? You can talk about anything in the comments.

Public domain photo by Jack Long/National Film Board of Canada, via Wikimedia Commons.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and