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Kaj Pindal

(b. December 1, 1927 Copenhagen, Denmark)

Kaj Pindal is a witty, self-taught and naturally gifted animator whose zany characters – such as the Old Lady in the fire prevention films – have enlivened many NFB films. He began as an underground cartoonist during the German occupation of Denmark and was forced to flee his native Copenhagen when his series of anti-Hitler cartoons made him a marked man. After the war, he made animated commercials in Sweden and at Denmark’s legendary Nordisk Film and worked on several UNESCO films and filmstrips. He emigrated to Canada and joined the NFB in 1957.

His love of machinery and outrageous character designs qualified the puckish Pindal for a prime spot in the Board’s burgeoning animation department during the sixties and seventies. Often working in collaboration with producer/animator René Jodoin, he won accolades for his sprightly animation for I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (1964), The Peep Show (1962) and What on Earth! (1967), his satirical look at car culture.

In addition to his work at the NFB, Pindal returned to Denmark for a year in 1970 and spent several months in 1983 teaching in Denmark and Sweden. He has remained an important influence in Canadian animation through his tenure at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario where he has taught on and off since 1977. In 1979, the NFB released the film Laughlines: A Profile of Kaj Pindal.

Film and video work includes

An Introduction to Jet Engines, 1959 (animator)
Hors-d'oeuvre, 1960 (co-director, co-animator with Arthur Lipsett, Derek Lamb, Gerald Potterton et al.)
Propagation, 1960 (animator)
Can the Earth Provide?, 1961 (co-animator with René Jodoin)
Challenge to Mankind, 1961 (co-animator with René Jodoin)
The Global Struggle for Food, 1961 (co-animator with René Jodoin)
Man and his Resources, 1961 (animator)
People by the Billions, 1961 (co-animator with René Jodoin)
Rivière'la'Paix, 1961 (animator)
To Each a Rightful Share, 1961 (co-animator with René Jodoin)
The Peep Show, 1962 (director; writer; animator)
Pot-pourri, 1962 (co-director, co-animator with Derek Lamb, Grant Munro, Jeff Hale et al.)
Volleyball, 1966 (animator)
Fluxes, 1968 (animator)
King Size, 1968 (director; writer; animator)
The City: Osaka, 1970 (director; writer; animator)
Where There's Smoke, 1970 (co-director with Grant Munro, Robert Verrall, Wolf Koenig et al.; co-animator with Al Sens, Blake James, Michael Mills, et al.)
Horsing Around, 1973 (director; animator)
Man: The Polluter, 1973 (co-director with Chuck Jones, Don Arioli, Wolf Koenig et al.)
The Myth and the Reality, 1973 (co-animator with Les Drew)
The Hottest Show on Earth, 1977 (co-animator with Bozenna Heczko, Janet Perlman, Les Drew)
Caninabis, 1979 (director; co-writer with Yvon Mallette; animator)
Laugh Lines: A Profile of Kaj Pindal, 1979 (himself)
Anijam, 1984 (animator)
Le Big Bang, 1987 (animator)
Peep and the Big Wide World, 1988 (director; co-writer with Arlene Moscovisch; co-editor with Craig Welch, John Kramer; animator)
Karate Kids, 1990 (co-animator with Bjorn Frank Jenson, Borge Ring, Janet Perlman)