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Grant Munro

Director, Producer, , Editor, Actor
(b. April 25, 1923 Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Whether as animator, documentarian, actor, editor, cinematographer or general provocateur, Grant Munro’s talent, humour, passion and goofiness graced the world of cinema for more than forty years. Heralded by film critic Leonard Maltin as “one of animation’s unsung heroes,” Munro produced some of the most significant hand-drawn and pixilated animation films ever made. As varied in subject and style as they are in length, his films can be charming and youthfully exuberant or surreal and darkly whimsical, and often deliver a subtle, underlying message.

Munro collaborated with Norman McLaren on some of his best known work, including the Academy Award®-winning Cold War parable Neighbours (1952), which Munro acted in. After completing his studies at the Ontario College of Art, he joined the National Film Board in 1944 and worked initially on animated inserts. He left in 1947 to spend two years as animator and director with Crawley Films and returned to the NFB in 1951. In 1957, he joined George Dunning’s TV Cartoons in London, England, as director of animation. He again returned to the NFB in 1961, and in 1970 he went to Cuba to work with the animators at ICAIC. In the early eighties he turned to directing documentaries.

His most famous films are perhaps the multiple-award-winning My Financial Career (1962) and The Animal Movie (1966), as well as Christmas Cracker (1962), Toys (1966) and Canon (1964). He began in the period of limited animation at the NFB that saw the use of articulated cut-outs and Victorian petit-point effects and later explored more alternative techniques with McLaren. He worked for a period on industrial animation films and directed and appeared in a series of anti-smoking clips for television in the late sixties.

Munro won Canadian Film Awards for his work on One Little Indian (1954), One Day’s Poison (1958) and Canon. A DVD of his work entitled Cut-Up: The Films of Grant Munro was released in 2003 and included the previously unreleased Munro-McLaren collaborations Six and Seven Eighths and On the Farm, uncompleted films that were recently discovered and edited to completion by the National Film Board.

Film and video work includes

Let's All Sing Together: No. 3, 1945 (co-animator with René Jodoin)
Let's All Sing Together: No. 4, 1945 (co-animator with Jean-Paul Ladouceur, Jim MacKay)
Let's All Sing Together: No. 5, 1945 (co-animator with Jean-Paul Ladouceur)
Let's All Sing Together: No. 6, 1945 (co-animator with Jean-Paul Ladouceur, René Jodoin)
The Three Blind Mice, 1945 (co-animator with George Dunning, Robert Verrall)
Christmas Carols, 1947 (co-animator with Colin Low, George Dunning, Helen Mackay et al.)
Stanley Takes a Trip, 1947 (co-director, co-animator and co-producer with Helen Mackay, Jim MacKay)
Two Bagatelles, 1953 (co-director with Norman McLaren; actor)
The Ballot-o-Maniac, 1953 (actor)
One Little Indian, 1954 (director)
Huff and Puff, 1955 (co-writer with Gerald Potterton; co-animator with Gerald Potterton)
The Standard Range Approach, 1957 (animator)
Christmas Cracker, 1962 (co-director with Gerlad Potterton, Jeff Hale; actor)
Pot-pourri, 1962 (co-director with Austin Campbell, Derek Lamb, Kaj Pindal et al.; co-animator with Austin Campbell, Derek Lamb, Kaj Pindal et al.)
What Farm Price Support Means to You, 1962 (animator)
The Animal Movie, 1966 (co-director with Ron Tunis; co-animator with Ron Tunis)
Toys, 1966 (director; producer)
Ashes of Doom, 1970 (co-director with Don Ariolo; editor; actor)
Where There's Smoke, 1970 (co-director with Kaj Pindal, Robert Verrall, Wolf Koenig et al.)
Tour en l'air, 1973 (director; co-editor with Shelah Reljic; producer)
Boo Hoo, 1975 (director; co-editor with Tim Reid)
The Energy Carol, 1975 (voice)
Animated Motion #1, 1976 (co-director, co-producer with Norman McLaren)
Animated Motion #2, 1977 (co-director, co-producer with Norman McLaren
Animated Motion #3, 1977 (co-director, co-producer with Norman McLaren)
Animated Motion #4, 1977 (co-director, co-producer with Norman McLaren)
Animated Motion #5, 1978 (co-director, co-producer with Norman McLaren)
McLaren on McLaren, 1983 (director)
See You in the Funny Papers, 1983 (director; co-editor with Judith Merrit, Tim Reid; producer)
The Magical Eye, 1989 (appears as himself)
Creative Process: Norman Mclaren, 1990 (appears as himself)