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Kaj Pindal Blog

Kaj Pindal

Animation legend Kaj Pindal has his own blog at KajPindal.blogspot.com. The blog is edited by Sheridan student Amir Avni and Chris Walsh, who teaches the animation history class with Pindal at Sheridan. The blog has stories from Pindal, rare examples of his animation, and artwork and video of his illustrious friends like Ward Kimball and Zach Schwartz. There’s only five posts so far but every one of them is a winner. I especially enjoyed King Size, a funny and brilliantly animated anti-smoking cartoon that I’d never seen before and now can’t stop watching:

  • Christopher Smigliano

    They actually showed this on PBS many years ago. It was on a series called THE INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FESTIVAL, hosted by Jean Marsh.

  • That was fantastic!! The smoke animals were beautiful.

  • Karim

    An amazing and humble master who came last year at The Animation Workshop (in Viborg) we had the privilege to see and talk to… great memories and such an inspiration for aspiring animators.
    Thanks for showing his work.

  • aaron

    What an imagination! So creative and funny. Perfect sense of timing too, I’m really in awe of Kaj.

  • Jim

    I don’t smoke, but after that I have a strong craving to light up. Strange, I thought it was an anti-smoking campaign. It sure made smoking look fun and cool.

  • I really love how King Size is almost a completely dialogue less cartoon. It shows all the downsides with images and makes the audience FEEL why smoking is nasty instead of just telling us why its bad. It seems that every other cartoon or show I’ve seen about the dangers of smoking tries to scare you with big emotional things like cancer or heart disease while King size shows you day to day things that make the habit nasty.

    Showing the cowboy king missing teeth and green…my favorite thing is the very gentle and rather comical way of showing how your food starts to taste just like cigerettes if you become a habitual smoker.

    The dogs round friendly bouncing animation makes you like him in the space of two seconds. awesome.

  • A wonderful spotlight on just a terrific person. Kaj was one of my teachers at Sheridan in the 70’s and is just a terrific animator. Is style is totally his and completely creative. I can’t say enough good about him. Thank you guys for putting this up.

  • Great to see this. Kaj was one of a stellar line-up of teachers I was blessed to study under at Sheridan College’s classical animation program in the 80’s (along with Jim MacCauley, Zack Schwartz, Dick Friesen, Zlatko Grgic, Wayne Gilbert, Bill Speers, John Kratovil ) Glad to see he’s still teaching . And now blogging !

    I loved the line on the blog he had about what it means to be an animator:

    Cartoonist and Animated Filmmaker.
    “I very strongly feel the difference in the way people react when I tell them I’m an animator. 40 years ago there was a lot of prestige about it, animators MADE animated films ; today it’s more like a link in an assembly line”

  • Thomas Dee

    I’ve always wished that the Brew had an expansive blogroll page that hosted the links to all of the cartoonists’ blogs that have been featured here. I bookmark them, but a few hard drives later and I find I can’t keep up. Would anybody second this?

  • Jay Sabicer

    Man, I haven’t seen that in 35 years (and it still holds up quite well). Like Christopher, I first saw it on PBS. I was able to convince my 4th grade teacher to show it during her class (it was broadcast at in the early afternoon and predated the advent of the VCR). She, being a fairly progressive instructor saw that exposure of an artform from many countries was a way to educate while entertaining. My own selfish mind just wanted to watch the cartoons, but it did something I didn’t expect: It infused the notion that animation was something more than slapstick and could hold court with any other filmed work and that people from other countries had more similarities than differences, and that the differences were also, something to be appreciated (or at least understood and not feared/hated). I believe if I hadn’t had known of this show, I would’ve lost interest in the Sat AM product soon afterward and joined the countless others who wrote-off animation completely.

    One last thought- The opening and closing credits of King Size are all in English, atypical for the normally bi-lingual National Film Board. I wonder if they were implying that the French-speaking populace of Canada could not be convinced of the evils of tobacco, so why bother? Just an observation.

  • I was very lucky to have Kaj as a teacher years back at Sheridan – what a blessing.

    So great to be able to keep up to date with his stories…thanks for sharing this :)

  • christy

    SO GREAT!!!!!

  • Chris Sobieniak

    “The opening and closing credits of King Size are all in English, atypical for the normally bi-lingual National Film Board. I wonder if they were implying that the French-speaking populace of Canada could not be convinced of the evils of tobacco, so why bother? Just an observation.”

    Some NFB films sometimes have subsequent French editions as well. I’ve seen a couple where the credits/audio were either English or French. It’s just more a matter of which version was used in this case.

  • Wow, never seen that film before. It was great!

    I gotta see his other works.

  • Gerard de Souza

    Another former student from 26 years ago here. Yes, a very funny, kind, hospitable man. Who took a particular interest in my final film because it had a dog. lol!

  • Mary Beth Bellon

    Yet another former student of Kaj. (class of 1993) An amazing man, he always ended my critique on a positive note. My first year at Sheridan’s International program he had the class over to his house for dinner and of course we all rode the train, My children loved it, as did I.
    Thank You for sharing and bringing back fond memories.

  • Jason Groh

    I once sent a message home with Lars Pindal(Kaj’s son) that I loved Kaj Pindals “Old Lady who swallowed a fly”.
    Especially the crazy Cow in boots with painted toenails.
    It was pure madness.
    The next day I was handed a beautiful drawing colored in pantones of the Cow dancing with his crazy painted toenails popping out of those rubber boots!
    Kaj drew it and signed it for a guy he had not yet even met.
    Kaj Pindal is a wonderful man!
    Long live this quiet genius!

  • Mitch Kennedy

    Kaj has such a sense of humour, even now! So does Amir, and Chris too is a fantastic guy. I’m really glad that they’re doing this!

  • w

    Not bad for a dead guy. :p

  • Kaj is absolutely adorable, I can’t help but smile whenever I see him in the studio 8)