Over the years the film industry has evidenced support for short films, particularly short animated films, that is reminiscent of the kind of outspokenly warm and generous relationship that upper class Victorians reserved for out-of-wedlock children.
The problem, of course, has been distribution. Since the demise of the practice of showing shorts before feature films to give the movie goer something else to come into the theater for (replaced by the much more sensible model of showing 30 minutes of ads), the theaters have wanted nothing to do with them. Likewise, Television has had no idea how to make money off of individual shorts. If it’s not a continuing shill for a line of toys and/or sugar-coated cereals, what good is it?
That distribution problem finally changed, of course, with the advent of the Internet, and short animations have experienced a resurgence, but prior to that there were a few bastions of support that kept short animations viable. One of the most notable and reliable has been the National Film Board of Canada whose support for short-form animation has been unswerving and is ongoing.
The NFB site is currently focusing on their history of support for animated shorts and has placed 50 of them online for your viewing pleasure.
They have also posted information about the history of the NFB, the techniques used by the filmmakers and the NFB animation studios.
Images at left, top to bottom: Richard Condi: The Big Snit, Jamie Mason: The Magic of Anansi, Yuan Zhang: Roses Sing on New Snow.
Link via Boing Boing