Oops, Son. You Slept With Your Mama and Killed Your Pa | Watch 3 Greek Myths Unfold on NFB.ca

Though almost three thousand years old, Greek myths are still wildly entertaining and relevant to contemporary humans.

Be it the outlandish plot lines, borrowing from cannibalism, incest, bestiality, infanticide or the outrageous cast, replete with composite half-this, half-that creatures, and fire-breathing, snake-haired oddballs, there’s something about Greek mythology that keeps us all coming back for more.

See for yourself with 3 NFB interpretations of these timeless, freaky classics.


If you remember, Icarus is the guy who was stuck in a labyrinth with his dad and that disquieting bull-man guy called the Minotaur. Things weren’t really popping for them there, so the father, ever crafty, devises a plan to escape. It involves wax, and feathers, and ultimately a useful moral about hubris, which is when you start forgetting you’re aren’t a god after all, even though you were just flying through the Ancient Greek sky like it was nothing at all. The animation, which mixes sketches with hyper-precise pencil drawings and watercolors, is without words. Some cartoon nudity.


“Maybe we don’t always know who we are,” Paul Driessen’s Oedipus tells his support group when he finally decides to seek help for his “love problems.” He is having flashbacks. He is unwell. “What’s the problem with the lady?” he wonders. To find out, this Oedipus, who has a most intriguing accent, decides to wind back the time and search his past for cues about what happened that fateful night. This is by no means a classic rendition of the granddaddy of disturbing myths, but Driessen really goes to town with it – as only he could. Some cartoon blood and violence.


This Narcissus isn’t a cartoon; he’s a perfect 80s dancer with a dirty blonde bowl cut and an olive Speedo. Narcissus’ problem is he’s feeling on himself too much. He’s too into himself. He’s rejecting super cute nymphs who want to frolick about with him. He’s even too good for other guys like him. The only thing that really gets him going is his own reflection, which he catches a glimpse of in a pool of still water. It’s like a mirror! Narcissus really likes that. His face. His hairless pecs. But as this Norman McLaren masterpiece evolves, we understand that Narcissus is in a bad way. He’s doomed, going about his days like a self-obsessed, selfie-stick-toting teenager. It cannot be healthy. The last half of the film, full of gorgeous mirroring and afterimages, is stellar. Come for the perfect bodies and leotards; stay for the virtuosic animation and art.