The Best NFB Films of the 1940s

Films

With over 3000 films that you can stream for free online, picking a starting point can be tricky!

Enjoy a (subjective) list of the 10 best NFB films from the 1940s!

Alouette

This animated short illustrates the popular song Alouette, gentille alouette.

Alouette, René Jodoin & Norman McLaren, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Begone Dull Care

Watch and listen as Evelyn Lambart and Norman McLaren are joined by the Oscar Peterson Trio in this ode to colour, form and music.

Begone Dull Care , Evelyn Lambart & Norman McLaren, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Boogie-Doodle

Get into a ragtime-inspired groove with the music of Albert Ammons and the experimental animation of Norman McLaren.

Boogie-Doodle, Norman McLaren, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Canada Calling

Focusing on the CBC, this short doc illustrates the variety of radio fare available during the 1940s.

Canada Calling, David A. Smith, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Churchill’s Island

Get a rare glimpse inside the U-boats and flotillas of the Isle of Britain’s WWII defenses. This film won the NFB its first Oscar®, and was the first doc to ever take home the prestigious award.

Churchill's Island, Stuart Legg, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Five for Four

Discover this Norman McLaren short in which symbols, drawn directly onto 35mm film stock, move and dance to convey the importance of wartime savings.

Five for Four, Norman McLaren, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Hot Ice

This short doc offers a close-up view of a hectic hockey game in which the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers fight to break a tied score.

Hot Ice, Irving Jacoby, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

How to Build an Igloo

Brush up on your igloo-making skills with this classic short film that shows how to make a winter shelter using only snow and a knife.

How to Build an Igloo , Douglas Wilkinson, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Now – The Peace

On January 9, 1951, the UN Headquarters opened in New York. In honour of this anniversary, learn how the United Nations came into being with this short film from 1945.

Now – The Peace, , provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Warclouds in the Pacific

Facing the greatest threat in their history, the democracies of the Pacific took careful stock of this new Japan and its strength, and erected a vast system of defence across the world’s greatest ocean.

Warclouds in the Pacific, Stuart Legg, provided by the National Film Board of Canada