The Cat Came Back (Cordell Barker, 1983)

NFBI suspect that the NFB may be most widely known internationally for Cordell Barker’s The Cat Came Back (1983), probably in no small part to the unwavering advocacy of film critic Leonard Maltin.  The Winnipeg-based animator adapts an 1893 comic song of Henry S. Miller that had been popularized as a children’s song by Winnipeg-based performer Fred Penner – Penner recorded his 1979 version on an album of the same title.  Barker’s film inverts the predator-prey dynamic of classic animation pairings like Tom and Jerry or the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, and its strongly rhythmic quality and its excessively modulated soundtrack makes for a memorably uproarious animated short film.

As per the NFB:

This hilarious Oscar®-nominated animation is based on the century-old folk song of the same name.  Old Mr. Johnson makes increasingly manic attempts to rid himself of a little yellow cat that just won’t stay away…  Also won the Genie Award for best animated short film.

One thought on “The Cat Came Back (Cordell Barker, 1983)

  1. Silver Screenings July 14, 2016 / 7:45 pm

    This is one of my faves. Inventive animation and delightfully twisted.

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