Short Films for the Holidays (Ages 8-11)

Short Films for the Holidays (Ages 8-11)

Gather the kids for some NFB classics new and old. This playlist for pre-teens includes some of the finest animation we have to offer, from both established and emerging filmmakers. Fairy tales, Inuit legends, and unshakeable cats feature in this selection of treasured films.

  • Hedgehog's Home
    2017|10 min

    Winner of over 35 international awards, Hedgehog's Home is an animated film by Eva Cvijanović. Based on the classic story by Branko Ćopić, a writer from the former Yugoslavia, it is a warm and universal tale that reminds us there truly is no place like home.

  • The Mountain of SGaana
    2017|10 min

    In The Mountain of SGaana, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter spins a magical tale of a young man who is stolen away to the spirit world, and the young woman who rescues him. The film brilliantly combines traditional animation with formal elements of Haida art, and is based on a story inspired by a old Haida fable.

  • The Cat Came Back
    1988|7 min

    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 1989 Genie Award for best animated short film.

    Love this film? Bring it home with you with its’official merchandise!

  • Sleeping Betty
    2007|9 min

    In this animated short, Sleeping Betty is stuck in bed, victim to a strange bout of narcolepsy. The King calls on his subjects to rescue her and they all respond to the call: Uncle Henry VIII, Aunt Victoria, an oddly emotional alien, a funky witch and a handsome prince. But will a kiss really be enough to wake the sleeping princess? The film, drawn in ink, is a classic example of the anachronistic and playful world of Claude Cloutier.

  • Meltdown

    In this short animation, a polar bear must try his luck finding a job in the big city when the last of his Arctic ice environment disappears. It’s hard fitting into the human world, however, so this bear finds a more creative solution to his predicament.

    This film was made as part of the 8th edition of the NFB's Hothouse apprenticeship.

  • Norma's Story
    campus 2015 | 5 min

    This animated short film is a stylistic and lively story of the profound effect of climate change on the people and wildlife of the Arctic. Northern communities provide authenticity to the story of climate change because they are experiencing its impacts now, not in some distant future.
    Temperature changes, unrivalled anywhere else on the planet, have significantly impacted the wildlife sustaining the Gwich’in First Nation and other northern communities.
    This film tells the true story of Norma, a Gwich’in woman who has experience dramatic changes in her way of life in just a few decades.

  • Shaman
    2017|5 min

    This animated short tells the story of a ferocious polar bear turned to stone by an Inuk shaman. The tale is based on emerging filmmaker Echo Henoche's favourite legend, as told to her by her grandfather in her home community of Nain, Nunatsiavut, on Labrador's North Coast. Hand-drawn and painted by Henoche in a style all her own, Shaman is the first collaboration between the Labrador artist and the NFB.

  • The Sweater
    1980|10 min

    In this animated short, Roch Carrier recounts the most mortifying moment of his childhood. At a time when all his friends worshipped Maurice "Rocket" Richard and wore his number 9 Canadiens hockey jersey, the boy was mistakenly sent a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey from Eaton's. Unable to convince his mother to send it back, he must face his friends wearing the colours of the opposing team. This short film, based on the book The Hockey Sweater, is an NFB classic that appeals to hockey lovers of all ages.

  • I Want a Dog
    2002|10 min

    In this animated short by Sheldon Cohen, young May wants a dog more than anything else in the world. She thinks about dogs all the time; she talks about them, reads about them and covers the walls of her bedroom with dog pictures. But every time she asks her parents for a puppy, they tell her to wait till she's older. But sticking to her motto of "If at first you don’t succeed, try again," May comes up with an ingenious idea to change her parents' minds. Based on the book by Dayal Kaur Khalsa.

  • Léon in Wintertime
    campus 2007 | 27 min

    In this short puppet animation we meet Léon, an 8-year-old adopted bear suffering from an identity crisis. The distraught cub runs away from home in wintertime and embarks on many adventures. He stands up to an ogre and saves a princess from ending up in a pea stew. His courage eventually leads him back to his parents, who work as beekeepers. Pure, tender and as sweet as honey, this is a delightful tale.