Communicating and Relating



Showcasing many forms of animation, this collection of funny and heartwarming short films asks young students to consider how we relate to friends and family, and inspire us to make the most of these relationships. Some of the filmmakers will also be in attendance to discuss their work and answer questions.

Themes: friends, family, nature, animation, inspiration, trust

Recommended for grades 1-4 (ages 5+)

This program screens as part of FRESH FRAMES for elementary schools.


No dialogue.

What came first: the chicken or the egg? We may never know, but we do know that when new ideas hatch, they have the potential to grow into something remarkable. In Dan (the Mandarin word for egg), the evolution of a rooster illustrates a journey, which may not end up being what it was expected to be.

Note: Director Chloe Xi Hua will be in attendance for a Q&A

Themes: inspiration, animals, expectation

How to Make Hamburgers

No dialogue.

The title says it all. Stop motion wizard Alexander Unger makes a delectable burger out of plasticine in this simple, but to the point, mixed media assemblage of ingredients. 

Themes: food, animate anything

If You Fall

Eight year old Lila takes on the daunting task of learning how to ride a bicycle as she faces an unfamiliar role-reversal at home. Without your parents holding on to you, there’s still a comforting reassurance in knowing that your family is always there to catch you if you fall. 

Note: Director Tisha Deb Pillai will be in attendance at a Q&A

Themes: family, supporting each other, gender roles, trust, art


Mr. Night Has a Day Off

No dialogue.

Sometimes making a drastic change is as easy as flicking a switch on your day off. Changes are afoot when Mr. Night takes a break for the day! A comical and ambitious stop-motion concept executed with precision and flair, this film was an audience favourite at the Annecy Animation Film Festival in France. 

Themes: live-action/animation, mischief, science, comedy

The Little Bird and the Caterpillar

No dialogue.

High up in a maple tree, a little bird cherishes the green leaves that its home is made of. Resolutely, a hungry caterpillar sets out to eat the appetizing leaves, and a comical pursuit ensues.

P.S. There will be farting.

Themes: animals and insects, motivation, friendship, survival

The Mountain of SGaana

This magical tale entwines traditional animation with formal elements of Haida art. A young fisherman cruises a rugged shoreline as a tiny mouse in Haida regalia appears and starts to knit a blanket. A story unfolds on the blanket, illustrating this ancient story. When a SGaana (the Haida word for “killer whale”) captures master hunter Naa-Naa-Simgat, and drags him down into a supernatural world, the courageous Kuuga Kuns sets off to save him. Will they manage to escape, or will they become part of this deep sea spirit world forever?

Themes: nature, legend, love, environment, folklore

The Pocket Man

No dialogue.

A little man lives alone in an old suitcase on the sidewalk. With so much foot traffic, it’s not the safest place for a home. One day this little man meets a much bigger man, and each having something unique to offer, they end up helping one another. A friendship like no other is born.  

Themes: friends as family, disability, new perspectives


No dialogue.

In her latest animated short, the Academy Award-winning director Torill Kove (The Danish Poet) explores the beauty and complexity of parental love, the bonds that we form over time, and the ways in which they stretch and shape us.

Themes: family, love, letting go, trust

Ukaliq and Kalla Go Fishing

Two unlikely friends, a lemming and an Arctic hare, spend the day ice fishing. The lemming embodies the calm, thoughtful nature of traditional hunters and those that live in the Arctic. By contrast, the rabbit is well-meaning, but impatient. Ukaliq and Kalla is an Inuit tale about the importance of being kind, thoughtful, and prepared for whatever comes.

Themes: friendship, hunting, The North, patience, environment