Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Meet Kaj Pindal

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Dec 1, 1927. In the 1980s, out of respect for International AIDS Day that was established on this same date, Kaj pulled his birthday back to November 31st.

Since then, Kaj is always one day younger than he used to be!

Cartoonist and Animated Filmmaker.
“I very strongly feel the difference in the way people react when I tell them I'm an animator. 40 years ago there was a lot of prestige about it, animators MADE animated films, today it's more like a link in an assembly line”

Bio Summary
In school Kaj was the class cartoonist (as popular as Hockey players today). At age 18 he started working in an advertising agency, making animated commercials. This brought the attention of famed animator Borge Ring, and eventually David Hand, former supervising director of Snow-White and Bambi.

Kaj proceeded to make explanatory films for the Danish army and motor companies. So in 1957, when the National Film Board of Canada (a.k.a 'NFB') were commissioned to make an explanatory film about jet engines for the Royal Canadian Air Force, Kaj was invited to NFB bureau in Montreal, where he animated his way through their first golden age.

Kaj proceeded to make delightful cartoons which revived the rubber-hose animation style of the 1930s. Many of his films were made to deliver important messages, including public safety, anti-smoking, and even AIDS prevention.

Kaj also worked for Richard Williams in London and for Korty Films in San Francisco. He created "Peep and the Big Wide World" at the NFB, which was developed into an Emmy Award winning TV series.

Kaj has been teaching at Sheridan College for the past 3 decades, continuously inspiring those who are passionate about Animation.


  1. I can hardly wait to start reading all this! I am a big fan and thanks for letting me know about this blog, Amir!

    Looking forward to lots more on the remarkable Mr. Pindal!

  2. I'm one of his students from Sheridan College and Kaj is an amazing person and animator. We loved him.

  3. Will- you're very welcome! I'm glad you're excited to read these :)
    And yes, there will be lots me :)

    Total D- Kaj remembers you as one of the best animators to come out of Sheridan! Actually, we all agree with him :)

  4. Hi, Kaj. I always remember a wonderful night with you at Dave Andrews' home near San Francisco, talking about Carl Dryer and a million other things. All the best!

    Oscar Grillo

  5. I once sent a message home with Lars Pindal(Kaj's son) that I loved his "Old Lady who swallowed a fly".
    Especially the crazy Cow in boots with painted toenails.
    It was pure madness.
    The next day I was handed a beautiful drawing colored in pantones of the Cow dancing with his crazy painted toenails popping out of those rubber boots!
    Kaj drew it and signed it for a guy he had not yet even met.
    I feel fortunate that I got to meet him one afternoon and tell him how he was a great inspiration to me.
    Kaj Pindal is a wonderful man!
    Long live this gentle genius!