Kaj Gøtzsche Pindal (December 1, 1927 in Copenhagen, Denmark – June 28, 2019 in Ontario, Canada) was a Danish-born Canadian animator and animation educator who worked at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) beginning in 1957, and created such works as the Academy Award-nominated What on Earth! (1967, co-directed with Les Drew) and the 1988 NFB short Peep and the Big Wide World as well as the television series of the same name.
He began his career as an underground cartoonist during the German occupation of Denmark and was forced to flee his home city of Copenhagen when his series of anti-Hitler cartoons put his life in peril. After the Second World War, he made animated commercials in Sweden and at Denmark’s Nordisk Film, and worked on UNESCO films and filmstrips. He emigrated to Canada in 1957 and joined the NFB the same year.
His NFB credits also include The City: Osaka, created for Expo '70 in Osaka, and designed to give Japanese people a glimpse into Canadian life. This two-minute black-and-white film played during the world's fair on a screen composed of sixty thousand individual light bulbs. Pindal is the subject of a 1979 NFB documentary entitled Laugh Lines.
In addition to his work at the NFB, Pindal returned to Denmark for a year in 1970 and spent several months in 1983 teaching in Denmark and Sweden. He remained an influence in Canadian animation through his involvement with Sheridan College, where he had taught periodically from 1977 to 2019.
Pindal died on June 28, 2019 at the age of 91.
- "Kaj Pindal". Canadian Film Encyclopedia. Toronto: Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- Amidi, Amid (April 27, 2012). "Directors You Should Know: Kaj Pindal". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- Zahed, Ramin (June 28, 2019). "'Peep and the Big Wide World' Creator Kaj Pindal Dies at 91". Animation Magazine. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
- Kaj Pindal's blog
- Lambiek Comiclopedia article.
- Sheridan Animation Faculty biography
- Kaj Pindal on IMDb
- Watch films by Kaj Pindal, National Film Board of Canada website
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