A Tribute To Richard Condie


I have been meaning to do this one for quite some time. After my tribute to the artist Stephen Gammell, there has been so many hits on it I figured I should branch out to other artists I really like. So today I will be tipping the hat for Richard Condie, an artist who not only had a unique animation style but really captured the art of humanity. Growing up I would catch these cartoons from time to time and the absurdity of the characters kept my attention but it wasn’t until recently did I get the sociological lessons not only the characters played but the plot and setting too. They are smart, funny and at times bizarre but never dull.

Condie, a resident Canadian graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts degree and worked as an accomplished sociologist, musician and performer for a number of years. It wasn’t until 1971 when he was “fooling around” did he find his artistic outlet in the form of animation. Soon he made the short, Oh Sure thanks to a grant from the Canadian Counsel and it was later purchased by the National Film Board Of Canada. I’d say that was an ego boost to have your first film picked up.

I’m going to share some of my favorite shorts that Condie created. You have to keep an open mind because they are a little far out but that’s the magic. I’m so tired of the message of the story being handed to you. It always means more to me when it is hidden behind sentence fragments, strange voiced sound effects and characters that had to be created through drugs. Here’s the first one which is a later creation Richard did in 1991. The Apprentice:

I’m going to honest with you, I have no clue what that was about. But I do know I like it and that is all that matters. How often do you get to watch a cartoon and see a dragon burp up a dude’s head? Not often my friends and that is where the magic comes to life.

Condie’s creative animations also found a spot advertising for the Canadian Customs and Exercise Department warning travelers not to smuggle opera singing bird/gerbils. Now if the US government would get on board with ads like this I promise that the amount of smuggling, embezzlement, and international law bending would come to a halt. At least I would stop.

This one is my absolute favorite and the most memorable. It’s a great message about the absurdity of nuclear war, loving your spouse and sawing your cat. I love this to know extent and is the main reason I wanted to share Richard’s work with anyone who may have missed it. Here it is, The Big Snit:

“Always shaking your eyes!”

Since 1971, Richard Condie really has put Canada on the map for animation. His awards and accolades over the years have been in the hundreds and he has even been nominated for an Oscar and a Genie as well as many international film fest awards. There is no doubt he is one of the greats and once again, Canada has provided America with true comedy.

6 Comments

  1. Oh my GOD!
    THE BIG SNIT!
    I learned about Richard Condie in College, and THIS has to be the funniest cartoon ever made….I can’t believe you have the WHOLE THING! I have to go home and watch it!

    “STOP SAWING THE TABLE!”

  2. Why do I have no recollection of this man?

  3. KB, now you do!

    Kittymao. I knew you were down with The Snit.

  4. I must confess I have never heard of this man in my entire life…until now, of course. I can’t really say that I understood the first video, but I was definitely amused by it. And if our PSA’s were as great as the middle video, everybody would report sexual abuse, refrain from drug use, and stop/drop/roll for a fire. Thanks for a very amusing lesson in art history!

  5. Billy, I thank you.

    Seeing this had the memorys flooding back, growing up in canada I’d see little bits and pieces of NFB animations in between Mr. Dressup and The Friendly Giant, I didnt remember any specific ones until I saw the Big Snit, My teacher even showed it to the class in (I think) Grade 4.

  6. That’s our WIll. The scrabble game of life always give him only E’s.


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