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Western Animation / Crac

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Crac is a 1981 Canadian animated short film by Frédéric Back.

Somewhere in the forests of Quebec, a woodsman chops down a tree. Wood from the tree is carved into a rocking chair, which comes into the possession of a farmer and his wife. The husband and wife and their children use the chair over many years, while bucolic, rural Quebec becomes steadily less bucolic and less rural. All of this is seen from the perspective of the chair, which turns out to have a life of its own.


  • Animate Inanimate Object: The chair. It's not immediately clear, but after a point the smiley face painted on the top of the chair can be seen changing expressions. At the end, when the chair is alone in the museum, it rocks itself, only to go still again when the security guard enters.
  • Arcadia: The beautiful, lush rural village inhabited by the farmer. Woodsmen chopping trees, waterfalls, bubbling streams. All ruined when industrialization comes.
    • (Coincidentially, that region of Quebec is known as Acadia, and the French-descended populace are called Acadians. Some of them were driven southwards to French Louisiana by the English and are now called Cajuns).
  • Call-Back: As the chair sits in the museum, it remembers its past, and all the pictures come to life and show scenes from the wedding and the family's life.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: When the chair breaks under the farmer, he swears out loud. The sound is bleeped out (that is, rendered largely inarticulate). However, we know what those words would have been, as an image appears above the farmer showing a chalice, a host and a tabernacle. He would have thus exclaimed something like "Caulisse d'hostie de tabarnaque!" - a string of religion-based swear words in Quebec French.
  • Corporal Punishment: The first time one of the children breaks the chair, a view on the father's angry face cuts to a scene where the child is rubbing his rear end - implying a spanking occurred - while the father repairs the chair.
  • Down on the Farm: The chair passes decades in the home of a Québécois wheat farmer.
  • Historical Domain Character: Cornelius Krieghoff, the Dutch-born Canadian landscape painter, appears.
  • Imagine Spot: The children like to play in the chair and imagine that they are fishing or piloting a ship.
  • Just in Time: The chair is about to get chucked into a garbage truck when the museum guard sees it. It becomes the guard's seat while on duty, and eventually becomes a popular sitting spot for children, once again.
  • Magical Realism: The night of the wedding dance, a Chasse-galerie (a canoe made to fly by the Devil from Quebec folklore) flies by. And the chair is shown to have a life of its own. Otherwise, life in this place is pretty down-to-earth.
  • Time Passes Montage: The chair gets chucked outside, the farm is sold, and many years pass. This is illustrated by shots of construction, of lots of apartment buildings being thrown up, of a nuclear plant being constructed, protesters at the nuclear plant, and the construction of a museum.
  • Time Skip: Several, but one stands out. One shot has the mother sitting in a chair as her children circle her. In a single transition, all the children morph into adulthood while the mother's hair goes gray.
  • Title Drop: "Crac" is the sound of the tree toppling.
  • Written Sound Effect: "CRAC" is actually seen on the screen as the tree falls.