star wars and neighbours

(Welcome to The Movies That Made Star Wars, a series where we explore the films and television properties that inspired or help us better understand George Lucas’ iconic universe. In this edition: the 1952 film Neighbours.)

It’s been said that Pablo Picasso called 1952’s Neighbours the greatest film ever made. Though I wouldn’t bestow that much honor to it, it is definitely a film you need to see and holds a special place in film history and the inspiration of Star Wars. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada and directed by Norman McLaren, it won the 1953 Academy Award for Best Documentary, Short Subject. This highly political film is disguised as a loosely animated parable for the dangers of war and possession. It was shot in a style called pixilation, that was novel at the time though it seems common enough these days, where live actors appear to be animated.

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