15 user 5 critic

Neighbours (1952)

A surreal story of two neighbours' destructive feud over a flower.


Norman McLaren


Norman McLaren
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Grant Munro Grant Munro ... Neighbour on the Right
Jean Paul Ladouceur Jean Paul Ladouceur ... Neighbour on the Left


This film, shot in pixilation (a kind of stop-motion animation with actors), is about two neighbours who come to barbaric blows over a flower that straddles the property line. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Love your neighbor, meaning, to treat others as you would have them treat you.


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


When shown for the Academy Awards, the section when the characters murder each other's wives and children was edited out, and so it remained for 15 years for distribution in the USA - until the director, pressed by viewer complaints, had the film restored to the original. See more »

Alternate Versions

For many years, the only copies available were cut by about fifteen seconds - the sequence (about 6:45 to 7:00) with the two neighbours attacking each others' wives and babies was cut out. It was restored in the 1970s from an old print that was not in the best of condition. See more »

User Reviews

a funny yet poignant anti-war masterpiece..brilliant.
27 April 2001 | by bkwrdsSee all my reviews

norman mclaren's neighbours is a masterpiece of animation- it entertains, educates, and satirizes, all at once.

the plot of the film is simple, and predictable: two neighbours are fighting over a flower, which seems to fall directly between their two properties. naturally, the two fight over the flower until both they and the flower are destroyed.

however, underneath that simple plot, there lies a strong anti-war message. it points out that war does not allow for winners, only losers; and it reminds us that we've been known to forget why, exactly, we're fighting each other, killing each other, as well as each other's families.

the battle is shown with live-action/stop-go animation- which allows the effects of the flower on the two men to be exagarrated easily. this suits the film well, giving a serious topic a little light-heartedness.

an interesting side-note- the soundtrack was not recorded, but rather hand-painted (by mclaren himself) onto the soundtrack. this gives the soundtrack a boxy, nintendo-like quality.

in my mind, this film could sit easily with modern anti-war classics; never too preachy, never too simple.

truly enjoyable.

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Release Date:

1 January 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Voisins See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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