You can not get more Canadian then this: Helicopter Canada. This historical documentary was produced to help commemorate Canada’s centennial anniversary, back in 1967. Given that it was filmed forty-seven years ago, the video quality is surprisingly good and some of the one liners are genuinely hilarious.
Helicopter Canada was originally meant for an international audience (i.e. to lure tourists to Canada). It’s worth a watch for the beautiful helicopter footage of our home and native land, made even more interesting by the fact that it is now forty years dated. The narrative has a wonderful tongue in cheek humour to it, as you can see from some of these quotes:
“Canada was once knee deep in ice. It began to warm up about 20,000 years ago. That process is almost complete. It is now warm enough to swim in most of Canada at least part of the time.”
“Canadians live right next door to Americans and have to protect themselves. This fort was built for just such a purpose. (Showing footage of period reenactors with cannons.) They practiced very hard but the Americans never came. (Showing tourists watching reenactors fire cannons in a preserved fort.) So now they pretend to practice and the Americans pay money to watch.”
Other Canadian documentaries I’ve got cued up in my to-view list include Indie Game, which follows indie game designers as they work to develop games and hope to breakthrough to the big time, and The Hole Story, as expose style documentary covering the Canadian mining industry.
Netflix has CanCon for the kid’s too. Franny’s Feet is one of our favourite Canadian kid’s cartoons. If you’ve yet to watch this one with your kiddos, I highly recommend it. In each episode Franny tries on a different pair of shoes that her grandfather has been hired to repair in his shoe shop, and her imagination takes her to different places based on the footwear she’s wearing, places like a Native American powwow or skating on the Rideau Canal. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Netflix will add additional seasons soon!
The Caillou TV series and the Thomas and the Magic Railroad movie are two other Canadian made favourites that my girls enjoy. Check out this list of Canadiana Netflix titles for both big and little kids. All of these shows have a touch of Canadian content; they were either filmed in Canada (like Thomas and the Magic Railroad), take place in Canada (like Are You Afraid of the Dark) or were created here (like Caillou and Franny’s Feet).
What Canadian favourites have you and your family dug up on Netflix?