Hen Hop (1942)

Hen Hop (1942)
Article 5859 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 10-9-2020
Directed by Norman McLaren
Voice cast unknown
Country: Canada
What it is: Abstract chickens

Hens (and parts of hens) boogie to square dance music.

It’s another exercise in abstract animation from Norman McLaren, but this one is somewhat less experimental in that much of the visual content clearly resembles dancing chickens, even if sometimes they’re still in the egg or just consist of chicken legs. Sometimes it’s just parts of chickens, but they’re recognizable nonetheless. The opening credits make it clear that a camera was not used to make this film; McLaren painted directly on the film to achieve the effect. I don’t know if the square dance song is actually “Turkey in the Straw” (it sounds like it, but the lyrics don’t match), but it might as well be. And at only four minutes of length, it doesn’t wear out its welcome. Actually, this is one of the most enjoyable of his shorts to date.


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