Old Mr. Johnson has a problem. He lives a solitary and peaceful life, alone on top of a hill surrounded by nothing but the sounds of his own tuba playing and portraits of his mother. That all changes, however, when a cat mysteriously shows up on his doorstep. What begins as a pleasant surprise quickly leads to trouble as the cat breaks Old Mr. Johnson's one prized possession: the antique baby rattle he played with as a boy. With the burgeoning friendship tarnished by the loss, Old Mr. Johnson sets out on a journey to the forest to rid himself of the unwanted cat. But, the cat comes back. Each successive attempt to get rid of the cat only provides Old Mr. Johnson more anguish as the cat continues to come back ('the very next day'), successively destroying more of Old Mr. Johnson's belongings in the process. Ultimately the cat drives the Old Man to the brink of insanity. So much does he want the cat gone, that he's willing to destroy everything he owns, even if it means putting his life at risk. Does Old Mr. Johnson ever truly free himself of the cat? You'll have to read to find out!
'The Cat Came Back' was nominated for an Oscar in 1989 and won 16 awards, including the Genie for best animated short. It continues to be one of the National Film Board of Canada's most loved and requested films.
Cordell Barker is an award-winning animator whose films include the critically acclaimed Strange Invaders and Runaway, as well as 2016's If I Was God. Barker lives in Winnipeg where he can be found playing tennis when not animating.