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Raoul Barré


B: January 29, 1874 in Montréal, Québec
D: May 21, 1932 in Montréal, Québec

He was christened Vital Achille Raoul Barré and he was a painter, caricaturist, illustrator, and pioneer in both advertising films and American animation. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris then returned to Québec. His comic strip, Pour un Dîner de Noël, was published in Montréal’s La Presse newspaper in December 1902 and is considered to be the first Québec comic strip. Barré moved to New York in 1903 where he worked as a commercial illustrator. He also participated in several expositions of Canadian painters. In 1912, he used the pseudonym VARB (his initials) and began the animal series Noah’s Ark for the McLure Newspaper Syndicate. He also pursued a career in animation, founding the Studio Barré-Nolan with his associate William C. Nolan in 1914. He worked with several young animators including Pat Sullivan, the future creator of Felix the Cat. Barré wrote, directed and animated over 30 shorts from 1914–19. The cartoons his company produced in 1914 & 1915 were distributed by the Edison Company in 1915 & 1916. Unfortunately, the partnership didn’t last. In 1916, William Randolph Hearst started the rival animation studio, International Film Service, and hired away most of Barré’s animators, including Bill Nolan. Barré became a contractor for IFS, animating the series Phables, but after just seven cartoons, he quit. In 1919 Barré retired from animation using his home in Glen Cove, Long Island, as a base to sell his oil paintings. In 1926, Barré acceped a position from his former employee to be a “guest animator” for Pat Sullivan Productions working on Felix the Cat. The cartoons Barré created for Sullivan are considered the best he ever did, as well as the best Felix cartoons ever made. Just one year later he quit animation again and returned to Montréal. He spent his last few years concentrating on oil paintings and occasionally drawing political cartoons. He died of cancer and is buried in the Montréal’s Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery. These are his credits as a director. Because of the era when they were made, they are all short films:

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

The Animated Grouch Chaser (1915)
Chez le coiffeur (1915)
Cartoons in the Kitchen (1915)
Cartoons in the Parlor (1915)
Cartoons in the Hotel (1915)
Cartoons in the Laundry (1915)
Cartoons on Tour (1915)
Sur la plage (1915)
Cartoons in a Seminary (1915)
Cartoons in the Country (1915)
Cartoons on a Yacht (1915)
Cartoons in a Sanitarium (1915)
Black’s Mysterious Box (1915)
The Phable of Sam and Bill (1915)
Feet Is Feet: A Phable (1915)
The Phable of a Busted Romance (1916)
A Newlywed Phable (1916)
The Phable of the Phat Woman (1916)
Cooks vs. Chefs: The Phable of Olaf and Louie (1916)
The Adventures of Tom the Tamer and Kid Kelly (1916)

The Story of Cook vs. Chef and Hicks in Nightmareland (1916)
Love’s Labors Lost (1916)
The Prospectors (1917)
The High Cost of Living (1919)