Bob’s Birthday (1993)

Bob (Andy Hamilton) is turning 40. His wife, Margaret (Alison Snowden), is preparing a surprise party for her husband, with cake, kebabs and all the fixings. Unfortunately,  he’s more curious about the young receptionist at his dental practice because he just might be suffering from a midlife crisis, even though his older patient, Mrs. Schimmelbiscuit, swears 40 is the best age to be. With a houseful of hidden guests, Bob comes home with big life questions, trashes their friends, and prances around with no pants as the party-goers lie awkwardly in wait for the big surprise. Bob’s sudden urge for children and realization of mortality leaves Margaret speechless as he prepares for the ruse dinner out. Will the party come to fruition, or will Bob’s midlife ruminations spoil a good thing?

Bob’s Birthday is a hilarious and cringe-worthy 12-minute short that asks the big questions at the worst time. Alison Snowden and David Fine, British-Canadian directors and animators, created this wholly adult contribution to the animated short film collection for the National Film Board and Channel 4. The film was nominated for a BAFTA and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short in 1995.

Review by Carolyn Mauricette

Available on:




Animated Stories, Free to Watch, Oscars

Canadian connection

Written and directed by Alison Snowden and David Fine
If you wondered about the fate of Bob, Margaret and their two dogs, the short was a pilot for the series Bob and Margaret, which ran for four seasons from 1998 to 2001.