Paddle to the Sea

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Paddle to the Sea
Directed by Bill Mason
Produced by Julian Biggs
Screenplay by Bill Mason
Based on Paddle-to-the-Sea 
by Holling C. Holling
Starring Kyle Apatagen[1]
Narrated by Stanley Jackson
Music by Louis Applebaum
Cinematography Bill Mason
Distributed by National Film Board of Canada
Release dates
Running time
27 min 59 s
Country Canada
Language English

Paddle to the Sea (French: Vogue-à-la-mer) is a 1966 National Film Board of Canada short live-action film directed, shot and edited by Bill Mason, based on the 1941 children's book Paddle-to-the-Sea by American author and illustrator Holling C. Holling. The film follows the adventures of a child's hand-carved toy Indian in a canoe as it makes its way from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, through Canada's waterways. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film at the 40th Academy Awards. Louis Applebaum composed the musical score.[2][3]

The film differs from the children's book in its inclusion of the problem of water pollution. While Holling's 1941 book focuses only on the geography and commercial importance of the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River, Mason's film includes a sequence where the tiny boat must endure polluted waters, shot on Lake Superior near Marathon, Ontario.[4]


  1. Dean, Misao (2013). Inheriting a Canoe Paddle: The Canoe in Discourses of English-Canadian Nationalism. University of Toronto Press. p. 136. ISBN 978-1442612877.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Wyndham Wise, ed. (2001-09-08). "Paddle to the Sea". Take One's Essential Guide to Canadian Film. University of Toronto Press. p. 159. ISBN 978-0802083982.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Paddle to the Sea". Canadian Film Encyclopedia. Toronto International Film Festival.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Dean, p. 126

External links