2004 | 17 MIN

Animation Technique: 2D





It's a film about the uneasy co-existence between life and Mr. Death.

Mr. Reaper's Really Bad Morning  is an experimental cartoon.  Most short animated films seek to present
a single idea, to pare it down to it's essence.  This is not one of those films.  Conventions of the animated
cartoon are re-imagined and combined with those of experimental and silent film to present what is the
antithesis of animation, a cartoon essay true to the spirit of the mythological personification of Death.

In the 21st century Mr. George Reaper has become your average 9 to 5 working stiff, eking out an ineffectual existence, reduced to a pale shade of his former glorious self.  The film has him wake up, get ready for work, wait for a bus and suffer humiliation at the hands of Norman the Daisy.

The film is in four parts with a prologue and is structured using Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

"Mr. Reaper's Really Bad Morning is a wonderful tour de force of style and concept. I loved it!"

Bill Plympton
Academy Award nominated animator

"Very rarely could one watch the Grim Reaper doing his work and be so amused by it. As shown in this short film, this terrific animation stands between cartoon and experimental film language, and can almost be called a classic piece from the Canadian animation school."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Aug 15, 2005 newspaper article about the Weiterstadt Open Air Film Festivaltranslated from the German




Bronze Award
Kalamazoo Animation Festival International

Best Animation and People's Choice Award
Spectrum International Short Film Festival

Best of the Festival Open Air Film Festival Weiterstadt

Best of the Festival Interfilm International Short Film Festival

Official Competition
Anima Mundi International Animation Festival - Rio deJaneiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil
Interfilm International Short Film Festival - Berlin, Germany
Open Air Film Festival - Weiterstadt, Germany
Kalamazoo Animation Festival International - Kalamazoo, Michigan
Dawson City International Short Film Festival - Dawson City, Yukon
Ann Arbor Film Festival - Ann Arbor, Michigan
Spectrum International Short Film Festival - Red Deer, Alberta
International Festival of Animated Films Anifest Trebon - Prague, Czech Republic


Official Competition
Victoria Independent Film and Video Festival - Victoria, B.C.



Ottawa International Animation Festival, Canadian Animation: Looking for a Place to Happen
Alberta Arts Day, Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium


Uppsala International Short Film Festival - Sweden
Otafest - Calgary, Alberta
More Remarkable Festival Winners - Animpact, Seoul, Korea
Canadian Animation Festival - Canadian Trade Office, Taipei, Taiwan
Animondo - Lowave Screening, Pompidou Centre - Paris, France


Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival - Serbia and Montenegro
Canadian Animation, curated screening - Cineworks, Vancouver, B.C.
Calgary International Film Festival - Calgary, Alberta


Black Nights Film Festival - Estonia
Canadian Film Days at the Canadian Embassy -  Latvia
Canadian Cinema Weekend at Fri-Son fait son cinéma - Fribourg, Switzerland
Best of Canadian Animation at Anifest 3 - Budapest, Hungary
Schwenninger Shortfilmfestival - Germany
Casa da Animação - Porto, Portugal
Cinema Slam, Michigan Theater - Ann Arbor, Michigan
Annecy International Animation Festival, programme of Canadian animation - France
Classical/Digital, curated screening, Centre for Art Tapes - Halifax, Nova Scotia
Calgary Asian Film Festival - Calgary, Alberta
BYTE Youth Film Week - Whitehorse, Yukon
Cinematheque Quebecoise - Montreal, Quebec
Prairie Tales 7 Alberta Film and Video Tour
Alberta Scene albertaine Showcase of Alberta Arts - Ottawa, Ontario


Canadian Film Showcase, Ottawa International Animation Festival - Ottawa, Ontario
Calgary International Film Festival - Calgary, Alberta

Library Collections


Library and Archives Canada

Cinémathèque Québécoise
Montreal, Quebec

Luke Lindoe Library - Alberta College of Art and Design
Calgary, Alberta

Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design Library
Vancouver, B.C.

Quickdraw Animation Society
Calgary, Alberta

Calgary Public Library
Calgary Alberta

Edmonton Public Library
Edmonton, Alberta

Hospice Calgary
Calgary, Alberta




A film by
Kevin D.A. Kurytnik
Carol Beecher

Dedicated to 
Norman McLaren & Termite Terrace

Animation Assistant and Special Effects Animator
Jean-François Côté

Sound Design
Tona Ohama

Music Composition and Performance
Willy Joosen

Beethoven's Symphony no.9 in D Minor
op. 125 "Choral" selected

Design and Mix
Peter D'Amico
Recorded at Boxer Productions

Story and Design
Kevin D.A. Kurytnik & Carol Beecher

Digital Supervisor and CGI Animator
John Lees

Funding Provided by
The Canada Council for the Arts 
The Alberta Foundation for the Arts 
The Calgary Region Arts Foundation
The National Film Board of Canada
Alberta Heritage Scholarship Fund
Alberta College of Art and Design

Production Assistance
Don Best
Laurie Breitkreuz
Kerie Green
Bahar Khonsari
Robbin Martens
Akiva Romer-Segal
Rod Slamp
Simon Tang

The Floral Chorus
Tim Morrison - tenor
Don Goerzen - baritone
Rachel Hop - soprano
Faye Sidorsky - mezzo soprano

The Synthony Orchestra
Dorothy Bishop - cello
Laurie Syre - violin
Eva Sztrain - violin
Arthur Bachmann - viola
Willy Joosen - synth
Kai Poscenti - midi
Dewi Wood - midi

"Dry Bones"
Traditional Folk Song
Performed By
Donald Ray Johnson

Digital Ink and Paint Supervisors
Bahar Khonsari
Jean-François Côté

Colour Design
Bahar Khonsari

Additional CGI Animation
Kelly O'Hara

Digital Ink and Paint
John Torvi
Bahar Khonsari
Carol Beecher
Jean-François Côté
Svetlana Kamenetsky
Alan Ferguson
Rhea Darch
Anna Horabin
John Ku
Shawn Friesen
T.G. McLean
Steve Stark
Kelsey Gerlitz

Digital Production at
The Quickdraw Animation Society 

Digital Film Output
Acmeworks Digital Film Inc.


AS - Richard Reeves, Alan Ferguson
CSIF - David Jones,Pete Harris
EMMEDIA  - Jim Goertz,Brian Batista
Canada Disc and Tape - Doug Wong
Acmeworks Digital Film Inc. - Stephen Hagel
Glacis Technologies - Douglas Konzuk
Supervideo Systems - Andrew Jaremko
Web Master - Colin Krawchuk
Kaare Andrews
Jill Armstrong
Gael Blackhall
Jeff Bosworth
John Bride
Gabriel Collins
Rick Cooper
Susan Crandall
Art Curry
Michael Fukushima
Richard Harrow
Chris Hinton
Tanja Huber
Mandy Johnston
Al Klassen 
Jerry Krepakevitch
Sandy Lam
Warren Leonhardt
Trevor Mahovsky 
Pete Meadows
Sandy Mullins
Sri Pabbaraju
Carin Perron
David Ratzlaff
Trevor Redmond
Carolyn Reitzel
Aden Rimbey
Chris Robinson
Malcolm Sutherland
Jim Turner
Kris White
Marsha Williams-Day
Dan Woodruff
Clement Yeh
Cyndy Ward & Geoff Hunter
Grant Poier & Cori Stent 
Gary  & Bernice Tallin
Priit Pärn
Buster Keaton
Fiona Vickers
Paul Davis (Bytowne Cinema - Ottawa)
Geert Vergauwe (Take Two)

Extra Special Thanks
Tona Ohama
John Lees
Brian Batista
John Torvi
Bob & Ruth Beecher
Mike & Margie Kurytnik