Art and Jazz in Animation: The Cosmic Eye (1986) DVD9
In the early 1950s, John Hubley was prospering animator with the upstart UPA studio (a creative group that essentially redefined animation and character design, breaking from the flowing realist look of Disney and allowing for sharper angles and greater stylization). Yet, at the height of his achievements, Hubley was singled out by the House Committee on Un-American Activities as a Communist. Although Hubley himself adamantly denied the charges, he refused to point the finger to someone else, and so was ousted from the studio and blacklisted.

This is actually the beginnings of a wonderful story, and from this point in his career, Hubley began to work with his wife Faith to create independent animations that spoke from, and to, the heart. Several of these films became Academy Award nominees, and Academy Award winners as well.

Beginning in the mid-'50s, the husband-and-wife team of John and Faith Hubley broke new ground in animation with their explorations of complex ideas, cutting-edge graphics, and jazz soundtracks. When jazz was still largely marginalized as an art form in America, the Hubleys worked with Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, and Lionel Hampton. For visual inspiration, they looked to the paintings of Picasso, Matisse, Miro, Klee, and Modigliani. Their short films are very different from Hollywood cartoons.

The Hubley films are adult in the best sense of the word: not sexually explicit or gruesomely violent, but thoughtful, imaginative reflections on serious themes.

For 40 years, John and Faith Hubley have expanded our appreciation of the universe with animated films of insight and wit using the musical talents of the finest jazz artists of all-time, including Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Dudley Moore and Benny Carter. Featured in this four hour volume: the feature-length "The Cosmic Eye"--three musicians from outer space bring a message of peace to our planet; Academy Award nominees "Voyage to Next"--Mother Earth and Father Time observe the state of life on our planet--and "Of Men and Demons"--the gods of rain, wind and fire team up to ruin a simple farmer's tranquil life; and Oscar-winner "The Hole"--two construction workers debate the fate of the world from under the streets of New York. Also includes: The Tender Game, Eggs, Urbanissimo, Harlem Wednesday, Adventures of an *, The Hat, Dig, Of Stars and Men.

-- The Cosmic Eye (A film by Faith Hubley, music by Benny Carter & others, 71 min.)
-- Voyage to Next (Music by Dizzy Gillespie, 10 min.)
-- Of Men and Demons (Music by Quincy Jones, 10 min.)
-- The Hole (Music by Quincy Jones, 15 min.)
-- The Tender Game (Music by Ella Fitzgerald and The Oscar Peterson Trio, 6 min.)
-- Eggs (Music by Quincy Jones, 10 min.)
-- Urbanissimo (Music by Benny Carter, 6 min.)
-- Harlem Wednesday (Music by Benny Carter, 10 min.)
-- The Adventures of * (Music by Benny Carter, Soloist: Lionel Hampton, 10 min.)
-- Of Stars and Men (Music of Bach, Beethovan, Handel, Mozart, Vivaldi, 53 min.)
-- The Hat (Music and voices of Dizzy Gillespie and Dudley Moore, 18 min.)
-- Dig (Music by Quincy Jones, 25 min.)

DVD9 | NTSC 4:3 | 04:05:46 | 7.87 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English, Music
Subtitles: none
Genre: Animation, Drama, Short

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