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The husband-and-wife team of John and Faith Hubley, who brought a humanistic perspective and a distinctly modern style to postwar American animation, will be honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday, September 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Oscar-winning animator and renowned animation historian John Canemaker will host this in-depth look at these two iconoclastic artists.
The films the Hubleys made, together and independently, earned seven Academy Award nominations and two Oscars. The Hubleys took home Oscars for ‘The Hole’ (Cartoon Short Subject, 1962) and ‘Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Double Feature’ (Cartoon Short Subject, 1966) and were nominated for ‘Windy Day’ (Cartoon Short Subject, 1968), ‘Of Men and Demons’ (Cartoon Short Subject, 1969), ‘Voyage to Next’ (Animated Short Film, 1974) and ‘The Doonesbury Special’ (Animated Short Film, 1977, with Garry Trudeau). John Hubley also earned an Oscar for ‘Moonbird’ (Cartoon Short Subject, 1959), and Faith served as producer on the film.
At the time of their marriage in 1955, John Hubley had been in the industry for 20 years, first at Disney, then Columbia/Screen Gems, and later as creative director and production chief at UPA. Faith Elliott had worked in Hollywood since the early 1940s as a music and film editor and script supervisor at Columbia and Republic Pictures. After John’s careers in Hollywood were derailed by the blacklist, they decided to marry and relocated to New York and embarked on a personal and professional partnership that revolutionized independent animation and influenced a generation of filmmakers.
The Hubleys resolutely maintained their artistic freedom, taking on commercial projects in order to fund their personal films. They tackled controversial themes such as environmental pollution, race relations, war and overpopulation, as well as celebrated the joy of children at play and young people in love. Following John’s death in 1977, Faith continued making films until her death in 2001.
Canemaker will showcase four of John Hubley’s UPA shorts and a selection of TV commercials; Faith’s favorite of her solo shorts; and six shorts produced by John and Faith Hubley together, including a newly discovered fragment of animation from Façade, William Walton’s musical setting of poems by Edith Sitwell.