The Magnificent Hubleys

Presented by Animation Breakdown & FANDOR



“They were pioneers, as much as Gillespie and Miles Davis and Charlie Parker were in music, and their influence is enormous…they helped create something very rare in any art, a new way of seeing.” — John Sayles


Three distinct turning points exist in 20th-century American animation: Winsor McCay’s silent flights of fancy — the domination of Mickey Mouse/Bugs Bunny/Betty Boop — and the flowering of John & Faith Hubley, who emerged as the John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands of the art.   


After helping to define UPA’s now-classic, Mid-century “cartoon modern” style with his creation of Mr. Magoo and the groundbreaking, Oscar-nominated short Rooty Toot Toot, John Hubley forged a 25-year collaboration with his wife Faith that revolutionized the medium, creating films closer to the evocative qualities of jazz than to typical ‘toon conventions.  Working independently out of their New Jersey home, they created abstract, experimental shorts that riffed on loose, semi-improvised or “overheard” dialogue from the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Maureen Stapleton, Dudley Moore or their own children.


Their films are inimitable, their influence is undeniable, and never again will there be a pair as dynamic as they.  Celebrate the legacy of these Oscar-winning animation titans with a full weekend-long retrospective featuring many 35mm prints, new restorations, a museum with original prints for sale and live appearances by daughters Georgia Hubley (of Yo La Tengo) and Emily Hubley (a brilliant animator in her own right, and director of many films found in the Sunday night program.)  


BUY TICKETS ($12/free for members. Showtimes subject to change):
Friday, Sept. 26th, 7:30pm: John Hubley Centennial, Program 1
Saturday, Sept. 27th, 4:00pm: John Hubley Centennial, Program 2 (feat. new restoration of Of Stars And Men!)
Sunday, Sept. 28th, 7:30pm: The Films of Faith and Emily Hubley


Watch the trailer for “The Magnificent Hubleys”!


New 35mm prints courtesy of Artists Public Domain/Cinema Conservancy and Hubley Studio, Inc. Adventures of an *, Tender Game, The Hat, Eggs and Urbanissimo preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from The Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Fund. Moonbird and Of Men and Demons preserved by the Academy Film Archive.


ANIMATION BREAKDOWN: The Films of Faith & Emily Hubley (Emily & Georgia Hubley in person!)

9/28/2014 - 7:30PM


After John Hubley’s tragic passing in 1977, Faith Hubley continued past their twenty collaborations to create an equally impressive solo filmography, with a stronger focus on non-linear abstractness. These works often draw on Faith’s deep interest in mythology, celebrate the mysterious and unknown — and perhaps most importantly, also highlight the feminine and the “other.” In a time when independent animation was already difficult enough for anyone to pursue, a solo female artist was virtually unheard of in the field. John and Faith’s daughter Emily followed in her mother’s footsteps, first assisting with Faith’s animations, and eventually creating her own personal work starting in the ‘90s. Emily’s free-wheeling, yet emotionally grounded filmic tone does have a family resemblance, but her voice is firmly her own. Emily and Georgia Hubley in person!

Screening selections:
- Big Brown Eyes (dir. Emily Hubley, 1982, 16mm, 2 min.)
- The Tower (dir. Emily & Georgia Hubley, 1984, 16mm, 10 min.)
- Time of the Angels (dir. Faith Hubley, 1987, 35mm, 10 min.)
- Tall Time Tales (dir. Faith Hubley, 1992, 35mm, 8 min.)
- Her Grandmother’s Gift (dir. Emily Hubley, 1995, 35mm, 4 min.)
- My Universe Inside Out (dir. Faith Hubley, 1996, 35mm, 25 min.)
- One Self: Fish/Girl (dir. Emily Hubley, 1997, 35mm, 10 min.)
- Witch Madness (dir. Faith Hubley, 1999, 35mm, 9 min.)
- Pigeon Within (dir. Emily Hubley, 2000, DigiBeta, 4 min.)
- And/Or (dir. Emily Hubley, 2012, DCP, 5 min.)

Watch an excerpt from “One Self: Fish/Girl”!

ANIMATION BREAKDOWN: John Hubley Centennial, Program 2 (feat. brand-new restoration of "Of Stars And Men")

9/27/2014 - 4PM

The Hubleys’ blacklisting from the mainstream animation studio system in 1952, and the founding of their own basement shop, presented them with a wide-ranging freedom in both the commercial realm and their own personal works. This resulted in one of the first times American audiences recognized the animated medium as fine art, as John and Faith were able to address complicated subjects like race, environmental issues, and war — all while simultaneously celebrating the innocence of children. Saturday afternoon’s program presents a wide range of the Hubleys’ output, from a selection of TV ad spots to one of the couple’s most ambitious works, 1964′s Of Stars and Men: a spellbinding brew of dialogue-less, documentary style animation addressing humankind’s search for meaning in the universe. In typical Hubley fashion, these philosophical questions are revealed through the eyes of a child. Emily Hubley in person — plus, DJ Adam Papagan will be here to spin tunes before the show!

Screening selections:
- John Hubley ads collection (1950s, DCP, 8 min.)
- A Date with Dizzy (1958, DCP, 6 min.)
- The Hole (1962, 35mm, 15 min.)
- The Cruise (1966, digital presentation, 8 min.)
- Cockaboody (1973, 35mm, 9 min.)
- People, People, People (1976, 35mm, 5 min.)
- Of Stars and Men (1964, DCP, 53 min.)

Watch an excerpt from “Of Stars and Men”!

ANIMATION BREAKDOWN: John Hubley Centennial, Program 1

9/26/2014 - 7:30PM

Across all of their work — whether commercial, personal, or both — John and Faith Hubley maintained a fiercely independent collaborative practice from the early-’50s to the late-’70s, allowing them the freedom found in the auteur-animators that had proliferated in Europe. These films (including a bevy of classic shorts for Sesame Street and The Electric Company) are solely creator-driven, rather than dictated by the whims of any studio bureaucracy, and would go on to win multiple Academy Awards. The ripples of their influence were immediate, giving birth to a looser, freer style used by animators across the ‘60s and ‘70s, prefiguring the rise of the psychedelic movement, and having a direct effect on future heavyweights like Ralph Bakshi. Emily & Georgia Hubley in person — plus, DJ Nanny Cantaloupe (Dublab, KXLU) will be here to spin tunes before the show!

Screening selections (all in 35mm!):
- Adventures of an * (1957) – 10 min.
- Tender Game (1958) – 6 min.
- Moonbird (1959) – 10 min.
- The Hat (1964) – 18 min.
- Urbanissimo (1967) – 6 min.
- Windy Day (1968) – 8 min.
- Of Men and Demons (1969) – 11 min.