376. The Hole – John Hubley, Faith Hubley

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SUMMARY: Two construction workers at the bottom of a hole discuss the possibility of nuclear war.

WHY IT’S HERE: The winner of the 1962 Best Animated Short Oscar was again John and Faith Hubley. Like their previous winner ‘Moonbird’, ‘The Hole’ takes the recording of an unscripted conversation as its soundtrack. This time it was an improvised discussion between Dizzy Gillespie and George Mathews in the roles of two construction workers. Their trivial chatter about dancing and washing-up soon turns to the subject of nuclear weapons. ‘The Hole’ employs the same minimal, transparent-character animation as ‘Moonbird’ but takes a more downbeat subject matter for its theme. It was likely this subject matter that won it the award, given the reality of the Cold War that America was facing up to at the time. ‘The Hole’ is a fine piece of work but perhaps a little overlong at 15 minutes. The conversation is interesting and amusing but becomes a tad monotonous after a while. The Hubley’s would go on to make better shorts in this style but ‘The Hole’ is still well worth seeing for its historical significance and the continued development of the Hubley’s experimental style.

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