Computer animation is, undoubtedly, an art form. As welcome in some circles as it is loathed in others, it is probably here to stay. That’s fine, so long as it doesn’t completely choke out the traditional stop-motion animation techniques on display in this compilation from Emily and Faith Hubley.
“Delivery Man,” which dates back to 1982, is a visually hypnotic recollection of a dream from Emily Hubley. Full of swirling, spiraling inks morphing into and out of shapes to counterpoint the stream of consciousness narration, this is the simplest of the three films included here.
“My Universe, Inside Out” is, at twenty-seven minutes, the longest of the films and arguably offers the best reward to the eye. Again providing a counterpoint to a highly personal, possibly auto-biographical narration, Faith Hubley’s animation here is very eclectic; each frame resembling something you’d expect to find gracing the covers of greeting cards in an upscale bookstore.
While the animation for last year’s “Witch Madness” bears a strong, if stripped down, resemblance to that found in the prior film, the subject matter and style are both drastically different. Gone is the narration, which is somewhat of a relief. (Stream of consciousness can be like opera singing: it’s easy to be impressed by it, but hard to enjoy it.) In any event, this last film in the collection contrasts the figurative and, at times literal, deification of women during ancient times with the pogrom inflicted upon them during the dark days of the Salem witch hunts. Easily the best film of the three, “Witch Madness” is a scathing, sobering indictment and further proof that one doesn’t need a state-of-the-art computer animation program to make an effective animated film.