Remember when animation used to be lively? Full of verve? Even — dare I say it — playful? I’m back with another sterling example of the genius of John and Faith Hubley; this time it’s 1958’s The Tender Game, about the process of a young man and woman falling in love. There is a wealth of wonderful things to celebrate here, so let’s start with the music: Ella Fitzgerald sings the beautiful ballad, “Tenderly,” backed up and extended by The Oscar Peterson Trio. Um, wow. Bob Kurtz and I have been searching in vain for years for a clean recording of this track, which features these stellar talents at their jazzy prime. Apparently, this track was recorded during the same 1954 sessions Hubley had for his sadly uncompleted feature film, Finian’s Rainbow, where he not only had Ella and Oscar, but also Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra, and a host of other jazz and big band legends. But that’s another storyâ€¦..