picassosummer picassosummer
Feature Film

Rare Animation Inspired by Picasso from “The Picasso Summer”

This one is new to me. The Picasso Summer is a 1969 feature based on a Ray Bradbury short story. It includes an impressively lengthy animated sequence based on Picasso’s artwork that holds up on its own.

The animation is credited to Wes Herschensohn, who was a producer on the film and also an animation veteran. But this in-depth article about the film claims the animation was produced by John and Faith Hubley. Based on the style, it’s entirely plausible that the Hubleys provided the animation, though I’ve never heard of them being associated with the project. Whoever made this, it’s a unique interpretation of Picasso’s artwork into animation, and deserves more attention than it has received.

  • truteal

    What a coincidence, I saw this scene yesterday at a restaurant

  • Terry Walsh

    The complete film starring Albert Finney and Yvette Mimeux is available from Amazon in the DVD-R format.. I’ve read that the film was never released to American theaters; but has been shown on TV.. Perhaps one day it will be shown on Turner Classic Movies.

  • AmidAmidi

    Yes, we posted about Minotauromaquia in 2008:

    There’s also a CG “Guernica” by Lena Grieseke:

  • popyea

    I also saw this just yesterday on tv, though it’s on fairly often. I like the animated bits, but most of the live action stuff is quite stupid. Like it’s been tacked-on just to help sell it as a hollywood feature.

  • Matt Jones

    Fascinating find Amid. That clip appears to be shot in the chapel at Vallauris where Picasso painted his War & Peace mural. I hope the film appears on Netflix or TV sometime-

  • AmidAmidi

    You’re correct, but it would appear that the article writer copied it from the Union website. Cutting and pasting an article does not make it two distinct sources. The key is to verify whether the original source is accurate, not to count how many times a piece of unverified info has been reposted online.

  • Al E. Jordan

    Fascinating stuff. I notice some of the techniques that the Hubleys used are comparative to CGI morphing technology. Is it possible that the Hubleys believed hard enough to envision that this kind of animation technique could be done through computer technology? Considering this was produced just 3 or 4 years before Ed Catmull and Fred Parke started tinkering with computers in a university science laboratory in Utah, it seems plausible.

  • tommo

    The DVD opening credits do not credit Serge Bourguignon (Sunday’s and Cybele) as director! Not sure why..

    • That’s interesting, who’s credited as director or did they skip that entirely?

      EDIT: Just reading the comments further down on that link posted above, I can see why since it sounds like the film was a mess at the start before another outfit stepped in to fix it.

  • Not having seen the film, I wish I could say if that’s true, but it’s out there online if you want to pay to know.