Friday, 20 November 2020

EXPO 67 Urbanissimo! By CMHC

Wish I had a picture of the brochure though of course I have it for real!

Timeless story, really? Exciting? Of city growth!


(Picture on the front of the brochure)

Old man with cowboy hat, sun and town on train wheels


See the life of your time/expo 67 Montréal, Canada, April 28 – October 27, 1967







This thoroughly delightful NEW animated film

breathes fresh life and vigor into the exciting,

timeless story of City growth… Proudly

presented at Expo 67 for your enjoyment by


PORATION, and Canada’s federal housing agency.


“Urbanissimo” and its unique, colourful Expo

home – the “Enchanted City” Theatre – bring

together for the first time the talents of the

internationally known artists and film animators,

Norman McLaren of Canada and John and

Faith Hubley of New York City.


In this unusual undertaking, multiple images

by the Hubleys alternate with color experiments

using mobile sculptures created by McLaren –

the whole providing an innovation in theatrical

techniques and modern art forms.


[They] have brought their skills to the creation of a warm,

amusing and stimulating film on the formidable

subject of city growth and development. It is

an important commentary on modern urban

civilization. …


“Urbanissimo” will leave you laughing and… thinking!


Who knew that John Hubley died at 62 years in Febuary 1977 during open heart surgery. And that their films used jazz, in this case, amongst others, with Maynard Ferguson, and Ray Brown on acoustic double bass. It had Benny Carter as composer and Harry “Sweets” Edison on trumpet and Shelly Manne on drums.

     It was under six minutes long and was made in August 1966. This is the first time that the Hubleys worked in Canada.

     And, by CMHC, go figure!

But see for yourself. I found the movie on YouTube and there are more by John (who was blacklisted in the 50s) and Faith Hubley. I haven’t watched them all but I do recommend “Urbanissimo!” At Expo 67 and “Moonbird,” narrated by their two sons and which won an Oscar, and the Sesame Street letters. That last is sure to bring back memories.


You can find out more about John and Faith Hubley at


And       among many many sites.


At the Expo lounge website under the Man in the Community / Man and His Health subtitle there is a video tour of those pavilions. The first pavilion is where Urbanissimo! played and there is a bit of that film at the end of the video. There is also interesting information on those pavilions, like the fact that the wooden beams at the top were left open so that when it rained the rain fell into a pond in the middle of the pavilion.

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