Universe (1960) may be the NATIONAL FILM BOARD 's (NFB) most honoured film. It was nominated for an Oscar and won not only the Jury Prize for Animation at the Cannes Film Festival, but more than 20 other major awards.
The NFB put together its A-team for this 26-minute masterpiece, with Roman Kroitor and Colin LOW directing, Tom DALY editing, narration by Stanley Jackson, photography by Wolf Koenig, editing by Kathleen Shannon and music by Eldon RATHBURN. It takes the viewer far into the regions of space, beyond the moon, the sun and the Milky Way, and into the galaxies of deep space. It's a startling venture into groundbreaking special effects, a grand tour of the universe from our own planet to the far-flung galactic clusters, within the limits of mid-20th-century astronomical knowledge (some of which is now dated).
The film is a marvel of animation, made with such mathematical precision that it became required viewing by NASA technicians as they plotted to send a manned spacecraft to the moon. It attracted the attention of Stanley Kubrick, who used some of the techniques developed by the NFB team for the special effects in his epic 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Universe won CANADIAN FILM AWARDS for film of the year and best theatrical short, and the BAFTA (the British Oscars) for animated short.