‘Paperman’: Oscar-nominated Disney short takes a page from classics
"Paperman," by John Kahrs, is up for an Academy Award. The animated short film tells the story of a man who uses paper airplanes in a desperate attempt to attract the attention of a woman who works across the street. (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)Link
Minkyu Lee's animated short "Adam and Dog" is up for an Oscar. The film, which won an Annie Award last year, follows the first man and the first dog in the newly created Garden of Eden. (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)Link
"Fresh Guacamole," by PES, is an Oscar contender in the animated short film category. In the film, an unseen cook uses strange household items as ingredients for guacamole. (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)Link
David Silverman's animated short "Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare'" is up for an Oscar. The short chronicle's Maggie's day at the Ayn Rand School for Tots. (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)Link
"Head Over Heels," by Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly, is up for an Academy Award in the animated short film category. The film, which performed well on the festival circuit, is about a married couple who have developed an unusual living agreement after years of growing apart. (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)Link
If you missed it in theaters, Disney’s Oscar-nominated romance “Paperman” is now online, in time for Valentine’s Day.
The animated short film screened before “Wreck-It Ralph” in theaters last fall and debuted on YouTube Tuesday, already garnering more than 26,000 “likes.”
“Paperman” is about a young office worker in midcentury New York who meets his soul mate while waiting for the train. The train arrives and the girl is gone, but he gets a second chance at a meet-cute when he looks out his office window and sees her in the skyscraper across the street. Cue the paper airplanes.
It’s a love story rendered in gorgeous black and white, harking back to the days of hand-drawn animation — which is exactly what first-time director John Kahrs was aiming for. When Kahrs served as animation supervisor on Disney’s “Tangled,” he worked closely with Glen Keane — the veteran Disney animator behind “Aladdin” and Ariel in “The Little Mermaid” — and was inspired by his classic approach to animation.
“Seeing all that drawing, being at Disney, being surrounded by that legacy,” Kahrs told animation publication Cartoon Brew last summer. “How exciting, and how much punch there is in the drawn line, how expressive it can be. And how hard the CG guys have to work to try to match that charm. I thought, Why do we have to leave these drawings behind? Why can’t we bring them back up to the front of the image again? Is there a way that CG can kinda carry along the hand drawn line in a way that we haven’t done before?”
That effect was achieved thanks to new in-house software called Meander, and the result is a film that looks like it was lifted from another era. Watch it in the video above and let us know what you think in the comments.
“Paperman” is up against four other films in next month’s Academy Awards. The other Oscar contenders in the animated short film category include “Adam and Dog,” about the first man and the first dog in the garden of Eden; “Maggie Simpson in ‘The Longest Daycare,’” which chronicles the pint-sized character from “The Simpsons” throughout her strange day at the Ayn Rand School for Tots; “Fresh Guacamole,” in which an unseen cook uses strange ingredients to make guacamole; and “Head Over Heels,” about a married couple who have developed an unusual living situation after years of growing apart. Click through the gallery above for a look at each film.
The winner will be announced Feb. 24 during the 85th Academy Awards.
– Noelene Clark
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