2/2/13

Animated Reviews - Paperman

In the continuing saga of Oscar nominations...we have one of the entries up for Best Animated Short on the chopping block...from Disney Studios Paperman. Beautiful..I find this be a delightful flick where even the wind can have a mind of its own and in someways it can determine fate. The challenge and thrill with short films is how to pack a story into a short span of time.

The premise of this short is during the 1930-1940's era, a man meets a woman by chance and by pure luck again he sees her in the building across the street where he works and thinks maybe he could send a paper air plane mail to her from his building's window. However as fate would have it, no mater how many planes he flies all of them are destined to miss the window and he runs out of paper to use. He then takes a leap of fate, leaves his office and decides to "fly" to her himself. I am impressed with not only the voiceless characterization of the two main human characters  but also in the characterization of the wind itself as a persona. The wind can only be seen via the way the paper airplanes fly, for example with each paper airplane the man flies out the window the wind teases him by making the planes miss their mark at the last moment. However when the man takes a leap of fate out the door the wind magically whirls the planes into swarm. One swarm kind of aggressively pin/shoves the man while one lone plane leads the girl gentlely towards their fate....in each other arms.

On the artistic front....fitting in with the period the entire colour palette is monochrome shades black and white. Plus an interesting mix I noticed of what looks like subtle CGI application for subtle movements while at the same time a very oil pastel, hand crafted look that is also reminiscent of Disney's earlier 2-D works. This palette heightens the sense and mvoement of the wind and the white paper air planes it picks up. In addition the palette emphasizes the importance of the one coloured object in the film which is the air plane with the lipstick kiss...the audience knows this item is very important to the man. It's the only memento he has of the lady and in addition this plane is the lone one that leads the woman to the meeting.

I wish this short good luck at the Oscars. Here is the trailer for Paperman from Disney Animation's youtube channel.



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