Sunday, February 3, 2013

Telling a Story Without Words in Under 10 Minutes

In my last post, I wrote about going to see Disney's animated film, Wreck-It Ralph. What I neglected to say was that before the movie started, we were all treated to a short film beforehand. Several Disney/Pixar movies have done this in the past and I just love it for a variety of reasons, such as the extra creativity it shows off. But one thing I really like about is how old-timey awesome it feels. If you're anything like me, you've hard your parents or grandparents talk about what an outing going to the movies used to be. Besides the main feature, there was a news reel and various shorts. Or other times the main features were short enough themselves to show two back to back. And all this for a nickel or a dime. What a deal!

The short featured before Wreck-It Ralph was entitled Paperman and featured a hapless office worker (a paper pusher, if you will) who is enamored with a woman he had a brief encounter with earlier in the day on the train platform. When he spies her again in an office building across the way, he desperately tries to get her attention with the clever use of some paper airplanes. But when that fails, he grows frustrated and gives up. That's when the wind and a little bit of magic kick in, and the paper airplanes work to bring the two back together again.

The concept of Paperman is very clever and sweet. It's absolutely amazing how the creators were able to executed a full film - with likeable characters, a coherent plot, and a bit of romance with a dash of humor - in only six minutes. (Being that succinct is clearly something I still need to work on as this blog post is rather long for something so short.) While the story will undoubtedly resonate more with adults than children, even the children in the audience didn't have trouble understanding the wordless plot. Without being over the top, the animators clearly captured the characters' emotions at any given moment. Based on the characters' clothing, the cars driving by, and other background details, this movie is obviously set in an earlier era, perhaps the 1940s or 1950s. Add this to the fact that it's a short, and it really did start to fill like I was in old-fashioned movie theater! Talking about how movies can transport you into a different time and place ...

Paperman is now up for an Oscar in the category of best animated short, so apparently I am not the only one who loved it. And if you don't believe me on how good it is, check it out for yourself - Disney has the whole thing up on their YouTube channel.

No comments:

Post a Comment