Saturday 2 February 2013

So Why Does Disney's Paperman (2012) Deserve The Oscar For Best Animated Short?


After being shown theatrically before 'Wreck-It Ralph' in US cinemas, 'Paperman' received a huge amount of critical acclaim from the press and well, just about anybody who got a chance to see it in full. John Kahrs animated short is only seven minutes long but its impact has been huge. This week, it finally became available online and I watched it for the first time. So did Disney's latest short live up to the hype? Most definitely. 
For a studio who has had to rely on CGI in recent years to maintain success, 'Paperman' is an incredible achievement. The short uses an animation technique known as 'final line advection', which combines the best of traditional 2D drawings with the gloss of computer enhancements, creating a look that is reminiscent of classic Disney but which can still compete with its CGI contemporaries. This film is stunning. There is no other word for it. Watch below to see a behind the scenes look at how the new technique has been utilised in 'Paperman' and to catch a glimpse at what could be the future of animation.

Yeah sure it looks great but is that enough to warrant an Oscar win? Well 'Paperman' evokes a classic Disney feel in more than just appearance, with a simple yet beautiful story about a brief encounter at a train station that develops into so much more. The film is even more effective for the deliberate choice to omit dialogue in favour of a score like old-fashioned silent films. To say anymore would spoil the experience for you but let's just say it's impossible to watch 'Paperman' without cracking a smile and feeling a little bit warm and fuzzy inside. That is, unless you're soulless, in which case, you probably shouldn't be watching a Disney short anyway. The last time I was this affected by a short animation clip was during the opening of 'Up' and while Pixar's shorts are normally legendary, the studio has a long way to catch up now to match the stunning simplicity of 'Paperman'. 

Frustratingly, 'Paperman' isn't currently available on youtube so I can't share the video directly yet but here's a link to the full film right here. Watch it. Love it. And let me know what you think. Should 'Paperman' win the Oscar for Best Animated Short? And could this really be the future of animation? Remember to comment, like and share below. Thanks! 

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