Paperman, a.k.a. Disney’s latest viral video, is sweeping the Internet and is doing so with incredible cuteness. In fact, it’s even Oscar nominated for being cute! It was originally shown at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in June 2012, and was later used as the intro film for Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph. This week, it’s debuted online and is readily available on YouTube for everyone to watch.
Set in a time before colour, the film opens on a railway station, where man and a woman stand facing the camera, both of them holding paper. As a train flies past, one of his pieces of paper goes in her face, and her lipstick (the only thing in colour in the film) appears on the page. He laughs when he sees what’s happened, but she’s already gone. It’s love at first sight!
At work, our protagonist is gloomy, with the thought that he might never see this woman again. That is, until he sees her through an open window across the busy street. He proceeds to try and get her attention by firing many paper planes at her, but none succeed. She leaves the building, and he runs out to try and find her but to no avail. He storms off, but then a train of marching paper planes manage to pick him up and bring him right to her, resulting in a weirdly happy ending.
I have to admit, I liked it. That is, up to the weird dancing planes section. The story had not needed to use magic up to that point, so the pieces of paper which were suddenly dragging him across streets seemed a bit out of place. The magic was simply unnecessary, and seemed too forced, as well as being rather non sequitur. That, I did not like.
What I did like on the other hand was the use of animation. Computer graphics have been used with hand drawings for a while now, but never have I seen them so seamlessly integrated. It’s difficult to tell where the 2D ends and the 3D begins. The dappling light and the shadows are all very impressive and indeed, this is a very beautiful film.
While Disney have definitely done better and cuter in the short story department, (just think of that couple in Up growing old together, awww) it’s definitely worth checking out Paperman, a stylistic triumph in animation. If you’re feeling original, why not share it on Facebook too? It’s not like anybody else has done it.