Disney Nostalgia With Paperman
For the many of you who got a chance to see Wreck-It Ralph on the big screen were lucky enough to get acquainted with Disney’s new short Paperman, who played right before the feature presentation. Yesterday, Disney was kind enough to release the full short film on YouTube, since Wreck-It Ralph won’t get released until March.
Paperman, now nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the 85th Academy Awards, is something completely original and new for Disney, since they’ve been focusing a lot more on computer-generated films…oh, wait, this one is too!
The surprising part of how this short got made is that it utilizes a groundbreaking technique for animators seamlessly merging computer-generated and hand-drawn animation. It gives it that nostalgic twist that Disney cartoons possessed once in the early days. It makes the drawings carry motions over the computer generated shadows and gives it a certain dynamic. Plus, the characters are just adorably lovable, making it impossible to not like it.
It conveys a very nostalgic feel to it, using minimalist art style and the obvious choice for using no dialogue, making the drawings carry the story. It’s refreshing to see that 2D animation can still thrive in today’s CG golden age while still implementing very high-end techniques. It’s been a few years that, while Disney can still make good movies, it relies on “how good textures have to look”, or “how their mapping on hair is the most realistic” instead of investing themselves into rich story-telling. This is the simplest and sweetest way to tell a compelling and original story filled with magic that will make you have tiny goose bumps or break a smirk or two and is far better than anything else Disney made lately that tried too hard with some of their CG movies.
There’s nothing more mushy and heart-warming that a glimpse of the life of this young man accidentally running into, what seems to be, the women of his dreams, all thanks to a piece of paper. Of course, much like real life, we don’t often get the chance or courage to engage such a situation, and so, they part. But when he sees he has a second chance at getting her attention, he uses all the paper he shouldn’t be using at his work to make paper airplanes…ah, but faith always finds a way.
Disney made a really good move with Paperman, using the technology they already have and inserting what they’ve missed for many years; authenticity. Reinventing themselves can hopefully bring back some of the “cartoon magic” we experienced as kids.
If you haven’t watched the short, check it out here.
What do you think; does Disney still has it in them?