Director: John Kahrs
Release Date:
November 2, 2012
Rating:
 ★★★½
Review:

It’s nice to see the Walt Disney studio does not completely forget about traditional animation, and deploys it once and a while, albeit it a short only six minutes long. ‘Paperman’ clearly is made with a computer, but mixes 3D animation with 2D for once (in a novel technique called ‘final line advection’), and tells a charming love story.

A young office worker meets a girl at an underground platform in 1940s New York, but loses her again. When he sees her again from his office, in a building across the street, he tries to grab her attention by throwing paper planes into the direction of her open window, to no avail. But then something magical happens.

‘Paperman’ is told without dialogue, letting the facial expressions and body language of the characters speak for themselves, thus giving the animators plenty to work with. They succeed in making the girl friendly and lovable and the man clumsy, but determinant. They’re both likable enough to make the viewer yearn for their reunion. Unfortunately, the animation of the ‘magic planes’ is less convincing, and this magical scene overstretches the plausible believable quite a bit.

The film is shot in black-and-white, except for the girl’s lips and lipstick, whose reds stand out. The shades of grey especially succeed in enhancing the dull atmosphere of the man’s office.

In all ‘Paperman’ is quite delightful, and it managed to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, the first Disney short to win an Oscar in that category since ‘It’s Tough to be Bird’ from 1969.

Watch ‘Paperman’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Paperman’ is available on the Blu-Ray and DVD of ‘Wreck-it Ralph