The Oscars are just around the corner. I usually try to catch every film nominated in the animation categories (full and short) but haven’t quite gotten around to it yet. As of right now I’ve only seen two animated nominees: Brave and just recently, Paperman.
Paperman is everything that I’ve been wanting in an animated film and more. It embodies animation for adults, but at the same time it’s something that kids can appreciate and learn to appreciate more as they get older much like Beauty and the Beast and Up. What I particularly love about this film is the incorporation of CG and traditional hand-drawn animation. I don’t have anything against CG animation and one can’t deny the fact that animation houses love to use CG, too, as evidenced by the many blockbuster animation hits as of late. But there’s something about watching a traditional hand-drawn animated flick. You see all those wonderful imperfections and brush strokes in the background and sometimes in the characters themselves — small proofs that the artist was there.
With this “golden age” of CG animation, you don’t see that anymore and there are times when you often wonder if an artist was even involved. Everything is just so perfect and smooth. It’s sometimes difficult to really enjoy the artistry of it. I thought that though Brave lacked in a lot of things, it was still really pretty to watch with the vibrant colors and rich forest scenes. However with all of that perfection, one can’t help but question if one starts missing details.
What I love most about Paperman is the “imperfections” in the characters. The lines are bold, they sometimes overlap, and it looks like it was drawn with the marker option in Paint Tool Sai. And I’m okay with that. No, better than okay. I love it. I love seeing brush strokes and hand-drawn eyes because I think they make the best expressions ever. And I didn’t even realize I was missing the artists’ presence this much until I watched this film. And don’t get me started on the score. The music that accompanies this short really helps you get swept into the characters’ romance. Everything about this short film is what Walt Disney stood for: beautiful animation accompanied with beautiful music at the forefront of a beautiful story.
On one hand, I want to know more about these characters and really want Disney to expand on these two with a feature length film. But on the other hand, I’m terrified that they’ll be more worried about their pocketbooks and do something incredibly stupid to mess up such an endearing short film. Be sure to click on the link above to watch the film. It’ll be the best six minutes of your life. I promise.