Wednesday 17 October 2012

For Your Consideration: Paperman

It should come as no great shocker that Disney are trying to give their latest short-film a head start in the awards race. The above "For Your Consideration" ads appeared on Cartoon Brew recently, promoting Paperman, the wave-making short film that will precede Wreck-It Ralph in cinemas.

Directed by former Pixar-animator John Kahrs, the short is the first to use Disney's groudbreaking new animation software, Meander. Meander creates CG models of the characters, and blocks out the movements, as with a computer animated film; a traditional hand-drawn animator then draws over the top, and Meander fuses the two together. The innovative technique leads to striking images like the one below, with the depth and immersion of CG, and the personality and heart of hand-drawn: this is the future of animation, folks.

It has a suitably warm sounding story too, with the synopsis reading:

Introducing a groundbreaking technique that seamlessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn animation techniques, first-time director John Kahrs takes the art of animation in a bold new direction with “Paperman.” Using a minimalist black-and-white style, the short follows the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him. Created by a small, innovative team working at Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Paperman” pushes the animation medium in an exciting new direction.

One can't help but think that Paperman has a pretty good chance of being successful at the Oscars. Check it out in cinemas with Wreck-It Ralph: 2nd November (US), 15th February (UK).

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