On this Animation Monday on a Tuesday; I wanted to talk about the Disney short film that premiered before the movie Wreck-It Ralph. Paperman is a black-and-white animated short film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and directed by John Kahrs. The short blends traditional animation and computer animation.
The short film has already won the Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject. And right now the film is nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the 85th Academy Awards. This film is mostly in black and white (except for the red lipstick), and it uses a lot of paper airplanes! Lately, much of the animation you see on TV and in the movies are done by computers. This short film uses a combination of today’s computer animation and yesterday’s hand-drawn animation.
John Kahrs always loved hand-drawn animation but Disney has been slowly moving away from that type of animation. Kahrs wondered if there was a way that Disney could possibly combine these two types of animation that then played to both of their strengths, adding the dimensionality and fluidity-of-movement that CG has with the power and emotion, which the very best pieces of hand-drawn animation often have. This meant that Disney had to come up with a whole new way of doing animation at the studio.
After watching this film I have to admit that I really liked it! The film has no lyrics but you can tell what the characters would say if they said any words. The black and white and the scene which was 1940’s New York City made this film look classic. I liked how George was trying to do anything he could to influence Meg. All of those paper airplanes came alive in the wind and somehow they connected the two together. It was a great love story!
The animation technique in Paperman is called “final line advection.” This gives the artists and animators a lot more influence and control over the final product as everything is done within the same department. Kahrs stated, “We brought together as best we could the expressiveness of 2D drawing immersed with the stability and dimensionality of CG. It really goes back to working with Glen Keane on Tangled, watching him draw over all the images.”
Enjoy watching the film!
- Watch Walt Disney Pictures’ Full Animated Short Paperman (firewireblog.com)
- The romance of paper: Disney’s “paperman” (lostandfoundbooks.wordpress.com)
- Watch Disney’s Hand-Drawn / CG Hybrid Short ‘Paperman’ in Full (slashfilm.com)