Nearly a century ago, Disney pioneered really amazing animation – stories that didn’t always have words but that conveyed rich meaning, stories that needed no dialogue to show depth of feeling. “Paperman”, a new short film set to air before showings of “Wreck-It Ralph”, is a brilliant example of what Disney has been doing since the dawn of the studio.
The story unfolds on an elevated train track in mid-century New York City, as two commuters briefly share what could only be described as a “meet cute”. Naturally, things can’t be all THAT simple, so some complications are thrown in their path. The title’s derivation soon becomes quite apparent and the audience is provided ample opportunity to root on the potential lovebirds. And, this being Disney, the people on the screen aren’t the only animated elements in this short film that want these two to get together.
As a longtime fan of animation – and a collector of animation artwork (such as production cels) – I loved seeing “Paperman” come to life on the screen, even if only lasted for a few minutes. Whether it was the simplicity of the black-and-white presentation or the delightful lack of clutter from having it be dialogue-free, “Paperman” was a sweet amuse-bouche to open our screening of “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”. For those who love animation at its greatest, I highly recommend making it out to “Wreck-It Ralph” early enough to see “Paperman”. Based on what I saw, the next time you may see it after that is at the Oscars.
4 out of 4 stars
“Paperman” will be shown in theatres prior to viewing of “Wreck-It Ralph”, which opens nationwide on November 2, 2012.