VIDEO: Paperman (2012)

It’s the Oscar-nominated short film that played in front of Wreck-It Ralph, where Disney discovers a new and innovative way to make traditional animation: with computers.

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  • Thomas Stockel

    Thanks for the tip, Joey. I saw it advertised on Hulu and was wondering about it, I’ll check it out as you think it’s worth a look.

    • You should! As a matter of fact, two of the other nominated short films are available online:
      -Adam and Dog
      -Head over Heals (a stop motion short so it should be a treat!)

  • Muthsarah

    While I was very impressed with the look of the animation and the subtlety of the presentation (I just love silents, near-silents, and black and white), I too was kinda disappointed at just how unoriginal the story was. Young guy pursues pretty young woman he meets for five seconds, despite one obstacle after another getting in the way of his impulsive, single-minded, potentially self-destructive yet 100% non-sexually motivated odyssey, until they finally meet cute a second time and…Love Instantly, I guess. The whole work is a cliche. Simplify the look any more, and you have a 1930s cartoon. It’s understandable in a short, where you don’t have a lot of time to set up anything new, but…ehh. I forgot it almost as soon as I saw it, and I’m a lil’ surprised it’s getting so much attention. It’s not the first seven minutes of Up, or comparable. It’s just an old-timey cartoon with a new sheen, and while the animators did a good job with that, it’s little more than one more trip back to that same well.

    However, I do really like that it was put in front of Wreck-it-Ralph, as counter-programming of sorts. Though I liked W-i-R for its performances and the gaming in-jokes, it was mostly a pretty shallow and silly kid-and-marketter-friendly enterprise. And while I don’t think Paperman is especially impressive on an adult level, I imagine it could be enchanting for a child unused to quieter, more…I dunno the word…delicate?…kinds of animation. It’s sweet and simple, and the cliches wouldn’t be an issue to those who barely know them. Even if lots of kids might have been underwhelmed by the palette and comparative silence, the simplicity of this work still leaves it pretty accessible to them. Maybe even enough to leave a stronger impression on them than would the following feature.

    • John Wilson

      It not really shallow. There a lot in that movie about density, seeing things from different sides, that nature of reality vs fiction etc:).

    • I do like the simplicity of “Paperman” and I do agree that it combines elements from love stories and earlier animation. What comes to mind is by the ending, which I won’t spoil but for those who seen the short would know what I mean!

    • Sofie Liv

      Aww, how can you hate how incredible cute and innocent it is?

      It is utterly innocent, but that’s really part of the charm, and it’s just genuinly fun, cosy innocent company.

      And well.. the key-word about any short is simplicity really, you can’t make a short without it just being very simple. This little short I liked, all are right, it’s not quite as inventive as other short movies of same nature such as. “The Fantastic flying books of Mr. morris Lessmore.”

      If this deserves to win an oscar.. I don’t know. But, for what it is, it’s really good. And I LOVE the fact that it now seems tradition that Pixar and Disney make short movies to go with their big cinema releases, it seems to be part of the cinema exsperience now, and I adore that, that’s a great tradition!

      It’s like a little delicate apetiser before we get to the big main course :)
      … wouldn’t it be awesome if life-action movies did that to? Imagine that if, in front of all superhero movies we got a short movie with a lesser known hero in the main-role? If we in front of the new superman movie, got a six minutes short where the green arrow chases a guy through the streets? Or the Question makes an odd interogation? :O

      • I would love if “Avengers 2” would open with an episode of “Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” that would lead into the film! But that’s wishful thinking :)

        • Sofie Liv

          a full episode on twenty minutes? you do realise these pixar and disney shorts only last between four and six minutes right? eight at the very most.. so if we were to do that with life action movies, the same rules should still applie.

          But I still it could be awesome, it could be a way to show other aspects of the same univers, allow creators to play around with the medium and try some-thing, introduce lesser known directors to the big screen, whom could work sepperately from the big directors… test screen new original figures..
          You could have a wonder-woman short before the superman movie and ask people what they thought about it.

          • Maybe it would be better to have one of the DC Nation shorts like Super Best Friends Forever beforehand, or would that be a bit too silly and kiddy for the Avengers?

          • Sofie Liv

            why does shorts need to be animated? they can be life action as well.

          • They could, but animation is the medium where the unimaginable can be achieved. If anything, shows like X-Men, Batman TAS, Avengers EMH and Justice League have proved that cartoons and superheroes work :)

          • Oh, no not a full episode! It’s rare these days to have even a 6 minute short play in front of a movie like the merry melodies or silly symphonies. I wouldn’t even mind a 3 minute action vignette similar to this:

      • Muthsarah

        “wouldn’t it be awesome if life-action movies did that to? Imagine that
        if, in front of all superhero movies we got a short movie with a lesser
        known hero in the main-role?”

        I’d be happy with a ten-minute parody of the old-timey movie serials, like pre-Adam West Batman or Dick Tracy. Get a recognizable comedian to play one of those comics characters so dated that casual audiences can laugh AT them while serious comic book geeks get to enjoy seeing them in the only way they’re ever gonna see ’em. Make it silly, but substantial enough that it doesn’t just feel like a cheap SNL skit. Give it a lazy, unprofessional look, build it around cliffhangers, broad comedy, and celebrity cameos, and have one play before every Marvel movie, plus maybe a few other Disney movies, and put a few more online just to keep the public’s interest high between features. It might increase ticket sales if people can be convinced to see these smaller movies just to catch the serials.

  • $36060516

    It’s actually called “Paperman” in honor of famous Disney animator Bob Paperman. Kind of surprised you don’t know about him*.

    * even though I just made him up

    • Of course! Personally, it seems like the designs were inspired by Milt Kahl and Glen Keane. Though I think this was the last project Keane was involved in before quitting Disney.

  • Alexa

    I watched Adam and Dog on youtube and loved it. Its such a beautiful looking short with such a sad story, and it shows how gorgeous traditional animation looks in comparison to computer animation, which can be good looking in its own right, but hand drawn just has more appeal, visually, for me. The only grip I had was that the living beings, animals and the humans, were stilted in their movements, but besides that it was awesome.

    • I think this is contributed to the short being produced by a student, which for a student film is pretty impressive!