What you’re about to see is Paperman, the winner of the Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject and nominee for the Best Animated Short Film at the Academy Awards. Once you’ve seen the six minute video, you’ll see why. The video uses a new technique to blend computer generated graphics with hand drawn animations and comes up with something just a little special. While the video is worth a watch for curiosities sake alone, the story is where it comes alive.
I’ll assume you’ve watched the video now and will spoil the hell out of it if you haven’t, so you’d best click play before continuing.
The story is simple enough as you’ve seen. Boy meets girl, they share a moment and circumstance separates them again. When he sees her he is determined to take a chance, even risking his job (lets face it, he’s sacked now) to meet with her again. His attempts continue to fail until something magical happens. Now I may be turning into a soppy web god in my old age but my heart soared when those planes started leading the two of them together. The expression of the guy on the train just before the kid is pulled away from him is priceless while the girl is all wonder as she chases her lipsticked plane. Eventually, of course, the two are pulled together by this magical event and that is where I feel Paperman plays its true master stroke.
Unlike everything Disney has ever breathed on, these two don’t live happily ever after that we know of. Instead the end credits show some stills of them having coffee together. This wonderful magical event happened merely to give them a second chance. I think we all have some missed opportunities in the past and that is why Paperman resonates with so many people.
If you haven’t seen the video before, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.