As we get on years, it becomes harder and harder to feel the childlike glee we first had when we started watching cartoons as children. It becomes difficult to be surprised. Then something like "Paperman" comes along and you realize that you still can feel that glee. Get ready guys. This is really, really, really, really good:
“Paperman” is, in short (no pun intended), perfect. It’s Disney at the absolute height of the studio’s ability, and even more, a demonstration that Disney has perfectly integrated the sensibility of Pixar. Its mixture of computer-generated and traditional cel-based animation truly shows what animation in the 21st century should be. The computer-generated animation gives the environments a sense of depth and complexity that is impossible to duplicate with traditional animation, yet the short retains the nuance and warmth of old-school, hand drawn cartoons.
Then there’s the look of “Paperman.” Director John Kars minimalist depiction of New York City is instantly classic. Everything is long and thin: the canyons running down New York’s endless avenues, the paper airplanes, even the characters. And the choice of a black, white, and grey color palate makes this feel like an instant classic. Beyond that, the stark angles of the cities and the secondary characters are perfectly contrasted by the prominent round nose of The Paperman (a dead ringer for Alfredo from Ratatouille) and the round face and bouncy hair of The Woman.
Lastly, there’s the plot. It’s rare to have any piece of entertainment take you through such a spectrum of emotions in such a short period of time. It’s sweet without being cloying, romantic without being sappy, and simple without being stupid. It’s both totally real and totally unreal, like a daydream. With a simple shared glance, you’re instantly invested in The Paperman’s fate.
So, our apologies go to the rest of the animated short nominees for the Oscars. Our vote goes to the astounding “Paperman!"
What did you think of "Paperman?"