When Disney’s 3D CGI animation Wreck it Ralph opens nationwide in cinemas next Friday, it will be accompanied by this painfully charming (and Oscar nominated no less) animated short, Paperman. Check it out on Disney Animation’s Youtube channel:
The directorial debut of Pixar animator John Kahrs, the six minute short is a beautiful combination of hand drawn and CGI animation – a technique called ‘final line advection’ – and tells the romantic tale of a lanky, hapless office worker (the sort that only Disney can draw) and his attempts to attract the girl-of-his-dreams-at-first-sight using paper aeroplanes.
In recent years, mainstream animation has broken new ground in terms of its photo-realistic possibilities, but Paperboy’s charm is found it it’s affinity for smudged pencil marks and a tranquil palate of whites, blacks, greys and a red lipstick mark. Like Wallace and Gromit’s endearing thumbprints, these are the loving markings of a craftsman, a storyteller. With the studios’ push for shiny, colourful, bubblegum animation (the kind showcased by Pixar’s Cars and, indeed, Wreck it Ralph) it is unlikely that we will see a feature-length animation using this technique. For now, here is six-and-a-half minutes of magic.