I’ll be perfectly frank: I had completely lost any and all faith in Disney’s ability to make a good, non-Pixar non-Ghibli animated film. However, my friend pointed me in the direction of Paperman, winner of the 2012 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
Paperman is a silent romantic comedy follows a typical office worker of yesteryear and how, with the aid of paper, he falls in love.
Much like how Skyfall really embraced its James Bond roots, you can tell Disney was absolutely itching for a chance to show off its pride of having been the world’s top producer of animation once upon a time, and it did so with Paperman. Paperman was animated using a hybrid of traditional cel animation and computer graphics. The fact that the movie was (with exception) black and white and adopted a 1940s setting shows a clear nostalgia for Disney’s glory days. Not only that, but the movie’s visual look was absolutely gorgeous.
With a movie that was less than 7 minutes long, there isn’t a ton to say. However, Paperman completely mastered the art of “showing, not telling” and was exactly all I needed in order to say, “Aww”. In less than 7 minutes, Paperman has single-handedly restored my faith in Disney as an animation giant that is dependent on neither Pixar nor the fact that it owns the right to distribute Ghibli movies in America.