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Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story. Using a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) award winning author/ illustrator William Joyce and Co-director Brandon Oldenburg present a hybrid style of animation that harkens back to silent films and MGM Technicolor musicals. Morris Lessmore is old fashioned and cutting edge at the same time. Written by
I have seen some spectacular animation over the years. I love good animation. I'm crazy about great animation. But I can safely say that The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is the only animated short that I have ever seen that made me cry. If you have lived your life with books, as I have, you will be drawn into this world. In fact if you are a book person this IS your world.
The protagonist, Morris Lessmore, is heavily influenced by Buster Keaton. The scenes of the storm were a combination of the storm sequences of Steamboat Bill jr. and the 1939 Wizard of Oz and the all too real hurricane Katrina (the story opens in Louisiana and the studio that shot it, Moonbot, is located there). After the remarkable devastation Lessmore is saddened to witness the devastation around him. One of the great tragedies is that the storm swept the letters off the pages. Wandering along Lessmore spots a beautiful woman carried aloft on flying books tethered with ribbons. She casts one to Lessmore. The animated Humpty Dumpty pulls the protagonist into a world of enchanted books.
Anyone who loves books can tell you there's nothing fanciful here. Of course books have wings! Of course they enable us to fly. If you don't believe me then shut off your computer now and grab a book. And when you meet Mr. Morris Lessmore give him my regards.
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