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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
Charming, humorous, and poignant is the best way to describe The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore, a little piece about the power of stories and how they can positively affect our lives. The art style itself is reminiscent of a book illustration with its rounded characters, soft colors, and warm lighting. The animation utilizes a variety of techniques from CG to stop motion, and, combined with the great background and character designs, makes for pure eye candy.
However, the real reason to check out Morris Lessmore is for the story. It tells the story of a young man in love with books and writing who comes across a library full of living, flying books after his city is destroyed by a hurricane. The books bring liveliness and joy back into his life, and in turn, he takes care of them. More happens after that, but I won't dare spoil it for you, as you have to see it in order to really enjoy it.
It's a brief piece at only fifteen minutes, but I assure you it's worth every second. The ending had me uplifted and actually shedding tears. Thus I'm baffled at the current score-- I'm not saying I was expecting a 10 or even an 8, but not even a 7 seems too low a score for one of the best animated short films of the past year.
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