8.0/10
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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011)

After a hurricane levels his city, a young man wanders into a mysterious library where books literally come to life.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Storyline

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 Anonymous

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Release Date:

24 September 2014 (France)  »

Also Known As:

I fantastici libri volanti di Morris Lessmore  »

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Trivia

As a tribute, Morris Lessmore is drawn to resemble silent movie star Buster Keaton, said William Joyce. The hurricane and windswept town is reminiscent of STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. that starred the acrobatic Keaton in the 1928 film. See more »

Connections

Edited into The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2012: Animation (2012) See more »

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A contrary view
12 February 2012 | by See all my reviews

In comparison, Dimanche (2011) currently has a score of 6.3, a point and a half less than this one's 7.8. I give this 7, and Dimanche 8. Anything less than 7 is quite harsh for either one.

(I'm not saying Dimanche should win the Oscar... just that I reviewed it here first, before coming to this one, and was shocked at the difference.)

This is a good film, to be sure. It's seemingly simple, straightforward, and computer-animated. It has references to the The Wizard of Oz (1939). It has all the bells and whistles.

But when you get right down to it, there's really not a whole lot there. It reminds me of Hugo (2011) in that respect, which I thought was also good, but the people who hand out awards seem to think is some kind of masterpiece.

It's immediately out of date. Books don't come on paper so much any more. They fly on electromagnetic waves from router to tablet. Even the fax or modem connection sound at the beginning is out-of-date. The internet is always on, and it's silent.

Flying books? Isn't that from the intro to "Amazing Stories" (1985)? And we've seen the idea that reading things keeps stories alive in Die Unendliche Geschichte (1984).

Is a life lived without leaving a book implied to be worthless?

I think I know what this short wants to be telling me, but what it actually is telling me is not real clear.


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