February seems to have flown by. Last month we celebrated Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday, discovered an AR game aimed at making us more saintly, mourned the loss of Jan Berenstain — co-author and illustrator of the Berenstain Bears series, coveted these hyper-minimalist fairytale posters and fantasized about the Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.
In case you missed the most-watched event on television last month — the Oscars — the Best Animated Short Film went to a heartwarming tale about books. Author / illustrator William Joyce and conceptual designer Brandon Oldenburg’s film tells the story of a man who is kidnapped by a commune of dancing books and forced to spend the rest of his life as their caretaker, nanny, and physician.
This touching cartoon definitely worth 15 minutes of your time has the following award-winning features:
– It was inspired by Buster Keaton’s brand of comedy, Hurricane Katrina and The Wizard of Oz.
– It’s filled with clever visuals, vibrant colors, and a lot of heart.
– It uses a hybrid style of animation that harkens back to silent films and MGM Technicolor musicals.
– It uses the folk song/nursery rhyme “Pop Goes the Weasel” as a theme in the original score.
– It shows how stories (symbolized by books) shapes our lives.
The website Open Culture says the movie “pays homage to a bygone era when elegantly printed books inhabited our world.”
Here’s the movie trailer. You can also experience the film however you like as an interactive book app. It allows the reader to participate throughout the story by painting the sky, writing in the book or playing the piano all while reading and watching the graphics.