Disney Animation’s Paperman has debuted online, giving everyone a chance to look at the Oscar-nominated animated short using a combination of beautifully hand drawn 2D and 3D animation in a simple boy-meets-girl story that’s cute and sublime.
A dialogue free and in black and white, Paperman accompanied Wreck-It Ralph at the tail end of last year and will be hitting Blu-ray with the release of Wreck-It Ralph on March 5th, 2013.
The short, which is up for the Best Animated Short Film award at this year’s Academy Awards, follows the story of a ‘lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what fate has in store for him.’
Check it out, thanks to the Disney Animation YouTube channel.
Director John Kahrs revealed that he was influenced by Glen Keane’s work on The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast and Aladdin, among many others projects. He told Cartoon Brew:
I thought, Why do we have to leave these drawings behind? Why can’t we bring them back up to the front of the image again? Is there a way that CG can kinda carry along the hand drawn line in a way that we haven’t done before?
The way of blending the hand-drawn animation with CGI in the space of the story is the result of new tool called Meander. It is a vector based drawing program that allows and artist to manipulate every line after they’ve drawn it — something that Kahrs described as ‘just like painting on the surface of the CG.’ Or, in other words, the team modeled and animated the short, which then 2D artists took to paint over.
Even if you’ve got a heart of steel, it’s worth it just to see what Kahrs does alongside his team.