Oscar History

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Get Swept Away With Mr Lessmore's "Flying Books"

Have you had a chance to see any of Oscar's short film nominees yet? The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore is available for the iPad in interactive format but it's also viewable in its original form here as an animated short. It's a beauty. 

The fifteen minute short, well worth a quarter hour of your time, starts with a hurricane and Mr Morris Lessmore is yanked up into it along with his stack of reading. The words are literally blown off the page. Not that the short is literal. (More after the jump including the full short)

Mr Lessmore is whisked into the eye of the hurricane and, shades of Wizard of Oz, abruptly crash lands with a house, after some inventive slapstick comedy, in what appears to be an alternate black and white world, though Mr. Lessmore finds color there soon enough when a beautiful woman floats by him pulled by a flock of books. The full meaning of this winsome image won't be clear until the end of the short but its an intriguing twist on familiar images.

I wish the books hadn't had legs and arms -- anthropmorphics that feel forced always throw me off a bit (personal thing)  -- because when they're merely flipping their pages to express pictorial emotions or flapping their covers to fly about they're magically birds and books and ideas and adventures and mystery all at the same time. The story claims to be inspired mashup of Buster Keaton, Wizard of Oz, and Hurricane Katrina but I couldn't help but feel a little Pleasantville in there too since the "curative power of books" we're dealing with her fills the lonely people with color.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.


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Reader Comments (6)

My daughter and I love watching this over and over. Not only do the metaphors provide ample opportunity to discover ways of seeing old things in new ways, the light-hearted nature of the subject matter allows easy access. We love it.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPausner

How wonderful! I am virulently anti e-reader, so anything that sings the praises of the wonder and magic of BOOKS gets lots of plus-points in my book. But the storyline is lovely, the animation is bright, and the music is delightful, which makes it that much better.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Wow, I loved this. Who knew Pop Goes the Weasel could be so entrancing? Books flying!

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel Oak

While it's not my favorite nominated short of the year (that would have to be Wild Life), I do think Mr. Morris Lessmore will deservedly walk away with the Oscar over Pixar's La Luna. It's a tale that is both distinctly American yet universal, about the power of books to transform lives. Plus, it's a crowd pleaser. Everybody I know that has seen the film has loved it.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterajnrules

I immediately thought of Pleasantville! Nostalgia...perfect movie.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Nice post,I loved this. Who knew Pop Goes the Weasel could be so entrancing? Books flying!Thanks sharing information.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbooks
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