Paperman (2012) Flash Review

By Victoria Jukes

The Paperman is a lovingly crafted Disney short that is accompanied alongside Wreck-It Ralph.

Directed by John Kahrs, the short story portrays a young man in 1940s New York City who unintentionally bumps into the girl of his dreams on a train platform, where she immediately disappears. Later that day, after gazing out of the window for a long time, he notices that very same girl in the skyscraper opposite. Attempting to get her attention, he folds his paperwork into a paper airplane and tries to get it into her open window. This lovingly written and cared for story unravels quickly and you cannot contain your excitement for these two characters, sitting at the edge of your seat in the hope that they will meet again.

This short animation was created using a newly developed technology called Meander, which brings together 2D drawing and computer animated technology. This works fantastically well and it really captivates the audience and transports them to an entirely different world, creating nostalgia and a stark reminder of just how amazing drawn animation is. The black and white feel is paperman_large1reminiscence of the old Mickey Mouse cartoons, although a splash of colour gives this a modern edge for a contemporary audience. The Paperman is clearly a practice run for Disney, and I for one will be waiting anxiously for news that they will be using it in the future.

The theatrical release may come as a surprise to some cinema goers, as it clearly is not intentionally made for children and will only be entertaining to the adults in the audience. I believe that Disney took a risk when showing it before Wreck-It Ralph, as it could go over many people’s heads, which is highly regrettable as the lovers of this piece will want people to appreciate it in its entirety and not something that is an extra to something supposedly better.

Disney’s short films have always captured the audience’s imaginations, and The Paperman is no exception to this. I believe the story line and the animation is absolutely astonishing, and it will definitely become a classic in its own right in the near future, and inspire the next generation of Disney creators to do something just as brilliant. This is one of the most worthwhile things to see at the cinema at the moment, so even if you’re not interested in watching Wreck-It Ralph (which is also a worthwhile watch), you definitely need to see this. If you don’t believe me, the Oscars seem to agree as it has recently won Best Short Animation, which is all the evidence you need really.