I did not watch the 84th Academy Awards show, but I was beyond thrilled when I heard that “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
Inspired in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. 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 M-G-M Technicolor musicals. “Morris Lessmore” is old-fashioned and cutting edge at the same time.
This video made me laugh and cry in equal measure, and get this – it’s only about 15 minutes in length! It is the perfect representation of how books and words have the power change our lives – and our world. I can’t describe in adequate words how wonderful this short film is, so please watch it for yourself…
This video actually started as an iPad/iPhone/etc. eBook app for children, but quickly catapulted itself into award-winning fame because of its timeless message: Books, and the words within them, are precious, powerful, and worth preserving and protecting. This is certainly a message I plan on teaching my own (future) children, and I hope to one day introduce them to Mr. Morris Lessmore.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this video, why you think it won an Oscar, and how books and writing have played a special part in your life.
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