At ASIFA screenings they always sell dvds and box sets of films that they have screened. It was there that I saw The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and I knew I had to have it as part of my animation collection as it is an amazing piece of work. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is an Academy Award winner of the 84th Academy Awards, beating out Pixar's "la Luna". The animated short is created by Moonbot Studios. I love "la Luna", it has become my top favorite Pixar short followed by Presto, Day and Night, and Geri's Game. However, as I just watched Mr. Morris Lessmore again, as I am now a proud owner of the film on dvd, I can see why it won out over la Luna."la Luna" was beautiful and I would say the armature of the story was something like "be your own unique self" with cute little tidbits such as matching the various tools to the mustaches of the boy's father and grandfather. Mr. Morris Lessmore on the other hand, in addition to having a wonderful story, had a very specific goal in mind of showcasing the curative power of books and their story. The metaphor of how books effect people is easy to understand in the film. After a disaster the world became a bleak black and white, then through books color is restored and happiness is given. Another portrayal was the sequence of the old grandfatherly book that scattered and had to be put back together. However, just assembling the book together wasn't enough. Books are given life when someone reads them.
I absolutely loved the animation also. Not only is it generally done well but the animation of the Humpty Dumpty book was not only interesting but also highly creative. While the book itself has legs and sometimes arms, Humpty also shows up on the pages inside the book and functions as it's own character. The way Humpty moves is like a flip book with the poses changing as the pages flip back and forth.
Additionally what is even more amazing is, unlike Pixar who is an animation specific studio, Moonbot is a multimedia studio, who, I believe, made the film as a promotion to the app and picture book that they were developing. With the film is quite long with it being just a bit under 15 minutes and accomplishing that is quite a feat.
It was somewhat unfortunate that on my 1920x1080 monitor that I wasn't able to watch the films that I bought in fullscreen as it pixelated badly. I was looking forward to watching it in higher quality than what I can find on the internet.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/17164728 w=500&h=281]