Valentine’s Day comes a little early this year, as Disney chose this week for its Oscar-nominated short film Paperman—which previously ran before showings of Wreck-It Ralph, after debuting at a French film festival in June—to be made available online in its entirety.
The story of a lowly office worker’s search for love (set in a wonderfully evocative mid-century metropolis) has plenty of old-fashioned heart—and more than a dollop of cutting-edge technology. First-time director John Kahrs employed a technique—a groundbreaking hybrid approach using a software called Meander—that fuses the hand-drawn 2D animation that gives Paperman its old-school look on top of a CG world. Producer Kristina Reed said, in her official comments on the film, that the goal was not to make a photorealistic CGI look but instead to bring an artistic touch, with drawings that were transferred to computer without losing any of the original expressiveness of the work. Art director Jeff Turley added that the graininess, soft focus and style of photographers like Ansel Adams and Berenice Abbott inspired the unique look of Paperman.
So check out the film—and then start folding!