I had been waiting in anticipation of the release of Disney’s latest 3D animated film “Wreck it Ralph”. I was excited to go see it and being a video game (especially 80’s – 90’s games) junkie I really liked the idea of a movie based on video game characters. After seeing the movie I can defiantly say it was really well done! And not only did it have video games, it had candy sweets in it as well. For those of you who don’t know I really like sweet candy, sugary foods, yum!

Anyways, I had planed to write a review of “Wreck it Ralph” and might still, but instead I wanted to write about a bonus I got when going to see the movie. Pixar over the past few years has brought back the tradition of airing a short feature before each of their films and now Disney too, has gone back to it’s roots by offering a short as well. The short that aired before “Wreck it Ralph”, was entitled “Paperman” and I have to say I fell in love with this short.

“Paperman” is a typical romantic comedy, where to strangers meet waiting for the train, saying not a word only the occasional smile, until they part ways. Our protagonist we discover is a lonely “paper pusher” in an office, and after the brief encounter with what could have been the love of his life, he solemnly strolls in to work and sets at his desk. As he looks at the window, lo and behold its the young lady he passed glances with, in the building across the street, on what appears to be a job interview. This could be is only chance to make a connection with her, but with no way to contact her, he starts making paper airplanes and tossing them out the window to try to get her attention, and that’s where the humor and drama unfold. The story is told with no dialog and only the occasional sigh or giggle, and is primarily driven on the facial expressions of the characters and the background music.

Not only is the story sweet and light hearted, but one of the things I liked most besides the story was the look and feel of the whole thing. The film has a 1940’s look about it, and was colored in a sepia black and white style, with the exception of the red lipstick on the female character. From an animation standpoint the main feature of the short was it’s use of 2D and 3D to create a realistic feel yet appear to be a “cel” or hand drawn animation.

Director John Kahrs used a newer technique for this short. Like most 3D animations, it began with the 3D models being animated, but the next step was to apply a “toon shader” which basically creates a flat colorations of the models. Basically the animation is made of up all “fills” and no lines at this point, but here’s were the 2D comes in. 2D animations hand drawn the lines over 3D frames. Now your probably thinking this would take forever, and at this point you might have well just made a 2D animation. However, Disney apparently has some proprietary software that does part of the process for you. In other words the animators just have to draw the lines for the key frames and the lines are generated and match up for the in-between frames. Having worked on both 3D and 2D animation projects, I’m sure there’s a lot more too it than that, but it is still a lot more quicker than standard 2D animation  Also with the use of 3D camera’s, animators are able to get camera shots, normally too difficult to draw by hand.

Overall I loved this short, it’s sweet and lovable, and the protagonist reminded me so much of my husband, he not only looked like him, in his suit and all, but his mannerism of how he’d start throwing paper airplanes, he’d so totally do something like that to get my attention. Come to thing of it prior to us dating he used to fling rubber bands at me, while at work, to get my attention.

In the end, even if your not sold on going to see “Wreck it Ralph”, I would recommend you find a way to get a chance to see “Paperman”

Categorized in: