“Paperman” was shown in theaters in front of “Wreck-It Ralph” and has been nominated for a Best Animated Short Film Oscar. The animated short was directed by John Kahrs. According to IMDB, Kahrs has worked as an animator on “A Bug’s Life,” “Ratatouille” and “Toy Story 2” and as a character developer and animator on “Monsters, Inc.” and “The Incredibles.”
“Paperman” is the first film Kahrs has directed. In the Oscar questionnaire, Kahrs said he had decided to make movies “As soon as I realized I could make my own flipbooks around eight years old.”
Kahrs says his influences include Stanley Kubrick and Hayao Miyazaki, the director and co-founder of Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki directed “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away.”
Kahrs calls Chris Wedge his mentor and describes Wedge’s Oscar win for the animated short “Bunny” as his favorite Oscar moment. Wedge has since gone on to direct “Ice Age” and “Robots.”
Disney describes the animation of “Paperman” as a “groundbreaking technique that seamlessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn animation techniques; first-time director John Kahrs takes the art of animation in a bold new direction.” Putting “Paperman” online lets viewers watch the film conveniently at home or on their phone.
The story of “Paperman” is a simple one, but that does not lessen any of its power. At the heart of the story is a young man who sees a beautiful woman on the train. He later encounters her and tries his best to get her attention. According to the official synopsis, “Using a minimalist black-and-white style, the short follows the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him.”
Disney released “Paperman” on YouTube and you can watch the video of the Oscar-nominated film below.