If you read our collection of Nerdist staff personal top fives for 2012, then you’ll know the Oscar nominated animated short Paperman was one of my favorite things of the year. The romantic meet-cute of an animated short rates up there with the first ten minutes of Up for pulling my emotional heartstrings. The short is going to be included in the Wreck-It Ralph Blu-ray set, but the kind folks at Disney Animation have put the entire short up on YouTube, probably to help its chances at the Oscars. And we’re all for this getting an Oscar.
The short isn’t only special for its magically romantic storyline, “Paperman” is also a technological achievement, as first-time director John Kahrs used a minimalist black-and-white style and merged hand drawn and computer animation in a whole new way.
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. Created by a small, innovative team working at Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Paperman” pushes the animation medium in an exciting new direction.