Paperman: Old-Fashioned Love Story Brought To Life By New Techniques

John Kahrs directorial debut is breathtaking and innovative.

Paperman, the animated short from Disney that was released with Wreck-It Ralph in November, 2012, is quite groundbreaking. It uses a new technology that blends the old-school hand-drawn animation with the new computer-generated kind. Using a new in-house software called Meander, director John Kahrs and his team were able to create a little over 6 minutes of stunning black and white imagery that, even without dialogue conveys beautifully the emotion felt by the protagonist.

Kahrs, who was inspired by the classic approach to animation favored by Disney veterans like Glen Keane who worked on such classics as Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid, told Cartoon Brew in an interview last summer,

Seeing all that drawing, being at Disney, being surrounded by that legacy, how exciting, and how much punch there is in the drawn line, how expressive it can be. And how hard the CG guys have to work to try to match that charm. I thought, Why do we have to leave these drawings behind? Why can’t we bring them back up to the front of the image again? Is there a way that CG can kinda carry along the hand drawn line in a way that we haven’t done before?

And it appears that Kahrs, along with his production team were extremely successful.

Stereotypically, men aren’t supposed to like love stories. Was that your experience with this short?

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  1. Way cool. And yes, very visually beautiful. I hope they do more of that. Thank you for sharing it.

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