All this week I’ll be reviewing the Oscar nominees for best short animation, which open Friday at Landmark’s Century Centre. Check back this time tomorrow for the next installment.
Of the four shorts I was able to see, my favorite by far was William Joyce and Brandon Oldenberg’s charming fantasy The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Produced by Moonbot Studios of Shreveport, Louisiana, this 15-minute computer piece follows a frankly Keaton-esque hero as a hurricane pulls his terraced hotel into the sky and whisks him away to a land where books fly around like gentle birds. The storm sequence that opens the short melds together the cyclone of The Wizard of Oz, with its characters floating in air, and the spinning house gag from Keaton’s One Week. Once the hero is deposited in book land, however, the movie references begin to disappear and the short matures into a lovely story about the joy (and sadness) of spending a life in the library. Don’t take my word for it; you can actually watch the entire thing after the jump.