Every boring office drone is waiting for their serendipitous rom-com moment when happenstance brings two souls together. At least that is what film has taught us avid viewers and Disney’s animated short “Paperman” is no exception. If you missed it when it debuted in theaters with feature film Wreck-It Ralph, the Oscar-nominated short is now available is all its gooey adorableness online.
Though a product of Disney and Disney-Pixar’s animation studios, it doesn’t look like the CGI animated films we’ve come to love since Toy Story came out in 1995. “Paperman” is closer in visual style to the likes of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast and Aladdin, films created before computers were in charge of rendering animated movies. This makes sense because “Paperman” director John Kahrs worked closely with classic Disney animator Glen Keane, who animated on all three of the previously mentioned films. Kahrs wanted to capture the hand drawn nature of Keanes work and make it work with modern CG techniques.
According to Wired:
Paperman‘s seemingly seamless way of blending the personality of hand-drawn animation with CGI in the physical space of the story is the result of new in-house software called Meander, a vector-based drawing program that allows for manipulation of the line after the fact — something that Kahrs described as “just like painting on the surface of the CG.”
The references to hand-drawn animation work well with the monochromatic, mid-twentieth century backdrop to develop the love story. But effects like the army of paper planes would be incredibly time-consuming to animate without the help of modern computer graphics.