Paperman: Disney+ Talk

Paperman: Disney+ Talk

Disney+ Talk With Megan Williams: Paperman Short Film (2012)

As is obvious by now, the Disney+ Talk feature doesn’t just cover feature films, but shorts too. And the 2012 short ‘Paperman’ was one that was going to be covered before the release of ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’. However, this did not occur purely because I wasn’t sure whether it was a Disney production despite being on the streaming service. Disney+ also contains National Geographic and Star, hence where the confusion lied. But ‘Paperman’ does count as a Disney short as it was distributed by them.

‘Paperman’ is a 7-minute short that was released on the DVD for ‘Wreck It Ralph‘. It follows two people as they reconnect after their initial encounter in a unique way.

While it’s a simple story of a man trying to capture the heart of a woman that he met at a train station, the execution of this common story is what makes it stand out. The hand drawn/CGI hybrid animation is gorgeous and the movements are fluid. Despite this being released nearly ten years ago, it still looks fantastic. This was a short that originated in the 1990’s, with it being pitched several times. So, it makes sense that the animation style reflects the Disney films that have long since been forgotten about by the company. It makes me wish Disney would be more willing to take a risk when it comes to their animated films. 

The use of the black & white overlay gives it a 1930’s feel too, which is unique to the usual colourful films that Disney makes. However, this doesn’t mean ‘Paperman’ is gloomy. It’s in fact the opposite. The story is hopeful and charming, not just because of the story, but because of the playful characters and musical score. This short is essentially two adults experiencing the innocent wonders of connecting with a significant other for the first time and it’s delightful. It’s also playful with the execution; the man uses paper planes to try and get the woman’s attention and ends up failing, leading to those planes following him and showing him where she is. It’s silly and funny but, once again, charming and innocent. The music also reacts with the planes, specifically when he’s attempting to catch her attention and failing. This adds meaning to the score: it’s minimalistic but it gives the planes a sense of personality and purpose. 

Overall, ‘Paperman’ is a short I’m glad to finally cover on the Disney+ Talk feature. It’s charming and innocent, while also standing out from a modern Disney film/short. Long gone are the hand drawn-style films that Disney used to create, but it’s wonderful to catch a glimpse of what that might look like today.

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Megan’s taste in films are interesting: her favourite films are ‘Space Jam’, Studio Ghibli’s ‘The Cat Returns’, as well as horror films ‘Saw’, ‘Drag Me To Hell’ and ‘Ju-On: The Grudge’. When she’s not watching films, she’ll be spending precious hours playing ‘Crash Bandicoot’.


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