Isn’t this great? a black and white Disney short called Paperman (2012). It looks stunning and I really want to see it after this featurette.
This will surely garner enough attention and awards to be turned into a full length movie? Lets face it, the corporation is producing less than desirable films and stagnant fairy tales and what better way to go retain those glory years than to start simple and work on a story; leave the pools of colours and fanfare alluding to realism to 3rd and forth and just make something wonderful again. Truly wonderful.
I was born in the mid eighties and spent my formative years in the 90s. We probably were the generation spoilt by the best period of Disney ever and like Pixar in the 2000’s Disney was insurmountable when it came to quality family viewing. The music in them, quality, the illustrations superb, the plot lines? Fantastic. I swear down, Little Mermaid definitely set the bar, but The Lion King, Beauty and The Beast, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Aladdin and so on…there has just never been anything like it since. VHS allowed these films to peak, we could bring them into our homes, watch them over and over and over until the tape wore (truth, Beauty and the Beast); we were also treated to older Disney which up until that point in time had no means of being shared but were now given the chance to be restored and enjoyed by an audience with a deep affinity for everything attached to the house of Mickey Mouse. Jungle Book, Lady and the Tramp, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Aristocats, 101 Dalmatians, Robin Hood and The Rescuers – It took me an age to realise that these films were made long before my time but they must have been given such dedicated PR because they were treated with such adoration as the glossy sharp coloured perfection that followed after The Little Mermaid.
Then they got complacent and arrogant. With the flip of a switch (or so it felt) they didn’t expect Toy Story to do as well as it did. Shrek followed and suddenly the generation grew up and the new ones had a preference for CG Animation and next to no singing. What’s interesting about this though, is that Disney has been using CG Animation to make their films for a while now – I will always remember how that infamous ballroom dance scene in Beauty and the Beast looked so real to me, i was convinced aI told everyone who would listen that it wasn’t like the rest of the film. I was right. However it worked. It always has, so why not find a way to utilise this effect without losing the trademark style that only Disney has any claim to. Surely this is a money-making winner? They can still remain the Disney we all know and love but better, and the best thing is, they’ll probably be the best ones at it, no contest.
With recent turn outs of Tangled, the beautifully illustrated but underwhelming 2-D animated The Princess and the Frog and Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie (also in black and white) I think there is more than enough evidence to show that the audience are perhaps seeking out originality again, stories that are simple and striking outside of colours and endless witticisms; back to the basics maybe? I think a longer version of Paperman may just do that and I’m most certainly rallying for Disney to contend again.