Slate Reel: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011)

This particular film is very close to the heart of one of my Slate team members, and since we are in the month of gush and goo-goo romanticism, let me, only this one time, be all sentimental about it. So be warned, you’re in for an emotional monologue.

According to my team member, who I will code name Ms. More for the purposes of discretion, and according to me I dare say, this film is perfect. It has everything that is beautiful in the world in it, given that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. How can you not love a story of a man whose love for books brings him to a world of books? How can you not go crazy for beds and pianos and chairs and everything else made of books but in a completely innovative way?  I mean, a giant bed made of one giant book, is there anything better? How can you not love books that can make you fly? This short film is the hypothetical (but hopelessly plausible) babychild if ever Wizard of Oz and The Pagemaster got married and had fun. How can you not adore that gorgeous combination?

This film has no dialoque or speaking lines but rightly so because in a story about stories, ironically, there are not enough words to even start with. What takes the place of dialogue is the magnificent score that draws your attention as if it’s actually speaking to you. It’s an animated film but it beats out a lot of live-action movies when it comes to inducing emotion. The story, the circumstances, the subtle nuances in expression make you cry, laugh, revel, and sigh all in just glorious 15 minutes. It can even take you back to those sweet playful childhood days we sometimes miss so much.

If you’re not convinced by all these gushing over a film, then let its Oscar win for Best Animated Short Film reassure you. This is one of the most spellbinding short films in recent history. What’s even greater than perfect you may ask? Well, the creators of this brilliant film, Moonbot Studios, had the brilliant idea of making a website, an iPad app, and a picture book to complement the film. You can find all the additional surprises here. How wonderful is that, really?

If you’re convinced, you can watch the film right here. Thank the universe that it’s still streamed free.



One Response to “Slate Reel: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011)”

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