The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

This  fifteen-minute American short film (made by Moonbot studios)  is based on a story by William Joyce and co-directed by Brandon Oldenburg. It is a captivating tale even though it is told with no words and accompanied by the music of John Hunter. The studio calls it “a love letter to books” and describes it as being about “the curative power of story”.

The plot touches on Hurricane Katrina which devastated New Orleans in 2005, and a love of books. The film starts with the main character, Mr. Morris Lessmore, sitting on a balcony in New Orleans writing his memoir. Suddenly a hurricane strikes and all the writing is blown out of his book and he is blown away. It is very clear that Morris Lessmore was visually modeled after the silent film actor Buster Keaton.

Buster Keaton

Like The Wizard of Oz the film uses the contrast of colour and black-and-white as a narrative device. In this case, the black-and -white represents despair and is brought about by the storm.  Mr Morris is full of colour when he steps into the library.

After winning many film festivals The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore won an Oscar this year for Best Animated Short Film. The film includes a mix of various animation and live action techniques, 3D computer characters, miniature sets and traditional 2D hand drawn animation.

William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg

Matt Goldburg  wrote “As the short develops, you see how stories (symbolized by books) shape and enrich our lives especially once we tell our own. …..The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore made me tear up by the end, and after watching the short, I hope you’ll understand and share my reaction”.

View it here and enjoy!

Mrs H.

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