Black and white save for the red lipstick she wears. No talking. Just music and paper airplanes. It’s time for a discussion of my favorite Disney short.
George and Meg are the two heroes of this animated short. George is a young accountant. Meg is the girl he meets on the train platform. A gust of wind blows one of his papers onto her face, leaving a red lipstick kiss. Before they can get acquainted, Meg’s train arrives, and she boards. George watches in awe, and misses his train. He arrives at work, and is given a big stack of papers by his boss. To his shock, Meg is sitting by the window of the building across the street! So he makes airplane after airplane, trying to get her attention. Finally, he has one paper left: the one with the lipstick kiss. He throws it, it misses, and he angrily storms out. Meanwhile, the airplanes have all landed in an alley, and they take to the sky. The red kiss airplane finds Meg and starts leading her through the city. The others surround George and force him all over the city. The two finally meet on the train platform where it all began. Then the credits shows them going out to lunch together.
Why I Love Paperman
I’m a hopeless romantic. Love stories are my absolute favorite, and this one really takes the cake. What I love is that this story is so easily understood, you don’t need words. You know that George is thinking about her. You know that he’s tortured by the fact that he didn’t get the chance to get to know her better. And you know that watching her sit across the street in another building is eating him up inside. When they meet again on the train platform, I think that words would’ve been a hindrance.
I also love the simplicity of the art & animation. It reminds me of a Walt Disney short from the 20th century. It’s wonderfully charming and old-fashioned. But yet, it feels like a blending of the old and the new. The bright bold red of Meg’s lipstick just feels so dramatic. The scenery, cars, trains, and outfits make it feel delightfully retro. Meg looks like she could honestly be from any era. So does George.
I’m Not The Only One Who Loves It
Paperman has received acclaim for blending CG animation with hand drawn line work. It won an Oscar for the Best Animated Short Film. It also won an Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject. John Kahrs, the director, has been given lots of acclaim for his animation techniques.
Paperman is the short that came with Wreck-It-Ralph, and is also part of the animated shorts collection on Netflix. Give it a watch!