Blending traditional 2D hand-drawn animation with the cutting edge expression and lustre of CG, Paperman, a short attached to prints of Rich Moore's Wreck-It Ralph, is a masterclass in effortless artistic expression and creativity. The plot couldn't be simpler: a pair meet at a train station, a dorky man and a Disney-eyed lass, and before they can say a word to each other, they part their separate ways. That is of course, until he spies her in the building across from the one in which he works. Animated shorts have always been a delight - perfectly formed bite-size aperitifs with enough narrative and emotional heft to oil the limbic system before the main course. It's something that Pixar, for example, have got down to a fine, fine art. Where Paperman excels however, is in its abstinence from cutesy critters or the anthropomorphising of inanimate objects, and giving us real human (and adult) characters to work with. Paperman, with its depiction of fleeting attraction, commentary on rat-in-a-wheel toil all watched over by humourless authority, and fatalistic resolution, provides us with a very profound and mature angle, all lovingly pencilled and scored by masters of their craft. Marvellous.
Paperman is free to watch on YouTube here.