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

DailyView: Day 337, Movie 482

With Morbius scheduled for tonight, I needed to do the early morning DailyView today, which meant I needed to pull from the short category. Since I have been doing Oscar winners this week, I decided to look into the list of Oscar winners for Best Short and I found a film that was intriguing in the Best Animated Short category. It had the title The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

In the short, a hurricane levels a city leaving Morris Lessmore alone and confused. He saw a flying woman, supported by several books and this led him to a library with a portrait of the woman on the wall.

Morris becomes the proprietor of the library, taking care of the magical books and giving out books to those members of the community still suffering from the storm.

Morris begins to rewrite his memoir, completing it years later. Satisfied with his life’s work, the books swirl around him again and he becomes young once more, flying off much like the woman he saw originally. When a new young girl arrived at the library, Morris’s portrait has joined the wall.

There are lots of connections in this animated short to past films. There is a definite Wizard of Oz flare here, including a use of black and white/color scheme. Jules Verne’s book, From the Earth tot he Moon is referenced during the film as was the children’s rhyme Humpty Dumpty. Morris himself was modeled after Buster Keaton’s character in Steamboat Bill, Jr.

The animation is beautiful, as one could expect in an Oscar winner, and, according to IMDB, it used several techniques in its animation (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation).

The importance of books and stories in a person’s life cannot be overstated in this film, clearly a major theme. There are plenty of ideas swirling around the film and it is worth a watch.

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