How Disney’s ‘Paperman’ turned old school animation into Oscar gold


Disney’s Paperman won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film Sunday night, marking a triumph not only for the studio, but for hand-drawn animation — a medium that seemed to be nearing extinction thanks to the rise of Pixar CG marvels like Up and Wall-E. But as director John Kahrs explained in an interview with Fast CompanyPaperman isn’t just an homage to the animated films of yesteryear; it’s a testament to how modern technology can breathe new life into analog formats.

According to Kahrs, Paperman was originally conceived as “an urban fairy tale in a beautiful world of light and shadow” that would deploy global illumination and other cutting edge CG technologies. Things slightly changed, however, once Kahrs began working alongside Glen Keane, a renowned 2D animator whose previous credits include Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. It was Keane’s influence that inspired Kahrs to turn Paperman into a hybrid of 2D and 3D animation — a blend that would appropriately reflect the film’s nostalgic aesthetic. The only challenge? Finding the technology capable of pulling it off. Read the rest of the story at Fast Company.


Paperman and the Future of 2D Animation

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