Now Watching: “Paperman” (2012) by Walt Disney Animation Studios

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There’s something viscerally pleasing about watching short films. Often devoid of dialogue, extensive plot capitulations, and special effects, shorts are a way to really express emotions and get to the spirit of the film – without all of that tedious mucking about in exposition.

There’s also a special aesthetic pleasure that comes from watching a well-drawn, 2-D animation. Not to rag on the genius-level work happening at Pixar or Dreamworks Animation these days, but two-dimensional animation – with its wonderful palette of flat, yet deep, colors and expressive movement – can still, to this day, evoke emotions that a modern computer-generated film would find challenging.

Combine these two traits and we end up with a short film called “Paperman”, created by Walt Disney Animation Studios. It’s the simple story about a man and a woman (how much more simple can you get?) and the hands – or rather, the winds – of fate.

It’s simple enough, but the sepia-lined setting and the simple innocence of the whole thing manages to bring a smile on your face, no matter when or where, no matter how you feel.

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