Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Fantastic Flying Books at the Oscars

Did you watch the Oscars Sunday? Octavia Spencer won best supporting actress for The Help. Yay! My sincerest congratulations to you and a giant internet hug to you girl!!! That movie has sooo been added to my faves list.

Also bookish, is the winner of the best Short Animated Film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg. It is, well, fantastic. It blends stop motion with computer animation and traditional hand-drawing.

The film begins with Morris Lessmore sitting on a balcony in the French Quarter of New Orleans writing his memoir, when a hurricane strikes transporting him to a place where books are living entities. Check it out for yourself:

The companion interactive storybook app for the iPad rose to the top of Apple's Top Grossing Book Apps list last year. John Pavlus praised the app in his article for fastcodesign.com:

When you open up the app, it doesn't waste your time with teaching-screens about how to interact with it--it just smoothly enters the story...Gently animated cues surface in the lush visuals at just the right time, encouraging you to explore the app rather than slavishly plod through it: When a house gets picked up in a tornado, you can use your fingers to swipe and spin it around--but you don't have to. In fact, the interface design is so subtle it wasn't until I was about six pages in that I realized that every page of the app has some delightful feature embedded into it that you have to find for yourself. This is the key to a successful children's book--inviting them to play and explore and be curious, not just jab buttons to activate cheesy visual effects. And mercifully, every gewgaw in the book has a button so you can toggle it on or off: For example, you can kill the voiceover so you can read to your kid in your own voice the way God intended, or silence the music and sound effects if you want to. But they're all just a tap away if you change your mind--and the whole experience is so well-produced, you very well just might.

A book adaptation is expected to be released in late 2012.

The author, William Joyce, has had a very accomplished career both as a writer and an animator. He created character designs for some of Pixar's first animated classics (Toy Story; A Bug's Life) and has worked on projects for Dreamworks and Disney. He has written and illustrated over fifty children's books, including Rolie Polie Olie for which he won three Emmys for the animated series airing on the Disney Channel.

There are great videos and interviews at his website.

Have a great week and as always, thanks for stopping by.



  1. I didn't watch the Oscars, so I'm glad you shared this with me! :) I shared a link on my blog: http://authorjess.blogspot.com/2012/02/whats-up-wednesday-happy-leap-day.html

  2. Hi Jess,
    Thanks for stopping by, it's so nice to see you again. And a gazillion thanks for the shout-out.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...