The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, the animation inspired by New York Times bestselling author William Joyce‘s book, won 2012’s Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. The story was fueled, in part, by a focus on finding happiness and the curative power of books after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A synopsis from Kirkus Reviews:
The story, in a nutshell, concerns the titular book-loving Mr. Morris Lessmore, whose personal library is blown away in a terrible wind but who finds meaning caring for the books he finds in a marvelous library. Filled with both literary (Shakespeare, Humpty-Dumpty) and film references (The Wizard of Oz, The Red Balloon and Buster Keaton), the picture book version of Joyce’s story has a quiet contemplative charm that demonstrates the continuing allure of the printed page.
Silent film star Buster Keaton is the visual model for Lessmore. The Wizard of Oz set the animation’s tone and familiar black and white to color transition.
Explore more storytelling on TKSST, including:
• Wangari Maathai – “I will be a hummingbird”
• Sylvester and the Magic Pebble read by Reid Scott
• Ray Harryhausen’s Mother Goose Stories (1946)
• Borrowed Light: An ambitious plan to see the light by stealing it