Directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, is an emotional ride and a tribute to the magic of books and the world of literature.
The animation opens with a scene of Mr. Lessmore sitting on his balcony surrounded by books only to be violently carried away by a twister that oddly resembles one from “The Wizard of Oz” – especially when a neighbour flies by on his bicycle. The animation morphs from colour to monochromatic grey-scale. Even the words to Mr. Lessmore’s book have been blown away, but his story is still alive within himself.
He follows a trail of lost stories until he comes across a flying character being carried away by books. He chases one of those books to a stand-alone building that has become a shelter for stories both old and new. The responsibility of caring for, spreading and creating new stories has fallen upon Mr. Lessmore, and he takes this on willingly. The short continues to visually portray Mr. Lessmore’s ‘literary’ life till it’s time to pass on the torch to the coming generation; to one who truly understands and appreciates the importance of story telling.
There are very many aspects of the animation that I found very creative in their simplicity. The animation itself is silent yet the books are given voice and emotion through body language as well as flipbook capabilities to animate their illustrations and convey their messages. The simple idea of a book creating hope, joy and colour in people’s lives is effectively conveyed as Mr. Lessmore distributes stories to others and watches the colour return to their very being. A perceived reality that so many book lovers continuously try to put across about their love of the written word is wonderfully created in this short.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, is a beautifully constructed visual journey of the magic of books. A must see!