In this day and age, the work of a critic is simple. We posture, often carelessly, without worry or concern for our words and the effect they have on those willing to offer us more than just a glimpse into their art. And yet, somehow it’s enough to erase months, often years, even a lifetime of painstaking work. Which is why, at a time when an opinion has carried more weight than ever before, I applaud those willing to take enormous risks.
However, I reserve my applause for one effort in particular; someone who dared not to be new, someone who found solace in olden tradition, and instead, put the onus back squarely on the shoulders of the audience. I present, John Kahrs’ animated short film, Paperman.
Another instant Disney classic, Paperman defies convention by abandoning dialogue and color as if they were shackles to the imagination. Willing to succeed only under the merit of the story, Kahrs and his team at Disney raise the ghosts of Chaplin, Griffith, and Murnau in terrific fashion by delivering a tale of desperation, serendipity, and love. The plot, although transparent and uncomplicated, prospers in familiarity and triumphs in its ability to make our hearts run the gambit of emotions, all in a little over six minutes.
A resounding job well done Disney.