It was a surprise that Pixar was beat out for the Best Animated Short during the 84th Academy Awards this last Sunday. They always seem to have the best chance of winning everything they are nominated for, but not this time around. This year Pixar's La Luna was beat out by The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by a couple of lively animators from Louisiana named William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, and it's now available to watch online in its entirety. The film is great, and after having seen it I can see why it won. Here's a description of the film from their official website:
Inspired in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, "Morris Lessmore" is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story. Using a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation), award-winning author/illustrator William Joyce and Co-director Brandon Oldenburg present a hybrid style of animation that harkens back to silent films and M-G-M Technicolor musicals. "Morris Lessmore" is old-fashioned and cutting edge at the same time.
The short is extremely well-made, and who knows? Maybe Pixar will one day hire these two guys to work with them on a film someday. Watch the 15-minute short below, and let us know what you think!