"Fantastic Flying Books" Wins SIGGRAPH 2011 Best in Show
The Animated Short Tops This Year's Computer Animation Festival
Co-directed with Brandon Oldenburg and produced at Joyce’s Moonbot Studios in Shreveport, LA, the film is equal parts MGM musical, silent movie and animated tale. It combines a variety of animation technique to fuse a hybrid style that Joyce and Oldenburg hope is as unique as the storyline. “As the story evolved,” says Joyce, “we found it lent itself to the three types of animation that we really cherish and enjoy the most: computer animation, stop-motion animation and traditional 2D animation. Once we decided to try to put those three together, it meant we had to build miniatures.”
“Lessmore” is also currently the number one iPad app, a rare feat for an app of its kind. In that form the story includes text, and though highly interactive, more closely resembles a traditional book.
Joyce has always had one foot in digital animation and the other in traditional illustration. He did conceptual designs for Pixar’s original Toy Story and, in addition to other projects at Moonbot, is co-directing with Peter Ramsey Rise of the Guardians, an animated feature for DreamWorks slated for release next year. That film, at least, is based on a series of Joyce’s picture books. But in an inverse industry move, the first book hasn’t appeared yet and will be published later this year. Each subsequent book in the series will tease out the back stories of the characters in the DreamWorks film.
Watch a trailer for “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” here and catch the whole thing during the Computer Animation Festival at SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver next month.