First Official Look At Disney's Paperman

A beautiful new short film

While Pixar and other animation companies have brought back short ‘toons before their main features years ago, it hasn’t been quite such an established tradition for recent Disney Animation, despite boss John Lasseter's encouragement. All that is set to change with Wreck-It Ralph early next year, which will come alongside the beautifully-designed Paperman, which you can glimpse in the first official image above, via EW.

Created using a brand new process that blends CG animation with hand-drawn work, it might just help bring the technique back in a very big way, which is just what the people behind it are hoping.

“Drawing can have a really powerful, visceral effect on the viewer. You can create anger and surprise or anguish with just a few lines of a pencil,” says director John Kahrs, a veteran animator with credits including The Incredibles and Tangled. “But it can’t just be the same thing it was. I think for 2-D to be revitalized, you have to figure out a way to make it new again.”

The tale of a man who tries desperately to win the attention – and affection – of the woman of his dreams via paper airplanes sent between office blocks in New York, it promises to be a sweet, romantic yarn. And while the company is in no way turning its back on 3D, this was a chance to stretch what the format can do. “As exciting a time that we live in right now, with so many CG features being done, that kind of stylized photo-realism can’t be the only way that animation can look,” says Kahrs. “And I also think it’s okay to push on 2-D. The time has come to see what the future can be for that, too.”

For more from Kars and his team, head to EW’s site. The short will be attached to Wreck-It Ralph when it arrives on February 15, 2013.