Watch 'The Fantastic Flying Books'
While “The Help” didn’t take home best picture at the Academy Awards last night, and Viola Davis’s best actress award went instead to Meryl Streep, it was still a great night for the South. Octavia Spencer was recognized as best supporting actress for “The Help,” thanking her family and home state of Alabama, Mississippi got plenty of nods, and a little film made in Louisiana won best animated short. “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” is the first film by Moonbot Studios, located in Shreveport, and was directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg.
Announcing the win on their website, the pair say the movie was inspired by book lover Bill Morris, who is remembered for his enthusiasm for promoting literature for children and teens. Other inspirations were Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton and The Wizard of Oz, with the filmmakers paying a nod to silent films and MGM Technicolor musicals. For the film, the Moonbot team created thousands of hand painted books, and it’s this attention to detail that makes the 15-minute short so fascinating. Books and literary plays on words are everywhere. You could watch it over and over and discover something new each time. The film is also available on iTunes, along with a companion iPad app.
Congratulations to all of last night’s winners, especially those, like Joyce and Oldenburg and Woody Allen, who celebrated the art of reading and their literary heroes on the big screen.