“Paperman” – Disney’s hot new animated short – drawn by humans, animated by computers

by planetMitch5 Comments

I just bumped into this very impressive animated short from Disney that is called “Paperman” – it was drawn by humans but animated with computers.

It has nothing to do with HDSLRs but has everything to do with storytelling, moviemaking, and sound – the soundtrack on this is equally amazing. There's no dialog so everything is told thru sound and music.

Disney has included a couple of quick behind the scenes videos which you can see after the jump.

A scene from “Paperman” from Disney


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Story behind the story

Introducing a groundbreaking technique that seamlessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn animation techniques, first-time director John Kahrs takes the art of animation in a bold new direction with the Oscar®-nominated short, “Paperman.” Using a minimalist black-and-white style, the short follows the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him. Created by a small, innovative team working at Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Paperman” pushes the animation medium in an exciting new direction.

Behind the scenes

Paperclip: The Idea

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Paperclip: The Look

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Paperclip: The Drawings

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Just feels good

This was just a great short story that struck me – and so I wanted to share it with you.

Have you had a moment where you saw someone you were incredibly attracted to and then were split up – but you wish you'd found out who they were? I know I have! But I never got to meet them again like in this story

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. Amazing truly very touching a true storytelling film, that just speaks out so clearly with its music and expressions of the each character even the landscapes are so lively.
    And even when the train comes the breeze blowing which begins with the conversion between the boy and the girl.
    And finally the paper planes!

    Truly amazing

  2. When I clicked on this article I thought this was some kind of new procedural animation technique “animated by computers”.
    As a 3d animator I find it a little irritating when I hear the sentence “animated by computers” as if somehow the computer does it automatically. This is clearly “animated by humans using computers” But none the less. an excellent short and thank you for sharing it. awesome!

  3. It’s lovely, but the music is jarringly modern and anachronistic. It should have stayed true the early ’50’s thing to cement the place and time better.

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