Friday, February 17, 2023

Disney+ Review: Paper Man

Short and sweet. That was what the Disney Short Film Paperman was for me. It is a seven-minute movie that is in black and white (mostly). There is no dialogue, just music and other background sounds here and there. There is no script and this is a story told through animation but it still made me feel the emotions that were in the story. 

The story starts with a meet-cute where a young man and a young woman encounter each other while waiting for the train. The girl leaves ahead of the guy and he thought the moment had passed and he would never see her again. While he is at work, he looks out the window and sees her by the window of another building across the street. He then makes paper airplanes and tries to fly each one to her to get her attention. Even after finishing a pile of paper, he fails to get her attention and by the time he runs out, she is already leaving the building. 

Even if he was in trouble with his boss, the young man runs out and tries to catch her on the street but he misses her. By some miracle/magic, the paper airplanes that he threw out are all in one place and they start flying around, coming to life with one mission: to get the young man and the young woman together. A bunch of the airplanes pushes the young man around to get him to a train and one single airplane attracts the young woman and she follows it to another train. The film ends with the two finding each other again at the same train station where they first met at the start of the film. The end credits then shows the young couple on a date together at a diner.

The film was so simple and yet I found it so endearing. It was cute how the guy was desperately trying to get the girl’s attention with the paper airplanes, how frustrated he was that she was so close and yet so far away. It was sweet that when he had given up, the paper airplanes made a way for them to see each other again and have that moment to get to know each other better.  It was also interesting that the story was from the male point of view, since usually stories that are about romance are centered around the main female character.

The story of the short film for me was not just about romance but was also about destiny. I loved the meet-cute that set up the fact that the man and the woman were meant to meet each other. The moments in between the beginning and the end of the film showed that no matter what happens, if something is meant to be, it is meant to me. It also reminded me of the line from the book The Alchemist that says (and I am paraphrasing here) that when you want something the universe conspires to make it happen. The young man wanted to have a chance to meet the young woman again and the universe (by way of the paper airplanes) made it happen. I also thought it was a nice touch that while most of the film was in black in white, they chose to put color into the mark of the woman’s lipstick on the paper. I felt that it was a way of saying that the young man’s boring, day to day life suddenly had color because of the woman making a mark into his life. 

I have watched a number of short films on Disney+ already and this one is already on my list of favorites on the streaming service. It had the right amount of sweetness, romance and magic all crammed up in a few minutes. I hope that they can make more of memorable and endearing short films like this. I would love to see more films like this in the future.


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