I first saw Paperman at the cinema before seeing Wreck-It Ralph, which I absolutely loved. I feel as though my excitement for the latter was what made my initial rating of this animated short lower than it should have been. Watching it for the second time today, I was really affected by it, much more so than I was the first time round.
Blending traditional hand-drawn animation with a computer generated three-dimensionality, Paperman is a streamlined throwback to 1940s romance. A young office worker is given a second chance to catch the attention of a girl he met at a station platform, when he sees her in the opposite block from his window. He crafts paper aeroplanes in the hopes of having her notice him. When it seems as though all hope is lost, a bit of magic is what helps this young pair on their way to meeting each other again.
The soundtrack is what tugs at the heartstrings most, with floating strings building up to an emotional crescendo that suits the movements of the characters as they race toward their unknown destinations. Genuinely affecting, the film also has moments of light-hearted comedy that mean it is entertaining from beginning to end. A favourite moment of mine is when an unassuming man across the way receives one of the planes by accident, and gets excited thinking that he might have an admirer.
A luscious black and white love affair, Paperman is an imaginative short that can survive rewatches thanks to its likeable protagonist and its emotive score.
FINAL VERDICT: ★★★★