Popcorn and a Book (23): The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Fantastic Flying Books vs

The Book: 2012

Written by William Joyce; illustrated by William Joyce and Joe Bluhm (Atheneum Books for Young Readers: A Simon & Schuster imprint)

The Animated Short: 2011

Directed by  William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg (Moonbot Studios)

This weekend, gold-plated statuettes named Oscar will be given out in honour of achievements in film. This time last year, I was mesmerized by a short animated film that took home an Oscar: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

The short film is about Mr. Morris Lessmore, whose story is swept to the wind. A girl introduces him to her favourite book and the book leads him to a building filled with more books. The books bring Mr. Morris life and happiness as he in turn keeps the books alive by sharing their stories with others.

If you have not watched this animated short yet, do it right now! Here it is. Go! Have you watched it? Ok, I will continue. As a bibliophile, this film absolutely warms my heart. Living in a world of books? How fantastic! And I don’t know why adding legs to books makes them cute, but these books definitely have cuteness in spades. Doesn’t your heart just lift when the old book comes back to life by being read?

This film is an allegory about the power of words, stories, books and their ability to bring us to life, and to tell our own life stories. It just makes so much sense that this charming and beautiful film would be made into a book. Now the story is a book about a book about books.

The book is stunning! Just as the film is done with different types of animation, the illustrations are done in a few different styles, some hand-drawn, others drawn with computers. This book does a wonderful job of capturing the magic of the story from the film.

The story of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, whether told through film or book, is a love letter to books. Stories need to be told to live; this is one story that will live for a long, long time in the hearts of readers and wordsmiths.

What’s your favourite book about books? Or film about books? Share your answers in comments.

“Popcorn and a Book” is a monthly feature where I compare one book with its adapted film. If you would like to participate in this feature or see more “Popcorn and a Book” posts, please visit the “Popcorn and a Book” main page for details.

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