Recently on Youtube I came across the 15-minute Academy Award-winning film short based on the 2012 children’s book The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce. My three-year-old and I clicked through and watched, completely enraptured.
According to MorrisLessmore.com, the tale is ”of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor….a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story.” Of course that will hit a soft spot for this librarian, and things may have gotten a bit “dusty” in my living room towards the end of the film. I recommend the book and the film to anyone, child or adult, who can’t live without books. But what struck me afterwards (while rewatching the film, with my husband this time), is that not a word is uttered during the entire thing! Music sets and alters the mood and tempo, and a few key statements are communicated via handwritten letters and printed words on pages; the overall sensation is that of being swirled gently and completely into a gorgeous, speechless world.
As to be expected from such technological pioneers, Morris Lessmore’s cinematic creators at Moonbot Studio go beyond the printed book and a short film. You can download the richly illustrated ebook from iTunes ($4.99), and once you own (or borrow from the library) either a printed or ebook copy, you can buy an app (for iPhone/iPad only, $0.99) called the IMAG-N-O-TRON, which according to Moonbot “uses augmented reality technology to bring the printed page to life. Simply point the camera of your device at the pages and step into Morris Lessmore’s library, see words fly off the page, and peek into a part of Lessmore’s world not shown in the book or movie.”
Fantastic flying books, indeed!
I hope that everyone has a safe and fun Fourth of July holiday tomorrow. The library will be closed, but remember, our eLibrary offerings are always open. Happy Fourth!