Louisiana-made animated short film up for an Oscar
You could say Shreveport-based startup Moonbot Studios is batting a solid 1.000. The studio's first-ever animation project—a 15-minute film titled The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore—has been announced to be one of five finalists for the Academy Award for best animated short firm. The studio says the film was inspired in equal measures by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz and a love for books. Using a variety of techniques, including miniatures, computer animation, and 2D animation, award-winning author and illustrator William Joyce and co-director Brandon Oldenburg present a hybrid style of animation that harkens back to silent films and MGM Technicolor musicals. "We made Morris Lessmore with passion, sweat and every nickel we could rub together," says Joyce, managing creative partner of Moonbot Studios. "To see it embraced by the Academy is the biggest smile imaginable." In tandem with the film, the studio also created a best-selling, interactive iPad app based on the film, and it's also working on a hard-copy book version of the story with Simon & Schuster that is due out later this year. The Los Angeles Times has a lengthy feature today on Moonbot Studios and its nominated film—including a clip—that you can check out here.
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