Books & Technology: Friends or Foes?
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Ages 4 - 8
This book started as an Academy Award winning animated short film directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, and produced by Moonbot Studios in Shreveport, Louisiana. What happens when a huge wind comes up and all your books -- not to mention buildings! – are lost? Mr. Morris Lessmore finds out when he goes to work in a library after he loses all of his books. He discovers that sharing books is the most rewarding, proving that “less” is “more.”
Available in Spanish
About the Author
William Joyce has achieved world-wide recognition as an author, illustrator and pioneer in the digital and animation industry. In February 2012, he won an Academy Award for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, an animated short film about the curative powers of story. In the past two years, he has also written seven hard copy Simon & Schuster children’s books including The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, The Guardians of Childhood book series: The Man in the Moon, The Sandman: Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie, Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core! and Toothania: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies. His newest books, The Mischievians and Sandman and the War of Dreams will be released this fall. Named by Newsweek magazine as “One of the 100 people to watch in the new millennium,” William has been heavily involved in the world of digital animation from its full-scale inception at Pixar Animation. His projects have been produced by nearly every major film studio including Disney, Twentieth Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation. His feature films include Rise of the Guardians, Robots and Meet the Robinsons and his television series George Shrinks and Rolie Polie Olie for which he won three Emmy Awards. Additionally, he is the writer, producer, and production designer on the Blue Sky Studios feature film, Epic, inspired by his book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. Epic was released in the summer of 2013.
“The story, in a nutshell, concerns the titular book-loving Mr. Morris Lessmore, whose personal library is blown away in a terrible wind but who finds meaning caring for the books he finds in a marvelous library. Filled with both literary (Shakespeare, Humpty-Dumpty) and film references (The Wizard of Oz, The Red Balloon and Buster Keaton), the picture book version of Joyce's story has a quiet contemplative charm that demonstrates the continuing allure of the printed page. Paradoxically, the animated books of the film and app are captured as though in a series of frozen frames. The motif of the bound, printed book is everywhere. Even the furnishings and architectural details of the old-fashioned library in which the books “nest” like flying birds recall the codex. The unifying metaphor of life as story is a powerful one, as is the theme of the transformative power of books. The emphasis on connecting readers and books and the care of books pays homage to librarianship. Rich in allusions (“Less is More”) and brilliant in depicting the passage of time (images conflate times of day, seasons and years), Joyce’s work will inspire contemplation of the power of the book in its many forms. As triumphant in book form as in animated and interactive ones."