|Morris and Humpty Dumpty [source]|
Have you seen the Oscar nominated short film, "The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore"? The animation is riveting, but so is the story. The first scene opens, with "Pop Goes the Weasel" playing in the background, and the camera shot panning down to Morris. He is sitting on his (New-Orleans-French-Quarter-looking) balcony, humming to himself and writing in his journal when, suddenly a strong wind kicks up, blowing his words right off the page. Ultimately - in true Wizard of Oz style - he and all his books are swept away as well. This occurrence, like the song accompanying it, seems nonsensical.
"Why" and "Where" are the questions that make you want to watch until the end. And the engaging little Humpty Dumpty flip-book character, stylized animation, and Buster Keaton dance numbers (albeit with stick-leg books!), won't let you look away.
In doing some quick investigating, I discovered that the impetus for this film, all about Book Love, was born in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. These words of author/creator/director William Joyce brought tears to my eyes:
"The main thing I guess," Joyce said, "was going into the shelters and seeing the displaced people and seeing the kids in these, usually a sports arena, with no privacy or any of the stuff they knew as home. But they had been given books -- there were different organizations to make sure kids had books to read while they were in the shelter. Seeing these kids reading these books and being able to shut out all the sadness and the uncertainty and lose themselves in a book..." [source]
I don't know how long the film will be available to view on YouTube, but here's the link - enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkJPMsWw6Z8
(And if you would like to give a book to a child in need, or support groups doing this, visit one of these sites: BookEnds, Better World Books, Reading Is Fundamental [RIF], or Save The Children.)