Flying Books? Yes Please!

Freya with FIt’s finally Friday!  And according to my agenda that means it’s Film Friday where I share a short animated film that tells its story without a single word of dialog.  With today’s letter being F, I’m pleased to present The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (TFFBOMML), which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film this year.  At fifteen minutes, it’s on the long side for a short, but if you love books – reading them and/or writing them – then you really should watch this delightful film at some point.  

I hesitate to say too much about it lest I ruin the magic that makes it so special. Plus, I imagine it means different things to viewers depending on their relationship with reading and writing.
The first time I watched it, I got teary-eyed at several points, and by the end I was full on snotty-nosed-need-a-tissue-to-mop-up-my-face crying.  I doubt most people have that reaction, but I’m at a point in my struggles with being a writer that it was exactly the catharsis I needed.  Although I do think most readers and writers will feel the charm of TFFBOMML in some way.
I’ve always loved books – their stories transported me to different worlds that often felt more real than the one I was living in, and I think TFFBOMML really captures that feeling.  And even though I was a computer science minor during college, I have completely resisted the move to e-readers.  As I writer I understand the magic is in the story no matter how it’s delivered, but as an old-school reader, I love books.  I love wandering along the shelves pulling out one on this shelf or test driving another on that shelf.  I love the smell of the pages.  I love the feel of the paper.  So for me, that scene where he brings a book back to life by reading it perfectly conveys the magical connection between books and their readers.
But where TFFBOMML turned me into a weepy mess was at the end as the man completes his journey as a writer.  Being a writer is a long, hard road, but we travel it hoping for the day our words touch others. This film beautifully expresses how all the stories that came before help our imaginations soar until the day we’re ready to release our own story that will in turn help someone else fly to new heights.  It truly is a magical process.
What did you think about The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore?  Did it touch you as a reader/writer?  And how Fantastic is Freya with her letter F?
Also, if you haven't entered yet, I'm having a contest here.


Lara Schiffbauer's picture

Yep - touching. I watched with my children, and at the end made a break for some kleenexes before they knew I was crying. Thanks for sharing such a neat film.

Jocelyn Rish's picture

I still get a mysterious case of the sniffles each time I watch it.  It's so great hearing you shared the short with your kids.

Pa Ul's picture

interesting F video
I will try to watch this today
do check out my F at GAC a-z

Jocelyn Rish's picture

I definitely think it's worth the 15 minutes it takes to watch.  It made me feel so recharged.  

Simon Kewin's picture

Spectacular! Thanks for sharing that. Must show it to the kids.

Jocelyn Rish's picture

I hope your kids like it.  I think instilling a love of reading is one of the best things we can do for the next generation.

mj's picture

amazing short film!! I loved how the people were all black and white, dull and boring until they were touched by a book! I sometimes feel like I am constantly chasing my scattered words around as well.
-MJ A to Z blogger

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Isn't it awesome?!? Books have enriched my life so much that I completely believe they have turned me from black and white to color.  

Pammypam's picture


Jocelyn Rish's picture

It really is, isn't it!  Just wish I had been the one to make it.  :-)

Suzanne 's picture

Wow. This was truly wonderful to watch. I'm so glad the creator was awarded for his work.

It reminded me of the one I found a while back that had the books in a bookstore come alive and play games all night until the store opened up. Then they slid back into their respective spots of the shelves.

I agree with you about books. I have an ereader that I love but given the preference, it is a real book I prefer. I love turning the pages, feeling the binding. All that goes with a real book.

Thanks for finding this and posting it. It is a gem.

Jocelyn Rish's picture

I have to admit, I often don't agree with the Academy Award winners, but in this case, I agree 100%.  And I'm so glad they recognized it, since I'm not sure I would have heard about it otherwise.

I've also seen that one with the books that come to life - so awesome!

Cynthia's picture

Thank you for sharing the video, and for visiting my blog earlier today.

Jocelyn Rish's picture

I'm happy to do my part to help people discover this charming film.  :-)

And you get my vote for one of the top blog titles.  :-)

Elizabeth Twist's picture

Gorgeous. I balled my eyes out.

I felt the same way about e-readers...until I got one. Because I had a small collection of e-books on my PC, I broke down and got an e-reader. I have to say I love it much more than I thought I would. What you sacrifice in papery goodness, you gain in terms of instant access to a book you are coveting. It also allows me to read stuff in a more comfortable way that I would otherwise be stuck reading at my computer, e.g., Internet Archive content.

Still love books, though. There's nothing quite like a physical book.

A-Z @ Elizabeth Twist

Jocelyn Rish's picture

It's awesome, right?

I'm thisclose to buying an ipad, so I guess I'll be trying out this whole ereader thing. 

Sheenah Freitas's picture

So... I didn't know the nominees until the day of the Oscars and I wanted this short to win just because the title had books in it. Never saw it, but I'm biased. Since it won (much to my delight) I've always wanted to see it so I'm THRILLED that you found it and posted it. OMG. I'm such a weepy mess right now. *hunts for tissues* This could easily be my favorite animated short EVER.

Jocelyn Rish's picture

I didn't know anything about it when it won, but once I saw it.... there really are no words.

michelle's picture

Wow! A fantastic short! It had me smiling all the way through... and the heart-tugging, lump-in-the-throat moments... especially the end, where he is lifted into the air and soars... magical!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Magical is such a perfect word for this.  A must see for all readers/writers!

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