There were some quality nominees for this year’s Best Animated Short Oscar, but none of them came close to the winner, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. The short is filled with clever visuals, vibrant colors, and a lot of heart. At first, it almost seems like it’s going to be the intro for Reading Rainbow if the intro took up half the show. But as the short develops, you see how stories (symbolized by books) shape and enrich our lives especially once we tell our own. And it does all of this without dialogue. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore made me tear up by the end, and after watching the short, I hope you’ll understand and share my reaction.
Hit the jump to watch The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.
Composer John Hunter Scores Oscar Winning Short
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
(Los Angeles, CA) February 27, 2012— John Hunter, composer and partner at Breed Music, scores the Academy Award winning animated short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg of Moonbot Studios. The team also worked together on the accompanying app which was named by Apple as one of the “Top 5 New Apps for iPad.” Both the fantastically innovative short and app use a hybrid style of animation that harkens back to silent films and MGM Technicolor musicals. John Hunter collaborated on Moonbot Studios’ newest app, The Numberlys. In addition to Lessmore and Numberlys, Breed has worked with Oldenburg on ad campaigns.
John Hunter stated, “I worked closely with the directors to musically convey their vision since the music is such a key component in the storytelling.” The directors wanted to include an ornamentation of the folk song/nursery rhyme “Pop Goes the Weasel” as a theme in the original score. Hunter incorporated a 50 piece orchestra to create a powerful yet retro score that interacts with the visual, mirroring Morris Lessmore’s adventures and emotions.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, written by William Joyce (Rolie Polie Olie and Meet the Robinsons), follows Lessmore, a man devoted to books, to an unfamiliar place where books live. Inspired by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, Louisiana based Moonbot Studios created the story using a variety of techniques, including miniatures, computer animation and 2D animation. The Apple app allows the reader to participate throughout the story by painting the sky, writing in the book or playing the piano all while reading and watching the graphics.
John Hunter is a partner, composer, and music producer at Breed Music. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Hunter partnered with fellow alum Jon Slott to form Juniper Music, a music production company with clients including Coca-Cola, Dodge, and Southwest Airlines. They later merged with long- time competitor Brian Flores to form Breed Music. The Dallas based music production company specializes in scoring and sound design for feature films, shorts, and commercials. Breed clients include HBO, NBC, ESPN, McDonald’s, Budweiser, BMW, AT&T and Ford. Hunter’s film credits include Big Stan, American Virgin, and Tekken.