You may have already heard something about The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore—the film or the app. Moonbot Studios has created a 14-minute film that can be downloaded onto your computer as well as a jaw-dropping iPad story app that incorporates clips from the film, and a whirlwind of animation techniques (stop-action, 2-D, and computer animation).
The elaborate miniature sets and models Moonbot built for these productions are phenomenal. After reading Mary Ann Scheuer’s review of Mr. Morris Lessmore below, take a look at the minute-long video about the construction of the sets.
Title: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Author: William Joyce
Developed by: Moonbot Studios
Produced by: Twin Engine Labs
Narrated by: Mike Martindale
Music & Sound Design: BREED
Platform: iPad, requires iOS 4.2 or later.
K-Gr 4-With a stunning combination of computer animation, interactive features, and traditional picture-book elements, William Joyce and Moonbot Studios have developed an enchanting story about the power of books. Based on their award-winning short film, this production sets the bar high for picture-book apps.
Morris Lessmore, a man who loves words and stories, is swept away to a distant land when a terrible storm strikes. Luckily, “… a happy bit of happenstance came his way…Drifting through the sky above him, Morris saw a lovely lady…being pulled along by a festive squadron of flying books.” The young woman sends him a story that leads him to “an extraordinary building where many books apparently ‘nested.’” It is here that Morris discovers his true home, among the thousands of volumes, each “whispering an invitation to adventure.”
Joyce combines his background as a filmmaker, an illustrator, and an author to create a groundbreaking storybook app. The production flows seamlessly between a combination of media, with effective well-paced page turns. While the short film in the beginning of the app is silent, the writing is graceful and eloquent. In the end, what makes Morris Lessmore a story that readers will come back to again and again is the way it which it affirms the power of books to speak to us and carry us away.— Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books