With the Oscars now less than a month away, one of the films nominated in the prestigious awards animated short section has debuted online, with Paperman making a strong case for its involvement in the final reckoning come February 24.

The story in itself is one of typical love seemingly denied, a pair star-crossed but never quite able to find their way back to each, until … well, we won’t spoil it. The real fascination with the six and a half minute film though is the way that the animation has been designed; it feels refined, and harks back to the classic era of Disney animation, whilst at the same time incorporating computer animation to give it a modernistic look – in spite of the fact that the narrative takes place in an old 20th century city.

Talking to Cartoon Brew, Paperman director John Kahrs revealed that he’d been working with Glen Keane – the man who animated the likes of The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast and Aladdin. Working with Kean really opened his eyes up to the attraction of drawing animation as opposed to CGI. “I thought, Why do we have to leave these drawings behind? Why can’t we bring them back up to the front of the image again?” he explained. “Is there a way that CG can kinda carry along the hand drawn line in a way that we haven’t done before?” Kahrs has managed to do so with a new program called Meander, which effectively allows the animator the chance to ‘draw’ over the CGI animation after it’s been created, blending the two techniques. It looks stunning, we think, but see for yourself below.