"Paperman:" Discover the Magic of Destiny

Last update: 22 May, 2017

“Paperman” is not simply a love story. In this short film we discover before anything else the desire to love and be loved. It’s about how destiny, subtle and capricious, can suddenly decide to “connect us” with someone in order to shed light on our greying lives, and give motivation to our sleeping hearts…

It’s a charming Disney production, and received and Oscar for best animated short in 2012. It’s a timeless production, both because its message is universal and because in each scene we feel an emotion that every child and every adult can identify with.

It is often said that people don’t simply meet by accident, but it is destiny that chooses the right moment for its protagonists’ paths to cross. It is then up to us to tune in to our hearts and find the right course to follow.

John Kahrs, the director of “Paperman”, comments that he had the idea for this short while on the metro in New York. These “connections” that we make with strangers from time to time caught his attention: a gaze, a gesture, a smile, and then never to meet again. Unless, however, destiny wishes it, and of course, us ourselves…

When destiny chooses us, we must make a decision

Destiny takes a form and character in this short, and it does so as “the third protagonist”: the wind. “Paperman” starts off by taking us to New York in the 1940s, where the protagonists are immersed in their working days and daily routines. Suddenly, though, a small gust of wind sparks up a connection between the young couple and brings with it something unexpected: a look, a smile, an emotion…

It is destiny that places us on the path of one another, but we are the ones who must decide upon whether to walk it together.

The most significant events tend to have the most casual beginnings, just as that which we see in “Paperman”. They are subtleties created by our own destiny. They present us with an opportunity: a direct invitation for us to allow the “connection” that suddenly sparks the motors of our hearts into action to take form .

The power of will 

Something that attracts us to this Oscar-winning short is its veil of nostalgia. It is often said that memories define who we are, and most of the time we ourselves are nostalgia, we are the past.

“Paperman” uses a mastery of grey tones, setting and music, to establish this emotional connection with our memories, so that we feel identified with the characters. Most people have experienced these coincidences, these impulses of destiny where, perhaps, there wasn’t enough courage or will for action to take form. In this way, our protagonist becomes an alter ego with which so many of us can identify. His will, his effort and determination reward him with all kinds of opportunities to connect once more with the girl of his dreams, but it seems that, for a while, the wind only decides to work against him…

When the bond goes further than coincidence

How and why we establish a special bond with one person and not another is something that science still has not been able to accurately determine. On occasion, the looks we share are like mirrors in which we can see part of ourselves. We experience something familiar, mysterious and challenging at the same time that says to us “That’s it!”, there is the person of our dreams.

Our protagonist feels this way, because despite it having been the hand of circumstance which brought him that face, that stinging look, that crimson kiss on one of his pieces of paper, he understands that the link has been established, and it is worth fighting for. For this reason, he decides to flood the city with paper planes with which he hopes to catch the attention of the girl…

Hold on to your dreams and you will reach them

“Hold on to your dreams and you will reach them.” This would be without doubt the message that “Paperman” and its director want to leave with us. In our existence of routines it rarely happens that we experience these situations. Situations filled not only with magic, but also with opportunity.

The threads are often woven by destiny. But if we aren’t capable of understanding the suggestions, if we bury ourselves in our mobile phones and we don’t lift our gaze, it is certain that we will not know how to read the numerous hints given to us by circumstance.

Though once they are identified, it is only left to put three essential ingredients into action: passion, motivation and perseverance. The path to reaching that dream will not exactly be easy, in fact, the protagonist of this short almost gives up, defeated. But little by little that wind, at times mischievous and capricious, ends up offering him help in the most surprising way.

We invite you to discover it, and to share it. Because those who believe in destiny should also trust in themselves to reach their personal objectives.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.