Louisiana’s own Moonbot Studios won an Oscar in the 84thAcademy Awards on Sunday, February 26. Based out of Shreveport, the studio, open for barely over a year now, has been the center of excitement for Louisiana as the Awards approached. The win of the Oscar by their very first film,The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, is monumental for the studio as well as the community.
In an interview with KSLA News, artist of the film Adam Valker said about the Oscar win: “The Oscar’s really great to have the critical acclaim, but the things that move us the most as filmmakers are when an eighth grade teacher comes up and says my students want to read books now because of your film.”
The Oscar won was for “the Best Animated Short Film.” It was accepted by founder and writer of the film, William Joyce, and co-director Brandon Oldenburg. Joyce, who previously worked for Pixar Studios, was astonished by the win, and was quoted saying as he held the award, “We’re just a couple of swamp rats from Louisiana.”
Though the Oscar is by far the most prestigious award the studio has won, Moonbot has been no stranger to awards with their heartwarming film.The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmorehas won thirteen awards overall, including “Best Animated Short” and “Audience Award Winner” at Austin Film Festival and “Best Animated Short” at Cinequest Film Festival. The film, a tale of a man who gets swept away by Hurricane Katrina and winds up in a world of friendly flying books, was the compilation of many filming techniques with a blend of not only traditional hand drawings, but also computer animation and stop motion (according to the Huffington Post). It’s a truly touching film that draws inspiration from Hurricane Katrina, the “Wizard of Oz,” and the love and wonder that books contain. On top of that, it starts out in our very own New Orleans, Louisiana.
“I was glad to see a Louisiana film nominated,” says sophomore talented drama student Patrick Flanigan.
Joyce, owner of Moonbot, has another film in the works with DreamWorks. “Rise of the Guardians” is set to be released in November of this year. As for Moonbot, there are plans for convertingThe Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmoreinto a story book and an app for phones. The book is scheduled to come out sometime in July. There is great hope for the future success of the studio.
“If there’s a will, you’re gonna see an outcome. If there’s inspiration, if there’s belief, if there’s hard work, it’s gonna pay off no matter where it comes from,” said the film’s lead animator Jamil Lahham to KSLA News.