Alternative story lines and reviews for the Disney short film ‘Paperman’

Have you caught Paperman yet?  It’s a short, black and white, silent Disney animation about a couple who meet at a train station one morning.  Students at International House Santa Clara watched the film in class last week (on Valentine’s Day!) and followed this up with some writing about the movie which we thought we’d share with you here.

The first texts here are stories based on the first minute of the film.  Ana’s text, below, is an alternative plot for the story from the point when the male character realises the wonderful girl he’s just met has gone…

How can I find her?  How can I get to see her again?  All I have is this lipstick mark on a piece of paper.  I don’t have an address, a phone number or even a name to find her on facebook.  What can I do?

Hold on, I have an idea.  I could use the trace of her saliva from the lip marks on the paper!  My friend John has a chemistry laboratory and can help me trace her from her DNA!  I’m determined to find her…she’s the one!  My soul mate, my princess.

Now I’m here in the lab, waiting for the results.  It’s a waste of time looking for someone that I’ve only seem just once.  NO!  I have to be positive!

After 5 hours I finally have the results… Her name is Jennifer Aniston!  The name sounds familiar to me.  Now all I need to do is find her on facebook and I’ll invite her for lunch someday.  I’m so happy!

Joana’s story is next.  This version starts a little bit earlier – at the point when the girl steps onto the train.  Joana’s writing takes us into the thoughts of the young man as he wonders what to do…

Should I go after her?  Should I give up?  I know what to do!  I’ll take a picture of her now while she’s on the train and ask people if they know who she is.  But wait.  No, she wouldn’t like that.  She would be angry with me.  Oh God!  The train’s leaving.  She’s going away!  I’ll miss my chance!  Oh, I can’t see her any more… I’ve lost her.

Here I am, alone on the platform.  I can still smell her perfume.  How can I get to see her again?  Hold on!  I’ve got an idea.  I’ll find her.  You know how?  Today, on the eight o’clock news, I’ll interrupt the broadcast and say “Hi, it’s me… Paperman…if you’re the girl I saw today, you’ll know who I am… come to the station restaurant in one hour – I really need to talk to you.”

It’s the perfect plan!  But wait, there’s just one problem… if I break into the TV studio the security guard will probably throw me out.  Perhaps I’ll end up in hospital.  Will it work?

Next up, another version of the story from the point where our hero stands looking at the departing train.  Here’s Andre’s version with a cliffhanger, what do you think will happen at the end?

“How can I get to see her again?  I must find a way.  I know, I’ll call a friend who works at the newspaper.  He can write a report about the girl who kissed the flying piece of paper at Central Station.  He can put my phone number in the newspaper and I’ll meet her back here – the place we first met.”

The days passed.  Not a sign.  Not even a message.

He was constantly looking at his phone.  Every time a message or a call came through he thought “This is it!”

But it never was.

A few days later, as he was walking up the same station platform at seven in the morning on his way to work.  There she was, leaving the train.

His heart stopped for a second… it seemed like hours.

And last but not least, here’s Inês’ story which takes place a few days after the station scene…

How can I get to see her again?  That thought is still stuck in my mind, haunting me night and day.  Two days have already passed.  I’ve been walking the street trying to find her face in the crowds, knocking on doors in the hope that I’ll find her.

Why didn’t I act faster at the station?  I didn’t tell her anything because I didn’t want to ruin the moment.  If and when I find her I just want to tell her one thing:  “I don’t know you, but I’ll always be yours.”

I’m tired from running up and down every street in town, up and down stairs, round and round in circles but at the same time, I feel free, like a bird lifted from the floor.  It’s this sense of freedom that I get from experiencing this moment!  The thrill I get from knowing I might, at any moment, see her, find her and tell her how I feel.

Finally, some students decided to write a review of the film rather than work on the story.  Here are two reviews, first from Carolina and then from Andreia.  Warning, these reviews might contain a few spoilers if you haven’t seen the whole film yet.

This story, about a man who unexpectedly meets a girl at a train station, is quite beautiful.

I believe that anyone of any age would enjoy  it, even if they might not think it will appeal to them since it is silent, romantic and old-fashioned.  Personally, I enjoyed the idea of the papers bringing the two characters back together just because they were the things that made them meet in the first place.  I also liked the music which was especially important in bringing emotion to the film as it is otherwise a silent movie.  I have to admit that I didn’t think the ending was as good as it could have been because it didn’t really give the story a conclusion.  However, I believe that it was a nice idea because you can imagine what could possibly have happened next.

This isn’t really an animation to compare to others like Shrek or Up! just because those are funny and easy to watch movies.  I don’t think that dialogue would have made the film any better since the storyline wouldn’t be so interesting.

To sum up, I would recommend this film for its mix of a good plot and lovely music.

The story is about a boy trying to find a girl he met by chance at a train station.

If you are a fan of love stories, you should definitely see this film.  It’s the cutest love story I’ve ever seen – really sweet.  But, on the other hand, if you aren’t a fan, it might sound a bit lame.

For me, the movie turns out to be so romantic because of the silence and the beautiful soundtrack.  There’s no need for dialogue between the characters.

So, in short, Paperman is worth seeing if you’re a romantic person and, even if you’re not, you should still give it a go – it’s only 7 minutes long!


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Filed under Pre-FCE 2012-13, Reviews, Stories

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