I am in love with William Joyce. Not the I-want-to-marry-him-kind-of-love, which is fine and wonderful and I am fully in support of, but the love of the most excellent stories imaginable.
This man of letters and amazing creative spirit was a complete unknown to my sensibilities until just recently. While at the GillerLight bash I entered the charity raffle and won a prize. Multiple Disney dvd’s, several children’s storybooks, and some items by the current object of my affections.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, The Man in the Moon, and The Sandman was also children’s storybooks in the prize pack of power. Happiness met happiness when I sat down and indulged in these goodies, all filled with love.
The tale of Mr. Lessmore is the journey of a man consumed with his introspective journal, whose entire sense of self is disrupted by a fierce storm. His wanderings of recovery causes his path to cross a lady who was, in a quiet happiness, being:
“pulled along by a festive squadron of flying books”
My love for that line alone is unmatched.
Puzzled by this power, Mr. Lessmore was gifted a flying book by the nice lady. This promptly led him to large, massive, beautiful library chock full of books who walk and wander about, all to their own contentment. Mr. Lessmore settles in, and to experience the rest of this tale, I suggest you find a volume somewhere and prepare for magic.
The transformation of Mr. Lessmore to Morris provides so much joy, Hollywood had to take notice. An Academy Award winning Short Film was produced, which did an incredible job of bringing flying books to us. Love, love, love this short.
The next books in the pile, The Man in the Moon, and The Sandman are part of The Guardians of Childhood series, which are both preludes for the upcoming Rise of the Guardians animated feature by DreamWorks.
Lavishly illustrated and beautifully told, in Man in the Moon, we get the complete history of this magically cosmic being, and his instrumental role in creating our modern mythology of holiday festivities. In some strange, esoteric ways, this folklore origin tale could fit comfortable with what was alluded to in The Nightmare Before Christmas. They feel like cool cousins of imagination.
Also sporting stunning art and lyrical prose is the next book in the series, The Sandman. This tale fits neatly inside The Man in the Moon, existing very neatly between pages. The how and the why of The Sandman is fully explained, with plenty of magic used at the appropriate places. It is my fervent hope that if this character streaks like a shooting star to popularity, we might get the Neil Gaiman version onto the big screen. We can all pray for this wonderment.
Now, just so you know, I found out that William Joyce did not just appear out of the either, like some mirage of greatness. That would be a swell fairytale, but it is simply not the case.
William Joyce has had a long and distinguished career as a writer. Over 50 children’s books bear his handiwork, as well as multiple television shows and movies. From Rolie Polie Olie to Toy Story to Meet The Robinsons, Joyce has been tapped numerous times to work his skills and talents in the realm of imagination. It is nice to know, that unlike the usual way Hollywood does business, the powers at be are letting Joyce do his genius thing with wild abandon. Tis most heartening!
So now my love affair with William Joyce has begun in earnest. Going from zero to massive crush in under a month is not a record by any stretch, but it is impressive for me. Anticipation for the upcoming movie, which I previously never knew existed, is now palpable.
Mr. William Joyce, thank you. And I love your work.
P.S. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, is copyright 2012 to William Joyce.
P.P.S. The Rise of the Guardians is opening on Wednesday, November 21st, 2012.