Louisiana governor salutes Moonbot on Oscar

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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

The Fan­tas­tic Fly­ing Books of Mr. Mor­ris Lessmore

Louisiana Gov­er­nor Bobby Jin­dal con­grat­u­lated Shreveport-based ani­ma­tion stu­dio Moon­bot Stu­dios on Sun­day night for win­ning an Oscar at the 84th Annual Acad­emy Awards in Hollywood.

Moon­bot reached the apex of the enter­tain­ment indus­try by win­ning the Oscar for Best Achieve­ment in Ani­mated Short Film for The Fan­tas­tic Fly­ing Books of Mr. Mor­ris Less­more.

Author-illustrator William Joyce and co-director Bran­don Old­en­burg accepted the Oscar for the acclaimed 14-minute film. The Fan­tas­tic Fly­ing Books of Mr. Mor­ris Less­more fea­tures the pro­tag­o­nist sur­viv­ing a storm and land­ing in a world where books come alive as char­ac­ters with cura­tive pow­ers as they impart heal­ing through dis­cov­ery. Joyce, Old­en­burg, man­ag­ing part­ner Lamp­ton Enochs and the Moon­bot staff employed a vari­ety of tech­niques in a hybrid ani­ma­tion style inspired by The Wiz­ard of Oz, Buster Keaton and the Hur­ri­cane Kat­rina experience.

Tonight, Louisiana cel­e­brates this Oscar win with the excep­tion­ally tal­ented and cre­ative staff of Moon­bot Stu­dios in Shreve­port,” Jin­dal said. “We’re proud that Louisiana res­i­dents and a Louisiana-based com­pany cre­ated this ground­break­ing work that pays homage to a love of books and per­se­ver­ance through a love of learning.

Moon­bot is an excep­tional exam­ple of the qual­ity work being pro­duced through­out Louisiana, every day, in the dig­i­tal and film indus­tries we’ve worked so hard to cul­ti­vate. Their suc­cess con­tin­ues to expand oppor­tu­ni­ties for our sons and daugh­ters, who can look for­ward to cre­ative and suc­cess­ful careers across our state.”

Mor­ris Less­more spawned a cel­e­brated iTunes app that became a best-seller and broke new ground in the cre­ative use of dig­i­tal, ani­ma­tion and illus­tra­tion media. In call­ing the work one of the Top 10 apps of 2011 and his favorite work of fic­tion in a book app last year, Bob Tedeschi of the New York Times wrote: “Mor­ris Less­more is a graph­i­cally stun­ning nar­ra­tive that’s part pic­ture book, part movie… in which the pic­tures ani­mate at your touch.”

The Oscar-winning film Mor­ris Less­more is the first world-class ani­mated pro­duc­tion to be made entirely in Louisiana. Shreveport-based Twin Engine Labs part­nered with Moon­bot to pro­duce the iTunes app, which fea­tures an inter­ac­tive game on every page. Louisiana’s film pro­duc­tion and dig­i­tal media tax cred­its and the state’s LED Fast­Start work­force solu­tions pro­gram sup­ported the com­pa­nies on the projects.

Moon­bot Stu­dios is a great exam­ple of the dig­i­tal enter­tain­ment and soft­ware devel­op­ment jobs that we want to cre­ate more of in Louisiana,” said Louisiana Sec­re­tary of Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Stephen Moret. “We want to con­tinue to grow our home­grown tal­ent to fur­ther build this indus­try and attract addi­tional busi­ness invest­ment and cre­ative, knowledge-based jobs for our state.”

Joyce, a Shreve­port native, is one of the found­ing part­ners of Moon­bot and, among other ven­tures, worked for Disney/Pixar in devel­op­ing char­ac­ters for such ani­mated clas­sics as Toy Story and A Bug’s Life. Old­en­burg is a co-founder of Reel FX Cre­ative Stu­dios, where he spe­cial­ized in design and spe­cial effects for film and TV. Lamp­ton Enochs, who co-founded Louisiana Pro­duc­tion Con­sul­tants in Shreve­port, joined Joyce and Old­en­burg in open­ing Moon­bot Stu­dios in the fall of 2010.

Moon­bot Stu­dios recently released another cre­ative title. Num­berlys, an ani­mated sto­ry­book app with nods to King Kong, Flash Gor­don, Metrop­o­lis and the Marx Broth­ers, presents a fan­ci­ful depic­tion of the ori­gins of the alpha­bet in an expe­ri­ence that’s equal parts adven­ture, mys­tery, game and story.

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About Paul Anderson

Paul is an old-timer here at BCDB- his contributions go back to before the site! Paul is widely regarded as a Disney historian, and is also on staff at the Disney Museum in San Francisco. Paul is also a contributing historian for D23, the Disney Club. Paul has published several books and magazine articles on Disney history, too. You are welcome to drop Paul a line here.

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