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App of the Week - The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
By Sarah Combs:
Books are the ultimate imagination machines. The printed rows of black type, stark on white pages, have a way of conjuring up colorful, epic worlds that may only live in our minds but are infinitely engaging and ever changing. There is something uniquely thrilling about beginning a new story. Much like starting out on a new adventure, you may have an idea of where you’re going, but you’re not completely sure how you’re going to get there.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore captures the unique ability that the written word has to take us on far-flung journeys that sometimes escape even the bounds of our own imaginations. The app was adapted from the animated short of the same title, which has a 2012 Oscar nomination for the Best Animated Short Film. There is clearly something universally appealing about this epic little story of a man who lives among books.
Both the short film and the app tell the story of Mr. Morris Lessmore, a man who fills pages and pages with stories of his own orderly life. A life that becomes decidedly more interesting as he’s blown away into a world where books are living things that need to be cared for and have feelings that go beyond what’s written on their pages. A world where: “The tragedies needed to be cheered up and would visit the comedies.”
It’s oddly fitting that books come to life in this app, just as Moonbot Studios has given life to their own story within the interactive environment of mobile devices. The app maintains the feel of a traditional book, with simple print on a parchment-like texture down at the bottom of the screen. But there’s an enormous amount of added interactivity. Each page features a different animation that helps to tell a part of the story, which is a nice deviation from the usual book app interaction, where the animations rarely act to move the plot forward. There’s even a little segment where you play the piano, and an interactive cereal bowl full alphabet bites that you can arrange to spell different words.
With these fun additions, the reader is able to help Morris Lessmore along in his own adventure, outside of the order of his previously perfectly documented and seemingly uneventful life. This gorgeous book app (which turns out to be so much more) shares with its audience the belief that books may have the ability to take us on limitless journeys of the imagination, but they will never be able to contain the detailed complexities, the depth and breadth of our lives. Paper pages cannot contain our joys and sorrows, our hopes and dreams, but they can expand them beyond our wildest imagination.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmoreis recommended for Toddlers, Kids, Tweens, Teens and Parents (players of any age) for accessibility of content and universal themes. Find screenshots, reviews and family-friendly ratings for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore at Famigo.com.
Developer: Moonbot Studios
Compatibility: iPad (iOS 5.0 or later)
App Category: Books
Famigo Family Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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