AMAZING! This is an iPhone App (interactive stortelling) Teaser! Clearly inspired on the classic Metropolis.

I won’t spend a second more writing this… I’ve got to see the app! See you later :P

The Numberlys (by Moonbot Studios)

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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a 2011 American animated short film directed by acclaimed children’s book author William Joyce (Rollie Pollie Ollie, George Shrinks, Rise of the Guardians) and Brad Oldenburg.

The story was inspired by Joyce’s mentor, William Morris and follows the life of a young man who dedicates his life to a library of flying books. The film was created as a calling card for Moonbot Studios, who animated the ‘allegory about the curative powers of story’ using computer animation, miniatures and traditional hand-drawn techniques.

Joyce and Oldenburg had intended for the film to receive an Academy Award nomination as acknowledgement of the quality of the studio’s work, however the film went on to not only nab them a nomination, but an Oscar as well when it was awarded the Best Animated Short Film award at the 84th Academy Awards.  


The Numberlys, by William Joyce and Christina Ellis; Atheneum Books, $17.99, 56 pages, ages 3-7.

This latest offering from Emmy Award-winner William Joyce presents a metropolis inhabited by orderly number craftspeople, where everything is gray, predictable and there is no alphabet. The roads, towns and food have no names, only numbers. One day, five curious friends wonder if there might be more to life than just counting, and they surreptitiously begin experimenting with new projects, eventually fashioning an alphabet. The story is a little thin, serving as a setup for some outsize art. As the alphabet forms, the book slowly shifts from black and white to sepia tones, and eventually to full technicolor.  

Debut picture-book illustrator Christina Ellis’ Art Deco city of the future is full of tall skyscrapers and large cranks recalling Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis, minus the dystopia and anxiety. These large, symmetrical shapes require most of the book be read vertically. While unique, perhaps the book might have been better served (and more dramatic) by an accordion layout or by publishing the book in folio format.  

Children will no doubt enjoy cheering on the sprightly folks who bring literacy to their community. Tech-savvy parents are invited to investigate an augmented reality app where the book ‘comes to life’ and children can manipulate machines similar to those in the book, creating letters of their own. Joyce’s previous book  The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore employed a similar digital tie-in to great success. The Numberlys is slick and glossy, yet the physical book feels like a prop for the more whiz-bang online elements. Still, parents could certainly find less educational apps to feed their children, and this is one of the better hybrids currently available. Brave new world, indeed. 

When you see your (nick)name in a book co-written/co-illustrated by one of your favorite writers/creative people and can’t help but feel happy.

I feel especially happy because “Mel” and “Melissa” have never been popular names, and for it to appear even offhandedly is something special to me. Not to mention, there’s a “Jess” and a “Jo[e].”

This is very much probably a happy coincidence, but I like small [usually deemed] insignificant things like this.

Also, picture books are expensive. QQ


The Numberlys, básicamente maravillosos.

I heard about an album that you can only listen to when you are in Central Park, and it knows if you are there because of GPS, and it would play differently depending on where you walked so nobody would ever hear the exact same album as anyone else. I thought – how beautiful is that.
—  Brandon Oldenburg answers this when he is asked “Have there been any apps that inspire you guys?” by the Los Angeles Times because of her new App “The Numberlys”

The Numberlys

Numberlys Included In The 87th Annual Oscars Animated Shorts Finalists

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 animated short films will advance in the voting process for the 87th Academy Awards®. Fifty-eight pictures had originally qualified in the category, including our animated short film, The Numberlys. Huzzah!

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting the film, app and book!

Here’s the full list (in alphabetical order), filled with incredible shorts:

  • “The Bigger Picture,” Daisy Jacobs, director, and Christopher Hees, producer (National Film and Television School)

  • “Coda,” Alan Holly, director (And Maps And Plans)

  • “The Dam Keeper,” Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, directors (Tonko House)

  • “Duet,” Glen Keane, director (Glen Keane Productions & ATAP)

  • “Feast,” Patrick Osborne, director, and Kristina Reed, producer (Walt Disney Animation Studios)

  • “Footprints,” Bill Plympton, director (Bill Plympton Studio)

  • “Me and My Moulton,” Torill Kove, director (Mikrofilm in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada)

  • “The Numberlys,” William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, directors (Moonbot Studios)

  • “A Single Life,” Joris Oprins, director (Job, Joris & Marieke)

  • “Symphony No. 42,” Réka Bucsi, director (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest)

The Numberlys: With New iPad App, Ex-Pixar Designer Unleashes A Masterpiece


Today’s letter is Z for Zee Numbers of Zee Numberlys! Also, Zee End of our behind-the-zcenes alphabet video zeries! Watch them all here: