Morris Lessmore’s fantastic flying iPad app

Climbing the iTunes top-grossing app charts is a touching homage to the printed page

It's nice to see, among all the Angry Birds and Fruit Ninjas, an animated children's book doing well on Apple's (aapl) App Store -- especially when the work in question is as lovingly conceived and rendered as William Joyce's
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

The $4.99 iPad app debuted on May 31 and has been slowly making its way up the charts. This week it hit the big time. It is currently the App Store's No. 1 bestselling book app, the No. 2 paid app, the No. 3 top-grossing app of all kinds.

If any iPad program deserves its success, it's this one. It was clearly a labor of love for Joyce, a former Pixar (dis) designer, and his team at Moonbot Studios. The story of the dreamily bookish Morris Lessmore first appeared in 2010 as a charming silent short film ($1.99 on iTunes), but has been delightfully re-imagined as an animated book with a hundred clever touches, from the classic titles that whisper their most famous sentences ("Call me Ishmael," etc.) to the readers who turn into characters in whatever books Morris gives them, from Treasure Island to Alice in Wonderland.

You can get a feel for the app from the YouTube video posted below the fold. Also below, a video peek inside Moonbot's operations.

Via MacObserver. Thanks to reader Travis Lewis for the tip.

<!-- more -->

[vodpod id=Video.10323363&w=425&h=350&fv=]

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions