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Friday, July 10, 2009

The Art of Pixar Short Films Book Review

The Art of Pixar Short Films Book Review

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Written By: Amid Amidi
Forward By: John Lasseter
Published By: Chronicle Books

About the Book: While Pixar Animation Studios was creating beloved feature-length films such as Monsters Inc. Ratatouille and WALL├»E it was simultaneously testing animation and storytelling techniques in dozens of memorable short films. Andre and Wally B proved that computer animation was possible; Tin Toy laid the groundwork for what would become Toy Story; and Mike’s New Car exposed Pixar’s finely tuned funny bone. In The Art of Pixar Short Films animation expert and short film devotee Amid Amidi shines a spotlight on these and many more memorable vignettes from the Pixar archive. Essays and interviews illuminate more than 250 full-color pastels pencil sketches storyboards and final rendered frames that were the foundation of Pixar’s creative process.

About the Author:Amid Amidi is the co-founder of and author of Cartoon Modern. He lives in New York City. John Lasseter is the chief creative officer at Pixar, and the director of Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, and Cars.

Review: This book is really a stand-apart from the other Pixar “Art Of” titles, because it explores an aspect that is beloved by children and adult animation fans alike..the Pixar short films. The forward by the great John Lasseter brings an immediate credibility to the book. From the moment that you delve into this title you are bombarded by information and images. You get to go in-depth into how Pixar creates their short films, and of course you get the art. You get to see production photos, backrounds, wire sculptures, sketches and other concepts.

A lot of us had never heard of Pixar studios prior to the release of Toy Story in 1995. This book gives you insight into the company all the way back to the 1980s and highlights all of their achievements and milestones that made Pixar what it is today…an innovative animation powerhouse.

One nice thing about this book is that its full of important information, but it also frees up a majority of its space for the actual artwork. To avoid getting too wordy was really the goal in a book like this and Amidi did a fantastic job of balancing the artwork and the information.

Amidi is a well-known online blogger and animation personality from His creation of this title is a great addition to the Pixar Shorts Collection DVD/Blu-Ray release. They should be sold together, in my opinion.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Art of Up (Pixar) Book Review!
























The Art of Up (Pixar) Book Review!

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Written By: Tim Hauser
Forward By: Pete Docter
Published By: Chronicle Books
About the Book:  After Toy Story Ratatouille WALL E and other award-winning blockbusters where else could Pixar Animation Studios go but UP? Their latest film is the heartwarming story of Carl Fredrickson (voiced by Ed Asner) a 78-year-old widower who feels that life has passed him by until a twist of fate takes him on a journey across the globe. UP is set to take off on May 29 2009. The Art of UP contains more than 250 pieces of concept art developed for the feature including storyboards full-color pastels digital and pencil sketches character studies color scripts and more. Quotes from the director artists animators and production team reveal the sky-high creativity that elevated this whimsical film to new heights.
About the Author: Tim Hauser has been a writer, creative executive, and producer in animation for over 20 years. He lives in Los Angeles.
Pete Docter is the director of UP and Monsters, Inc., and the co-writer of Toy Story and Toy Story 2.

Review:  Well, by now we here at hope that you’ve seen Pixar’s latest masterpiece “UP”.  The problem you face is that there was really no merchandising to speak of for this what is a fan to do?  You pick up the high-end art book, of course!

Tim Hauser really did his research on this title.  The book is filled with info on the screenplay, the characters, directions the film was going to take, etc.  There is also an abundance of quotes from the crew at Pixar  about the production of the film.   We get an insiders look at character designs, environments and sketches.  The visuals that went into this film are truly brought to life within the pages of this book.

This is the kind of book that really appeals to not only fans of Pixar’s work, but animation fans in general.  This is a one-of-a-kind look into the making of a modern Pixar animated film.   

Rating: 5 out of 5.   It’s a must-have!

We can only hope that Chronicle continues to make Pixar art books when Toy Story 3 comes out next year!

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