Book Review: The Art of the Good Dinosaur

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I just feel that Pixar artbooks are getting less fun to read. Maybe perhaps it's because there isn't anything in this book to read except for foreword by John Lasseter and director Peter Sohn.

First up, I've to say that I enjoy the artworks, the sketches, character designs, lighting studies, scene paintings and environment art. Enjoyed them more than I did for the Inside Out artbook. Sharon Calahan's lighting studies are terrific and eye catching, definitely the highlight for me in this book. The approach to the character design I feel, at least for Arlo and Spot, is quite close to comic characters you see in newspaper comic strips. Other dinosaurs have more detail.

My lack of enthusiasm for this book has got to do with the new way of presenting the artworks without any commentary, use of more than necessary white space and have simple sketches blown up huge. It started with The Art of Inside Out and now with The Art of Good Dinosaur.

Commentary provides more depth to the artworks, and not including them makes the book feel slightly hollow. When the drawings are interesting and you want understand the context behind them, there is nothing to read. The use of unnecessary white space does not help. They could have used better page layout to add significantly more artworks, at least to make up for the lack of commentary. While it's a pleasure to look at artworks that are printed huge, of which many in the book satisfyingly so, it would be better to enlarge detailed paintings rather than artworks without much detail. That would have given more impact to pieces that deserves more attention.

I like the artworks but this new presentation style is just not working for me and I'm a Pixar fan. I don't like the hollow feeling I get after going through the book.

It's a difficult book to rate. Maybe 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The Art of the Good Dinosaur is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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