Book Review: The Art of Kung Fu Panda 2

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I love the first film and its art book. This second art book is almost awesome-ness volume 2. If you're unable to get the first art book for whatever reasons, you should definitely get the second art book while it's still in stock.

It's a hardcover 156-page art book. The concept art is fantastic. It consists of character designs, background paintings and storyboards. Everything's printed big. The commentary are on the story and characters so that's always interesting.

Nicolas Marlet is still the character designer. There are additional character designs here, those that didn't make it the first film, and those created for the second film. The new gang of characters are mainly the bad guys. There are lots of sketches of expressions and characters in their kung fu stance. Mr Ping, Po's dad, is also given coverage as the history of Po is uncovered.

The background art is inspired by Chinese towns, architecture and paintings. The set design is wonderful. It's really cool to see old Chinese buildings designed and used in animated films, to great effect I must add.

Now for the disappointing thing about the book, the binding is bad. After reading for a while, the pages came off the spine and now hanging by the threads that hold them together. I was hoping this would not happen because the Rango art book I bought also came with a bad binding, also published by Insights edition. Again, maybe I received a copy from a bad printing batch - I said that in the other review too.

Anyway, if you're getting this book in UK or Europe, it's distributed by Titan Books. The prices are slightly different. Not sure about the binding quality for that.

Overall, it's awesome-ness with a bit of letdown. Sounds strange? Yes, unfortunately.

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Insight Editions publisher:
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Titan Books publisher:
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19 Comments

My binding hasn't come undone

My binding hasn't come undone yet but now that you mention it I will be super careful. I also find it close to unacceptable when that happens. There are certainly a lot of fold out pages, which are cool but I cant see them helping with the binding, I'm sure that's not the reason entirely but again, can't see how it could *help* maintain the structural integrity of the book.

Personally and as a side note not totally associated with KFP2, I wish they would do less of those fold outs and also those mini books and postcards and all that other stuff they glue into some books? like the open season art book?... man that drives me crazy. They ruined the art of open season book (which has really great art in it) with all that additional content. I cannot easily flip through those editions and me removing that additional content makes it even worse. Argh. Ok thats it, Rant over!

I've got the first Kung Fu

I've got the first Kung Fu Panda book, and still It looks like a real worth buying book for its art, but the binding, what will be with the binding.. So for now I'm waitting to see if its just this copy or maybe it happend with other copies..

Yeeees. I've been waiting for

Yeeees. I've been waiting for this review, although i already ordered my copy of this book!
The art looks amazing, as always. As for the binding, thanks for the heads up! I'll be sure to be careful while reading it.

Thanks for the review, Parka!

Hey, thanks for the heads up

Hey, thanks for the heads up parka, I have already ordered the book and now will be careful with the binding, the way I did for The Ballard of Rango book, though I've got the Titan Books version for Rango but Binding still remains bad! Titan Books/Insight should pull up their socks and Better Glue to keep the binding of these amazing amazing books intact. Will inform you about the binding of Titan version of KFP 2 Book once its delivered to me...But let me be honest despite the sucky binding Rango is one must-have book! Wish they'd gone for Chronicle Books...

I bought the first book, and

I bought the first book, and it was simply awesome. I'm waiting this 2nd book to arrive in the mail this week. I bought these 2 books mainly for the character designs by Nicolas Marlet. His character designs are simply stunning.

I just got the book (from

I just got the book (from Amazon.com, I'm in Europe). Strange thing - several images look like low-res compressed jpg-s, like layout thumbnails or something - on pages 37, 48. Also, way too many too soft looking pictures there, like they were meant to be printed in much smaller size than they are. And, not as many Nicolas Marlet' drawings as in the first one, but it is still pretty cool artbook. My binding is OK so far, but if it falls apart, I'll try to repar it with some pva-type glue.

I got my book today and by

I got my book today and by Insight editions and the binding is bad also.I didn't even thumb through it yet but can see the pages coming out at the spine. Many unevenly cut pages especially at the gate folds. Not only is the binding bad but many of the images are blurry with jagged edges. What a shame since the first book was excellent. This one is going back to the store. I just ordered another book by palace press hopefully it's better.

Long time follower of your

Long time follower of your blog, thank you for your reviews, they really help.

Just got my copy from Book Depository (US), the art is amazing and beautiful if not more so from the first one. Binding holds, but strangely enough the pages weren't lined up uniformly. It wasn't because of the fold-outs in the book, all the bookpages were not cut, bound, and aligned together which made an otherwise beautiful book into a poorly made product. Not sure if anyone else has encountered something similar on the purchase?

Nevertheless both the artwork and words are inspiring, now I just have to go see the movie :D

the book is great and would

the book is great and would be in my top 5 of concept animation design books -of which, i have many.

i did purchase my copy from amazon in august (2011). it looks
like there is still a problem with binding that is preventing me from handling the book as much as i like to. when closed, the pages are slightly warped in a wave style, which is suggesting the pages have not been bound correctly. it is a pity, because the contents are heart achingly beautiful.

just wondering if it is worth buying the art book from KFP 1, when i already have the book from the 2nd movie? is there enough difference, in concept design work, between the two books to justify purchasing both books?

cheers,
rainer

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