Book Review: The Art of Pixar

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The Art of Pixar is a gorgeous book that represents the humble beginnings of an animation studio that is now loved by fans worldwide.

The first colorscript was drawn by Ralph Eggleston for Toy Story. That was in 1993 and it had enchanted John Lasseter, Steve Jobs and the rest of the then little studio. Today, many years and films later, it's nice to see that Pixar is still creating them, using them to communicate the emotional arc of their stories.

Collected within the 320 pages of this beautiful book are the colorscripts up to the latest movie Cars 2. Also included are the colorscripts for the many animated shorts that, if I'm not wrong, are all appearing in this book for the first time. The 100 over pages at the back are for selected pieces of art, one printed per page. These are the work from the last 25 years.

It's quite cool to see the artistic styles used by different artists to create the colorscripts. I love the pastel ones by Ralph Eggleston and Dominique R. Louis. The vector style art of Lou Romano for The Incredibles is still a refreshing departure of usual style of drawing them with pastel. Later on, the colorscript slowly evolved to being drawn digitally. The ones by Sharon Calahan for Cars 2 are so detailed I'm not sure if they aren't film stills.

The book claims to have the complete colorscripts but that's not exactly true. Since I have the other Pixar art books published by Chronicle Books, I went back to compare the content. I found out that the book didn't include some of the colorscripts that were featured in the earlier art books. Some from The Art of Finding Nemo weren't included. However, this book includes a lot of new colorscripts that aren't in the earlier books. In particular, there are many more extra pages of colorscripts for Cars and Cars 2. The colorscripts for Ratatouille in this book are not even in The Art of Ratatouille.

As for the selected pieces of art, many are from earlier art books. I guess there some are new pieces but I didn't do a detail comparison. Even if there are some duplication, you'll still want the book because of the colorscripts, all conveniently collected and beautifully laid out.

The Art of Pixar is a tribute to art, animation and the amazing people working at Pixar. It's an inspiring book authored by veteran animation writer Amid Amidi. Highly recommended.

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

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