Of the many books on animation and Disney, The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation is probably the best. Written by two of Disney's famous Nine Old Men, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, this book goes back to where animation was born, made and enjoyed by people all over the world.
At 576 pages, this huge volume probably covers lots of ground on animation except the how-to-do-it part since this isn't really a tutorial book. There are plenty of illustrious stories on Walt Disney, people he worked with and the roles everyone played from the storyman to director. Storytelling and character development are also covered. Interesting quotes and commentary are everywhere.
The book goes deeper looking at how these hardworking pioneers approach animation, invent new ways to animate and bring seemingly inanimate objects, even things like safety pins, to life. While not a tutorial book, it does covers subjects like camera techniques, styles of background paintings, effects, colours and other technical approaches to creating animation, right down to how they voice sync a talking door knob.
Lots of photos, paintings, sketches and storyboards are included. You can see the transition from the rubber hose arms of early characters to the more realistic designs that were achieved with attention paid to form and anatomy. Those are the results from the emphasis on research later on.
It's an inspiring book recommended to animators, great for those who want a flashback to the golden era of animation.
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