Book Review: Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast

Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast

This book reminded me of the oversized art books Disney used to published for Mulan, Pocahontas, Hercules, etc. Although not as large as those predecessors, the feeling of familiarity really comes from the content. This is a Disney book after all.

There are plenty of beautiful art to be seen. The pages are filled with sketches, storyboards, animation drawings, production drawings, background art, photos of Disney artists at work. The print quality is nice.

A lot of names are mentioned and there's no doubt Disney has some of the most talented artists around. Story artist Brenda Chapman is amazing at capturing the nuances, expressions and feelings of the characters with her storyboards. There are also production paintings from Hans Bacher that set the visual style for the film. The animation line drawings from the animators are wonderful as well. Glen Keane designed the Beast, inspired by a buffalo head he bought from a taxidermist shop.

The commentary follows the production of the film, from the history to the reception after it was screened. It even covers the updated edition for IMAX and the additional footage added. The stories and interviews are interesting and as with every movie, you'll be able to read all about the challenges of making an animated film. There's also a chapter on the Broadway adaption.

This is a great book that I can easily recommend to animation art lovers.

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Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast is available on Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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4 Comments

I'm on the fence whether to

I'm on the fence whether to get this or not. I was hoping for more art. Seems like there's more back stage stuff than actual art.

But that's ok. It's the history of Beauty and The Beast and it looks fascinating enough to put it in my basket.

The stained glass scene is GORGEOUS! So glad it's in the book. I wish there was a book just based on stained glass art like that. Thanks for the review Parka. Might be getting this afterall.

Oh, Parka! BTW I finally got the ultra rare Peter de Seve's "A Sketchy Past" also decided to get his sketch book as well. Spent a ton of money but well worth it. Do you have any more recommendations in art books like Peter de Seve or Daily Zoo? I love that style.

Also Freedom Fries by Steve Brodner is a must get! I'm trying to get as much references from that style of art.

Apologies for the rambling but I'm really happy that I finally got my Sketchy Past book. LOL

I was hugely disappointed

I was hugely disappointed with this book. I've had it now for about 2 months. I really wanted to see some of the pre-design art Glenn keene had done when designing the beast, there's hardly any. Its also quite heavy on actual prints from the film, which is pretty redundant as most people getting this book more than likely own the film already.

The print quality isn't that great either.

It was a huge disappointment for me, thankfully the 'tangled' art book i picked up a few days ago is one of best, and that one is chock full of Glenn's incredible pencil work.

Thank you for this little

Thank you for this little review, Parka. After seeing this, I've decided I'm gonna get "Tale as Old as Time" over "Princess and the Frog".

I'm gonna use the link from your site, as I did when I got The Art of Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle and Tangled :)

Keep up the good work!

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