Book Review: The Art of Aardman: The Makers of Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run, and More

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In 2010, there was a 240-page book about Aardman called Cracking Animation: The Aardman Book of 3-D Animation. That book looks at how the Aardman crew design and create the models for their stop-motion films. This new book focuses more specifically on the concept art, the designs and sketches that were created before the physical models could be built.

When you look at the history of Aardman films, you can probably guess that there are a lot of artworks included, but The Art of Aardman is only a 128-page book. The artworks are really nice, but they could have fitted even more art in it and that to me feels like a missed opportunity.

The book is split into different chapters that feature the characters, the environment, props and the inventions. Each chapter features a small selection of artworks from various Aardman films. And there's not a lot of text except for the chapter opening. So there's no descriptions for the artworks included other than the artist credits. I am sure there are a lot of stories behind the scenes, production challenges that were not told.

The feeling I get after going through the book is one of "Why isn't there more included?". Perhaps I'm disappointed because my expectations are too high from an illustrious film studio like Aardman. It's a decent artbook, but it could have been so much better. I'm sure the fans will want to learn more about the artists, the studio and stories in creating their films. This book probably gets a 3.5 out of 5 stars rating from me.

The Art of Aardman: The Makers of Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run, and More is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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