So it's finally Blue Sky Studios' turn to have an artbook for themselves. It's well worth the wait.
This is a huge book. 304 pages. Hardcover. And it's heavy too. Note that if you're buying from Amazon, there might be an additional weight surcharge depending on the shipping location and speed. Also note that there are two publishers for this book, namely Insight Editions and Titan Books, distributing for different countries.
It's always a joy to look at artbooks of animation studios. DreamWorks Animation had The Art of DreamWorks Animation also in this year and Pixar had To Infinity and Beyond!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios in 2007. The Art of Blue Sky is a wonderful addition. Now I'm waiting for one from Sony Pictures Animation.
This artbook tells the inspiring story of how the Blue Sky got started and the stories behind how each film got made. They worked their way from creating commercials to producing the Oscar winning animated short Bunny, and then moved on to creating feature length films. Along the way they grew from 6 founders to 150 employees while they were working on Ice Age and now they have 600 employees
The text talks about the themes, story arcs, characters, and even technical stuff like how rust is created in Robots, or the fur on animals in Ice Age. You'll read and find out how films evolved through production, the story rewrites, where the jokes from Scrat shorts come from, which are difficult special effects to pull off and more. There are plenty of interesting details and anecdotes.
For years, I've been wondering why there aren't any artbooks for some of their films, most notably the Ice Age films and Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!. But now I can finally see all the artworks that I've been expecting to see. There's a generous amount of work for Ice Age since there are four films. Horton's concept artworks are also very beautiful. Many artworks are previously unpublished ones that I've not see before since there weren't any dedicated artbooks for them. I do see bits and pieces floating around online but it's good to have them all in one place in this book.
Beautiful artworks are reproduced big to accompany the text. It's a pleasure to flip through each page slowly to admire the artworks, a mixture of sketches, digital paintings and artworks created from traditional media. There are works from Peter de Seve, Daisuke Tsutsumi, Peter Clarke, Kyle Macnaughton and a whole bunch of talented artists.
This book includes their first film Ice Age in 2002 to their latest Rio 2 in 2014. It's really great to see a Blue Sky Studios artbook that looks back at the art and work they have created over the years.
This is definitely one of my favourite artbooks in 2014.
The Art of Blue Sky Studios is slightly taller than The Art of DreamWorks Animation
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For international buyers, it might be cheaper to buy the Titan Books version from Book Depository where the price is inclusive of shipping charges. I recommend checking the prices using the links I've provided above to know who provides the best price.