Book Review: The Art of Up

Book Review: The Art of Up

If you're still wondering about the real story of Pixar's Up, this book provides very good clues (or spoilers). I'll just say it's about Carl, the old man, going on a journey in search for meaning to his life. The directive from the top was to make Up "the studio's most emotive film to date".

Tim Hauser has provided a good writeup into design style and production process of the movie. There's talk on the story arc, themes, the characters and a bit on the artistic side of production, like visiting a jungle for the research. The Pixar story team provided lots of quotes giving great insight into the story process. On the technical side to animating, nothing much is mentioned.

The challenge for this movie is aimed at simplicity. The character designs are based on simple shapes like squares (Carl), ovals (Russell, balloons), bullets (dogs), etc. I've the impression there are less sets and characters compared to other Pixar movies. There seem to be only the city, the sky (flying objects) and the jungle (big). You can see the focus is going to be on the characters.

The art included are character designs, storyboards, color scripts and few environmental paintings. Descriptions for the illustrations come in the form of quotes. There are lots of character sketches for the main characters, Carl, Russell and the house. Readers looking for the plot will find that in Lou Romano's colour scripts. It seems that there's a new (to me) character designer, Daniel López Muñoz, doing plenty of character sketches.

What you're not going to see are film stills, background paintings and pastels. No idea why but the number of background paintings always pales in comparison to non-Pixar art books. And there's only one pastel painting from Dominque Louis. I miss the pastel paintings included in earlier movie art books.

This book is really more for Pixar fans.


"Hey this doesn't look like one of Pixar's better art book is it?", a colleague remarks to me. Another goes "Not the kind of style I like". Well, I guess it's not for everyone but here are the pictures you can see for yourself. =)


The Art of Up is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | JP | CN)

The Art of Up - 01

The Art of Up - 02

The Art of Up - 03

The Art of Up - 04

The Art of Up - 05

The Art of Up - 06

The Art of Up - 07

The Art of Up - 08

The Art of Up - 09

The Art of Up - 10

The Art of Up - 11

The Art of Up - 12

The Art of Up - 13

The Art of Up - 14

The Art of Up - 15

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A review of "The Art of Up"

A review of "The Art of Up" and no mention of the production designer, Ricky Nierva?? His work is throughout the book, and is amazing.
Not much of a real review, anyway. More like fan commentary. Nice to see, though!

Many thanks for taking the

Many thanks for taking the time to do this. I have already ordered the book but it's great to see a flavour of what I'll be getting. Have most of the other Pixar Art Of... Chronicle books & this one looks to have some inspirational artwork on a par with the Monsters Inc and Incredibles editions! Cannot wait for the film now!

What a great resource, thanks

What a great resource, thanks for your entire blog. I agree, the pastels are missed in some of these books. They seem to establish the tone of the environments better than some of the other mediums.

This was the very first

This was the very first artbook I ever purchased, loved it to pieces, especially the quirky styles & Lou Romano's color script. More pastels would be nice, but I was very satisfied overall. Spectacular writing. Surely enough I will be buying more...

Thanks for the review. :)

I wanted to inform people

I wanted to inform people that this wonderful art book is back in stock at Amazon alongside The Art of Princess and the Frog.

I was bummed to see such a great art book go on back order mere months after its release, but now I am able to fully enjoy it. :)

wow your blob is awesome,

wow your blob is awesome, thank you for sharing the info.
I live in South america so these books are not available here. my BF and I had gotten some pixar Arte through amazon. But sometines we can't have a preview.

Thanks for sharing!

Greeting from Chile

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