This is the fifth Chronicles book for The Hobbit films.
As usual, the production value of the book is fantastic. The beautiful hardcover has shiny inlays and emboss on it. The artworks are wonderfully printed and neatly laid out. By the way, there are 256 pages instead of 240 as listed on some websites.
This is just like one of those very elaborate behind-the-scenes companion books that came before, namely:
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles: Art & Design
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles II - Creatures and Characters
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art & Design
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Cloaks & Daggers
If you don't already know, each of The Hobbit films usually come with two companion books. One covers the concept art, which is this one, and the other covers the props, sets and the physical aspects of the film.
This book as expected is packed with lots of concept art. You get to see, again, the detailed pencil sketches from John Howe and Alan Lee for the various locations and sets, and development art from other artists of characters, creatures, costumes, weapons, armor, environments, props and other miscellaneous art like scenes and effects. The art is amazing and I like the battle scenes most because that's where the action is. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of battle scenes as most artworks are for the designs.
Here are the chapters included:
1. Fire & Water - Smaug and the burning of Lake-Town
2. Dungeons Deep - Haunted fortress of Dol Guldur, Lair of the Necromancer
3. Caverns Old - Erebor, Kingdom of the Dwarves
4. Dale - Defence and Ruin of Dale
5. Fleet-footed Elves - Character design for the elves
6. Grim Dwarves in Shining Maille - Dwarves of Erebor and The Iron Hills
7. Foul Things - Orcs
8. Taking Ravenhill - Battle amid the Dwarven Ruins
9. There & Back Again - A Hobbit Goes Home
10. Collectible Art - Merchandise
The accompanying text is extensive and talks in detail about the design and at times the story. It certainly provides another dimension to the film in the sense that you'll appreciate why things look the way they are in the movie. It is really impressive to see the amount of art created for the movies. There are more than 1800 pieces of art in this book.
There are two publishers for the book, one's HarperCollins and the other Harper Design. The prices of the book will vary depending on which publisher you're getting from and the place. Those in USA should get the book from Harper Design, and those in Europe and elsewhere should find the HarperCollins version cheaper.
Highly recommended to fans of the film, artbook collectors and those who like to read about film production.
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