I didn't expect this artbook coming and only got to know of it a month after it was released.
It's a delightful companion featuring concept art for the film. The style of art is similar to that of Madagascar. Everything is very stylized, the shapes are simple and strong, characters are cartoony and funny looking.
The main character designs are for mutant penguins, Dave and the 31 octopus henchmen, Dr. Octavius Brine, the "elite undercover interspecies task force" North Wind and other unused amusing looking spy members. The mutant penguins look really funny. The other thing I like are the beautiful patterns on the octopus henchmen.
For the set locations we have the Antarctica, Fort Knox, Venice, Shanghai, the Aquarium, the sophisticated look of North Wind jet and headquarters, Dave's submarine's exterior and interiors and 4 pages of unused locations. The whole feel and vibe is different from the other Madagascar movies because the penguins are in sort of more urban landscapes.
Other artworks included are the coloured storyboards, sketches of Dave's backstory, snow globes, octopus inspired interior designs and the technical breakdown of how they created the Venice chase sequence. Author Barbara Robertson has included a good amount of commentary by the artists and staff talking about the designs and characters, delving into the origins and motivations of all those weird and cute but serious acting animals.
It's a beautiful artbook, a delightful companion to the Penguin's first movie, or as Benedict Cumberbatch refers to them as "Pengwings".
4 out of 5 stars.
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