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Book Review: Animation: Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Archive Series

Animation: Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Archive Series

John Lasseter mentions in the introduction his first job in college was pulling animation sequences from "the morgue" – Disney's archive of animation artworks. Well, this book is filled with those animation boards from "the morgue". Specifically, these are boards before the clean up process — before sketchy pencil lines are removed and colours, backgrounds added.

The second book in The Archive Series is still a huge thick hardcover with the boards printed gloriously big. Compared to the first volume, every artist is now properly credited to their work. There are a couple of fold-outs which are unnecessary because the art isn't printed across the fold anyway.

This book is primarily on the character art and animation. Artists and animators who want to give their characters life, make them act or emote, will gain a lot from this book. This is more so than the first book because here it features a lot of expressions and gestures. There's no mistaking how the characters feel or what they are doing just by looking at their expressions and poses.

For animation sequences, well, the boards included are actually a mixture of in-sequence and standalone. You'll probably be able to recognise the many memorable scenes, like how Dumbo swings from her mother's trunk (sweet!), when Pinnochio takes his first step or the spaghetti-eating-to-kissing scene (classic!) in The Lady and the Tramp.

Plenty of legendary artists are included, like Ub Iwerks, Norm Ferguson, Ben Sharpsteen, Hamilton Luske, Dick Huemer, Grim Natwick, Art Babbitt, Fred Moore, Bill Tytla, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Marc Davis, John Lounsbery, Ward Kimball, Eric Larson, Les Clark, Wolfgang Reitherman, John Sibley, Bill Justice, Clyde Geronimi, Ted Berman, Glen Keane, Andreas Deja, Eric Goldberg, Mark Henn and Tony Bancroft.

This is an inspiring book recommended to animators.

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Animation: Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Archive Series is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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