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Book Review: Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Art of the Animated Series

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Art of the Animated Series

This is a wonderful art book for a spellbinding animation series. Making the series took 6 years, hundreds of artists, and hundreds of thousands of drawings. This book showcases a selection of some really beautiful illustrations.

There are loads of character and background designs inside, in sketches and in their finished coloured form. The main characters like Aang and others come with cool animation sequences created with pencils. Also included are many of the discarded concepts which were difficult to animate or doesn't suit the story. Appa had some really awesome spiral horns but were discarded, unfortunately. The character drawings are superb. Just by looking at their different expressions you can pretty much guess their characteristics.

Besides the characters which includes the town folks and soldiers, there are also drawings for many miscellaneous stuff like storyboards, airships, hybrid animals, wanted posters, promotional posters, chibi (or super deformed) style and random doodles from meetings.

Did I mention the background paintings? The world created is so beautiful!

The whole book is annotated heavily by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino. They talk about everything on production, from creating the pilot episode to Nickelodeon approving the final season. You can see and read about their influences and inspiration everywhere, from Buddhism, Studio Ghibli, Gainax, Chinese martial arts, etc. It's very interesting to see how they apply what they learned from research to their drawings and animation.

This is a fantastic art book for the series and fans, which should appeal to anyone who hasn't watch the series. Good art appeals to all.

Highly recommended!

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Avatar: The Last Airbender (The Art of the Animated Series) is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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