Book Review: The Art of Bolt

The Art of Bolt

Bolt is one of the movies John Lasseter supervises in Disney, after coming over from Pixar. He starts to book off with a foreword that explains the artistic style Disney is trying to achieve — 2-D painted backgrounds. Throughout the book, there are snippets on the way John has helped the team.

In this book are character designs, storyboards, digital paintings, sculptures and colour studies. The captions from the staff explain the challenges faced when creating the movie. It helps readers understand why certain buildings are modeled that way and why certain scenes are composed and shot in another way.

I like the production design, and how the movie looks. It's somewhat similar to how Open Season do their backgrounds, but this time applied to the urban landscape.

The number of character designs are limited mainly to Bolt, Penny, Mittens and Rhino. Not a lot of experimentation character sketches are shown. Did they get the correct design that fast? It's not a bad point. They do include many varying poses and sketches for the final character designs. Anyway, the only art books I've read that screams character designs straightaway are The Art of Kung Fu Panda and The Art of Bee Movie.

The environment paintings are beautiful. Captions for them always relate back to the story. The level of detail just goes to show how much research was done — as recommended by John Lasseter.

There's not a lot of film stills and 3D talk. This book is more on the art, how the art is created generally, and why they are created that way.

I'll say it's almost as good as the other Pixar art books I have. Nice.


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I thought the book was

I thought the book was lacking in character designs also. It was mostly focused on color styles and background art. The book also puts the spotlight on Paul Felix where as Kung Fu Panda put the spotlight on Nicolas Marlet; both wonderful artists.

There isn't anything about

There isn't anything about the early version of Bolt ("American Dog") under Chris Sanders in it, is there? I think they don't want to show the ups and downs of such long in production animated films. They only show what directly let to the final film. That could be the reason for leaving out character developments because they basically were developed for Sanders' film which Lasseter found not appropriate for Disney.

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