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Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series: Layout & Background

General Information:

Media Type: Book
Type: Other
Release Date: 2011-10-25

Geek's Thoughts: This incredible hard cover coffee table book marks the fourth release in the Archive Series by the Walt Disney Animation Studios. It features an in depth look at artwork from the archives pertaining to layout and background. As all us geeks know the background artwork for most of Disneys animated films can stand as pieces of art by themselves. This book takes you from the early shorts all the way up to the 2011 release of Winnie the Pooh highlighting some of the interesting pieces from the archive collection.


The book features an introduction by John Lasseter and then the remaining 250+ pages feature stunning artwork ranging from finished background to sketches. I really enjoyed seeing the evolution of some of the pieces from pencil to finished product. Most of the piece take up a full page or a good portion of the page, a couple are fold outs that are 2, 3 or in one case 4 panels.

There seemed to be a good mix of shorts and feature films, even some modern ones, such as Prep and Landing made the cut. A couple pieces that really stand out as I reflect back on the book are the Neverland Island, the Beasts Castle, and the River bend from Pocahontas.

One interesting note is how much of the artwork is uncredited. The artist is listed as Disney Studio Artist since no one specific person can be attributed the work. At the end of the book is a listing of the credits. Also a page with pictures of some of the many talented artists.

As I mentioned in the earlier book in the series I read the one thing I would have liked to have seen is more on the various pieces. You are given the film title and year and nothing else. This makes for a great book to flip through but some more detail would be great. Maybe a companion book with background and description text?? As to not interfere with the primary book??

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