The Art of DreamWorks Animation

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The Art of DreamWorks Animation

Postby ShyViolet » May 8th, 2014, 9:18 pm

Awesome new book spanning the entire company's history: :)


http://www.awn.com/animationworld/book- ... -animation
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Re: The Art of DreamWorks Animation

Postby Randall » May 8th, 2014, 10:15 pm

Looks like a nice alternative to buying all of the individual Art Of books--- more films covered, and a good shelf saver.

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Re: The Art of DreamWorks Animation

Postby Ben » May 9th, 2014, 7:20 am

I'd go along with the book's assumption that Prince Of Egypt (nice to see it getting recognition!) was their first film, which it was.

POE was the catalyst for DWA right from the start, being Spielberg's suggestion. PDI was initially brought in as a production partner for the CG side of things, and ended up making Antz as a separate film but, at the time, the deal was that DreamWorks SKG would "present" the PDI films, like Disney does with Pixar and Fox does with Blue Sky.

So POE was DreamWorks' first animated film, since it was in production first and was their first direct film. Antz was eventually made faster and released a few months before, but really this was like Mouse Hunt from a year or two before: an example of DWs presenting a production (albeit one they had generated in-house).

It wasn't really until the tradigital animated films (El Dorado, Spirit and Sinbad) flopped and DWs decided CG was the future that DWs bought up PDI outright and became the wholly integrated DWA. Retrospectively, they include Antz as one of their films (correctly, I think, in the way Toy Story is now a Disney-Pixar film when originally it was a Disney film animated by Pixar), and I suppose technically one could say it was their first release.

However, I would also offer up Mouse Hunt as at least being a hybrid (along with Small Soldiers) in that same list if we wanted to get too completist about things, so really the reviewer is right here, and POE should be recognised as their first film. That said, in this CG world, Antz probably makes the better case since it's more in keeping with current trends, and although there's no confirmation one way or the other it does seem the King Of Dreams DTV has been forgotten, although this could be to concentrate on theatricals.

Speaking of which...I wonder if it includes a bit on First Flight, an absolutely adorable short made in the early 2000s that has never seen a public release. I don't know if DWs routinely makes in-house shorts, but that one really does deserve a release since it's so cute!

Moreover...this looks like a great book to nab if I see it around - thanks for the head's up, Vi! :)

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Re: The Art of DreamWorks Animation

Postby ShyViolet » May 9th, 2014, 9:48 am

No prob Ben! :)
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Re: The Art of DreamWorks Animation

Postby Dan » May 11th, 2014, 10:45 pm

So I ended up getting the book today (had a Barnes and Noble coupon that I needed to burn before it expired tomorrow). I have only skimmed through the book at the moment, so I'm merely stating my initial impressions.

What I like about the book is just how each film stands out from one another visually. Even the sequels don't necessarily look the same as their predecessors. So you can tell fairly quickly as you flip through the book that not all of the art styles presented will be similar to one another.

At around 320 pages, give or take a few, be forewarned that the presentation for each film are abbreviations. If you really want to get a greater spectrum behind each film, you're going to have to hunt for their individual art books (I know there are at least a couple titles I'm going to have to do this for as I really want to see more than what's been presented here). This book shows just enough to give readers a nice look at how the films are visually conceptualized.

It is nice to see a few pages of their progress on "Home", which comes out next year.

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Re: The Art of DreamWorks Animation

Postby Ben » May 12th, 2014, 4:11 am

Although vastly abbreviated, the number of films ratio to the amount of pages in the book should still mean a decent ten or twelve pages on each though, right? Or do they give more to the hits and skimp on the misses?

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Re: The Art of DreamWorks Animation

Postby Dan » May 12th, 2014, 9:04 am

Here's the page count, based on the index.

Antz - 10
The Prince of Egypt - 12
The Road to El Dorado - 10
Chicken Run - 8
Shrek - 6
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron - 12
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas - 12
Shrek 2 - 10
Shark Tale - 10
Madagascar - 12
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit - 8
Over the Hedge - 6
Flushed Away - 8
Shrek The Third - 10
Bee Movie - 10
Kung Fu Panda - 12
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - 10
Monsters vs. Aliens - 10
How to Train Your Dragon - 12
Shrek Forever After - 10
Megamind - 10
Kung Fu Panda 2 - 10
Puss in Boots - 10
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - 12
Rise of the Guardians - 14
The Croods - 12
Turbo - 10
Mr. Peabody and Sherman - 8
How to Train Your Dragon 2 - 12
Home - 12

So yeah, roughly 10 or 12 pages.

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Re: The Art of DreamWorks Animation

Postby Ben » May 12th, 2014, 6:23 pm

Oooh, nicely balanced. Thanks for those counts...looks like this is a birthday request in a few months! :)

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Re: The Art of DreamWorks Animation

Postby Randall » May 12th, 2014, 7:46 pm

Yeah, that actually looks pretty good as an all-in-one. The only Art Of book for DWA that I have is for POE. I like that this new book focuses on fully realized conceptual art, which is my favourite to see. If only the films could each look so unique (though I did think that KFP in particular was beautifully designed as a film).
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Re: The Art of DreamWorks Animation

Postby Dan » May 12th, 2014, 10:54 pm

One thing I wish they did was label who was responsible for which art piece. It would have been nice to know who did a particular piece and look them up, which what I tend to do regarding some artists I admired after seeing their piece in previous art books.

A note that what they present for Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit are essentially still shots or production pictures of the clay figures already pieced together and positioned (a couple are scenes from the films, others are probably test shots). Chicken Run includes a model sheet, but it's partially covered by a figure piece that's presented.