Review: ‘Art of Pixar’ brings animated films into new dimension

Sure, the Disney folks are turning everything into 3D.

But get a look at “The Art of Pixar” and you’ll revel in thejoys of good old-fashioned 2D.

A compendium of artwork for all of the Pixar films over the past25 years, “The Art of Pixar” is like holding memories in yourhands. Buzz Lightyear, Sully, Nemo and Mater get the full scrapbookapproach in this career retrospective.

In the forward by company head John Lasseter, we learn these are”colorscripts,” images used to vet the story before animationbegins. more than just sketches, they’re like portraits of belovedcharacters.

Some are chalk pictures. others are watercolors. all will remindyou of the movies they foreshadowed.

While each of the movies gets its due, more words could refreshour memories. You get two versions of “Toy Story 2” (it wasoriginally supposed to be a DVD release, then was upgraded) butthere aren’t words that could explain what the specific changeswere. that would have been helpful. still “look at the pictures,”as my father used to say when I asked him to read to me. They sayplenty.

Often, the drawings have a hazy, almost unfinished look. Then,you hit upon one or two that are incredibly detailed. Mike andSully, for example, could use their colorscripts for identificationpurposes. “Finding Nemo” has detail, too, (get a load of theunderwater plants) and “The Incredibles” is practically a Saul Basstribute.

“Cars” was too sketchy for my taste (they looked like somethingyou’d see after having your eyes dilated) and “Up” was done in achildish scrawl. But “Ratatouille” and “Wall-E” could hang onanyone’s wall.

Author amid Amidi covers short subjects, too, and then offers upthe stuff that could be framed — pastels, acrylics, gouaches andpen and ink drawings. They’re glimpses into parts of the worlds wedidn’t get to see and they make the films even moredimensional.

“The Art of Pixar” may look like a coffee table tome. But it’sreally just a scrapbook of our friends.

“The Art of Pixar,” published by Chronicle Books, retails for$50.

Review: ‘Art of Pixar’ brings animated films into new dimension

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