Friday 3 June 2011

The Art of Cars 2 Review - A Work of Art

The first thing I have to say is that I’m insanely grateful to Abrams&Chronicle for the free copy; however, it won’t influence my review in any way shape or form. Now this is not to say that it needs the help; the book is fantastic and another great addition to the already strong ‘Art of’ range. The book is written by Ben Queen (the Cars 2 screenwriter) and Karen Paik (who wrote the Art of Ratatouille book) and they’re previous professional writing experience shines though, as they do a great job of it. I’m still inclined to say the Art of Toy Story 3 is better, as it felt more special, like a legacy of the franchise of Toy Story, whereas this book deals specifically with Cars 2, not the original Cars. The book is also decidedly less wordy for the aforementioned reasons; however this is somewhat of a good thing, as it brings more attention to the fantastic artwork. The book is still extraordinarily detailed and is just a bit easier to get into, whereas with the previous instalment, you had to sit and read it for a while, whereas here you can dip in and out, yet you will still want to commit to it, which is to be commended.

There is also a really good foreword by John Lasseter, this is to be expected as anything by Lasseter is always inspiring and insightful and this is no different. It provides a great view into why exactly Pixar is making Cars 2 and works to get you even more hyped for the actual film.


In terms of the artwork in the book, it is amazing; all of the artwork is fantastic and utterly breathtaking. Every sketch, lighting study, colour script, pencil drawing, character design and image is utterly brilliant and beautiful in every conceivable way. This book in itself is a work of art and whilst every artist in it is worthy of praise and commendation, there are three whose work I particularly admired: (not to say that there was any bad work at all here) Sharon Calahan (director of photography-lighting), Armand Baltazar and Harley Jessup (production designer), the work of whom was all fantastic and extraordinary.


These three stood out to me in the same way that the fantastic colour scripts of Dice Tsutsumi did in the Art of Toy Story 3. It is a testament to the high quality of the animators at Pixar that this work is so stunning.

The layout was also fantastic and there were a few spreads in particular that stood out to me. The ‘World Grand Prix’ section was very informative and looked great, it also made me fall in love with the charismatic charmer that is Francesco Bernoulli.

I also felt the ‘Tokyo’ scene looked phenomenal and I can’t wait to see all these lights and vibrant sparkles play out on the big screen. I must also say that I greatly loved the ‘Roads Not Taken’ section and it really made me appreciate the creative process at Pixar, I loved the look of Zil (one of the planned villains), he looked fantastic and as if he would make a great villain. I have no doubt, however, that he was ditched for a good reason, so is the genius that is Pixar and I’m sure Professor Z won’t disappoint in the film come June (or July here in the UK). Speaking of that, I’m really glad that Finn McMissile managed to work his way in after being scrapped from Cars 1, as he looks (and sounds) great.

The book was incredible, gorgeous and an utter must-buy, Chronicle and Pixar have another winner and it has made me even more excited for Cars 2.


To read more of my views on The Art of Cars 2, be sure to check out the July 1st, "Cars 2 Special", Issue of Premier Pixar, the only Pixar magazine.

No comments:

Post a Comment