If you are curious about the state of international animation, purchase of copy of "2D and Beyond". It was through this book that I first learned about the likes of Michel Ocelot, Daniel Greaves, Wendy Tilby, Koji Morimoto and others. The still frames are marvelous, the production sketches are fantastic, and the articles really bring the reader closer to the featured animators.
These fabulous animators deserve greater exposure. Since I've read this book, I've sought out every opportunity to see the work of these artists. The introduction mentions that this book is the first in a series. If that's so, I eagerly await the upcoming volumes. My only request: please include a DVD of the short films!
If you purchase and enjoy the book as much as I did, check out "Animation Now!" - a more recent text which does include a DVD with brief clips of a few of these works.