3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Good, but with glaring ommissions...,
This review is from: Animation Art: From Pencil to Pixel, the World of Cartoon, Amime and CGI (Paperback)
Just to clarify, I bought the first edition of this book, which had a huge eyeball on the cover instead of that Ice Age thing, so my thoughts about this book may well be null and void with regards to that new edition.
I've been reading Jerry Beck's blog (CartoonBrew) for a couple of years now, and it had greatly expanded my knowledge of the animated world. His newest book, The Animated Movie Guide, is an essential purchase for anyone with even a fleeting interest in the artform, so naturally I was expecting a lot from this book, which cost me TWICE as much(!).
Its merits lie in its content, but that is also where it suffers. Whereas the Animated Movie Guide listed every feature length animated film to be released to American theatres, Animation Art presents a chronological guide to the entire medium, including shorts, independent and international films. Each two-page spread covers a different area, so it's good as a pick-up-and-read-at-any-point type of book. These areas are as diverse as "Disney Goes To War", "The Wise Guys" and "Advertisements". So there's a lot of stuff covered. A lot of stuff I was unaware of somehow (because I'm a genius when it comes to this sort of thing).
The loss of two stars is for these two reasons:
1)There is FAR too much in there about CGI. Personally, I can't stand much CGI other than the Pixar stuff. It just seems so lifeless. The fact that almost a quarter of this book looks at CG animation is a big disappointment. It's not just those boring Shrek films (and the subsequent plague of copycat films that they spawned). It looks at The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, Stuart Little and the Scooby-Doo movie. Hardly what I was expecting from a book which, I'm guessing, is aimed at the animatophile market.
2)It is this first fault which makes this second fault seem even worse. Could all the CGI stuff not've been dropped in favour of the following ommissions?
Cosgrove Hall Productions, Vampires In Havana, Twice Upon A Time, The Mouse And His Child, When The Wind Blows...
Even Fantasia and Pinnochio only get passing mentions!
Overall, you could buy this book if you're a fan of the whole animation thing, but if you're as anal as I am when it comes to these things, prepare to be disappointed.