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Animation Art: From Pencil to Pixel, the World of Cartoon, Amime and CGI Paperback – 27 Aug 2004

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Flame Tree Publishing (27 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844511405
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844511402
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 28.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 458,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Don't listen to the previous review - it is definately not poor quality in terms of printing and the images are excellent. It is not a "how to do it.." book but a comprehensive history of animation production in both TV and film which is quite educational. It covers much material that would be omitted from other books of a more mainstream focus. It is a coffee table book and the images are quite lavish. It is not essntail reading however, if you just want to improve your technique get Tim Whites new book - "Pencils to Pixels" or "The Animator's Survival Kit" by Richard Williams.
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Format: Paperback
This book is more a history of animation rather than the art. I certainly wouldn't say that there is too much emphasis on 'cgi' work (about 20 out of the 380 pages) but the poor quality of the printing and lack of quality images is a major disappointment with major omissions as previous reviewer points out. Poor scans and lacklustre printing spoil an already disappointing book. Produced at a budget price I suspect.
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Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The price was perfect and it offers the content I expected, from historical perspective to pictures and information about the animators. It's great!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "feast" for the mind as well as for the eye.... 16 Dec. 2004
By Robert Morris - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a magnificent achievement. Serving as General Editor, Jerry Beck has brought together in a single volume a riveting narrative which examines the history of cartoon, anime, and CGI with stunning full-color illustrations of that history. As he explains in his Introduction, "We have assembled an international team of animation authorities to tell the tales behind the toons. -The story is told in chronological sequence with choice images that enhance its history...From popular Disney characters to obscure personal films, it is all covered: Hollywood hits and Japanese anime, as well as Russian masterpieces and Asian artfilms. Looking it over, it is quite a wild ride." Indeed it is. The material is skillfully organized within twelve chapters which range from "The Origin of the Art" to "The New Century." By no means do I claim to be an expert on the subject of animation art but I presume to observe that I cannot imagine what has been left out. The illustrations are stunning; the prose narrative is crisp and lucid.

In the Foreword, Jeffrey Katzenberg observes that animation art provides a unique opportunity "to remember to know who has gone before, to really know the stories, take lessons from them, and bring that knowledge to the future. My hope is that, one day, other people will feel the same way about about those of us who are making animated films now. While it is an amazing thing to have the opportunity to create films and to bring these enormous enterprises to the world, it is something entirely different and entirely more rare to have our work remembered and considered part of the continuing evolution of an art form." Thanks to Beck, those who work their way through this magnificent volume will not only remember what has been achieved in animation art thus far; they will also understand what can yet be accomplished as others who have yet to reveal themselves through their art.

I highly recommend this volume to anyone interested in animation art, of course, but also to those who have an interest in the creation and evolution of comic books. Also to those who share my high regard for illustrators such as Al Hirschfeld whose art is celebrated in Hirschfeld on Line, now available from Amazon in both book and DVD formats.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Overview of the Popular Medium 25 Sept. 2006
By Charles K. - Published on
Format: Paperback
Animation Art is a comprehensive look at the history, development and cultural effects of animation and cartoons.

From the early days up to the latest blockbusters of the 21st century, the authors have covered all concepts, genres and media. Including European, Asian and Canadian cartoons, stop motion, CGI and more.

Beautifully presented with many colour pictures and written by experienced contributors it leaves no stone unturned.

The only disappointment is the amount of text devoted to one of my all time favourites, Tom & Jerry.

Otherwise a comprehensive tome that will provide for anybody interested in animation.
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbeatable overview of animation art 18 Feb. 2007
By Steve - Published on
Format: Paperback
I loved this book, read it four times. It covered all types of animation

including stop motion. It was organized by decade, by country. There were

many contributors who chose what they were most interested in and I guess

their passion rubs off because it is hard to put down and very informative.

If you want a course in animation history, just read this and save your

tuition money. I don't know how Jerry Beck does it all but we all

benefit from his dedication. Thank you, Jerry. Keep up the good work.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful introduction to the world of animation, but with an ugly design 22 Aug. 2016
By G. B. J. Grob - Published on
Format: Paperback
'Animation Art' has one of the most hideously ugly covers around. It's a cheap, but also cheap-looking book with a design amateurish enough to be able to put you off (the biggest design failure being page 180, in which part of the text is lost).

This is a pity, as text-wise this book clearly is a labor of love. Written by no less than 22 authors (e.g. David Gerstein, Mike Mayerson and Fred Patten), it is a celebration of almost a century of animation, from the first experiments in animated drawing to the most modern CGI.

Moreover, unlike Leonard Maltin's 'Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons; Revised and Updated' or Charles Solomon's 'The History of Animation: Enchanted Drawings' it doesn't restrict itself to the United States, but tries to encompass world animation, with notable chapters on e.g. Japanese, Chinese, British, French, Hungarian, Yugoslavian and Russian animation industries. In this respect, it's a more accessible and less cerebral version of Bendazzi's 'Cartoons: One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation'.

With such a scope histories, of course, remain sketchy and at their worst consist of lists of titles, only. However, this is compensated by an abundance of color illustrations, which certainly invite the reader to look for the films himself. Moreover, I could discover only a few small errors and omissions - the exclusion of Martin Rosen and Jan Švankmajer being the most unforgivable.

'Animation Art' is thus a great introduction to the rich world of animation, and as such recommended to everyone with even the slightest interest in it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as new! 27 Sept. 2013
By Hyeon-I Son - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was amazed how the condition of this book is better than I was expecting. Great deal, you want to buy this book for your art class. Actually, the author of this book, Jerry Beck is my professor teaching history of animation so I could show him this book in the class. He was happy that I bought his book for course text book :D. Thank you so much!
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