I've been following Epic's journey to the big screen since late 2012 when I saw the first trailer. I was instantly excited; the art, characters and concept looked amazing and I've always had a soft spot for tiny talking creatures. Since then I've followed every aspect of it's production and have looked forward to this book, The Art of Epic, for months. I knew the film would be something special (will it overtake Rise of the Guardians as my favourite animated movie?) and reading this book has cemented that further - honestly, it looks like a magical adventure for all ages. I can't wait to see it in a couple of weeks!
Epic is brought to you by Blue Sky Studios, the geniuses behind films such as Ice Age, Rio and Robots. That should give you a quick idea of the scope of their animation and art featured in Epic, all of which is beautifully showcased in this art book.
Director Chris Wedge provides an insightful foreword before handing the reins over to Tara Bennett, who then takes us through the film section by section. Even though I haven't seen it yet, it seems most aspects of the story and characters are covered, including major plot points (beware a few spoilers) and all the cool little people you see in the trailers. After starting with the human world, Mary Katherine, Bomba and Ozzy the dog, The Art of Epic then explores the Leafmen and their forest environment. The baddie Boggans are then introduced, and included throughout are pages and pages of early concept art, digital art and final frames. Some of the artwork showcased here is so eye-catching that I went back a few times to re-read sections and paragraphs just so I could take it all in again. The world created for Epic really is breathtaking and I'm looking forward to seeing how it translates on the big screen!
In addition to amazing art and scene sneak peeks, The Art of Epic also includes a decent amount of text detailing the making of the movie. Lots of little facts are made available, like the significance of Nim's jacket design and the differences between Nod's sword and the other Leafmen's. It's all fascinating stuff and anyone with even a passing interest in Epic or animated films in general will agree that this book deserves a place on their bookshelf.
Titan have once again delivered with The Art of Epic, and it's the best movie art book I've seen since last year's The Art of Rise of the Guardians (also published by Titan, review here). I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys this film or even likes the look of it - a further glimpse into Epic's world is well worth your time and effort. I hope you all like the film when you see it and, if you wonder where I am around the week of May 22nd, I'll be glued to a cinema seat watching it multiple times!
Here's the artbook for Epic, the film from Blue Sky Studios. It's 144 pages, hardcover, from Titan Books, whose earlier artbook was The Art of the Croods.
It's a nice artbook with character designs and concept art. The costume designs for the soldiers are quite stylish. There are a lot of interesting forest characters such as those inspired from bugs, plants, flowers and other insects, but unfortunately they aren't dedicated more space.
The illustrations are wonderful. I really like the colors of the sunlight in the forest. The environment art are pretty realistic in style as compared to the characters.
The writeup is an enjoyable read that covers the design process, talking about the characters and how they evolved and a bit on the research for their designs. There are some typos though.
Nice book overall, but the book would be more enjoyable if you have watched the movie.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
Although I've not actually seen the film as of yet, I was somewhat instantly attracted to this book by the cover image. I know you should never judge a book by its cover! This one did not disappoint, packed with gorgeous artwork, concepts and designs. Very informative too!
I have read through this several times and it is a joy to see all the detail which has been put into this. For anyone wanting a more in-depth view of the characters and the back grounds, this is a must buy. Definitely recommended