Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Art of How to Train Your Dragon (Tracy Miller-Zarneke)

The Art of How to Train Your Dragon
Tracy Miller-Zarneke
Newmarket Press
Nonfiction, Art/Media Reference
****+ (Good/Great)

The Art of How to Train Your Dragon
DESCRIPTION: One of the standout animated movies of 2010, Dreamworks' spellbinding tale of the misfit Viking boy Hiccup and the dragon Toothless, based on the children's book by Cressida Cowell, captured the imaginations of dracophiles young and old. It displayed a marvelous mixture of realistic lighting and textures combined with surreally exaggerated designs, wrapped around a deftly-crafted story that ultimately broke free of the book that inspired it. This collection looks behind the scenes, revealing conceptual art and the artistic evolution of the award-nominated blockbuster.
Includes a preface by author Cressida Cowell and a foreword by Craig Ferguson, who voiced Gobber the blacksmith.

REVIEW: First off, if this movie fails to win an award, it's evidence of exceptionally poor taste and judgment... moreso than even I expect out of the industry.
That said...
As one might surmise, I loved the movie; it easily ranks in the top 5 animated films I've ever seen... and the top 5 films I've seen, period. This book made an excellent companion, revealing the story's long and sometimes awkward path from sketch to screen. Some of the text got a little thick with industry terms, but otherwise I highly enjoyed it. Anyone who loved the movie should get this book, to see how it all came together.