Thursday, November 11, 2010

I have often mentioned that my favorite pieces of Disney art are concept drawings and concept paintings. It will not come as a surprise therefore if I tell you that Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series: Design is by far my favorite volume in this great series. There is beauty to be seen at every page: from the Horvath drawings at the beggining to the very small piece from 101 Dalmatians by Walt Peregoy at the end.

Some of my favorite artwork in the book: some drawings by Horvath created for the Nutcracker Suite, a small painting by Sylvia Holland for The Three Caballeros, David Hall's artwork for Peter Pan, a very weird drawing of Maleficent, Walt Peregoy's art for 101 Dalmatians, some fabulous character studies by Ken Anderson for The Jungle Book, some Black Cauldron drawings by Tim Burton, some Beast drawings by Mel Shaw, Andreas Deja, and Chris Sanders,...

In other words, this book is clearly a must-have.

My only slight reservations are that we have seen many of those drawings before (not the ones I mention above). I have the feeling that the Animation Research Library could really have unearthed a few more unknown treasures, especially when it comes to Disney shorts, Mary Blair, Ferdinand Horvath, David Hall, etc. I also have an issue with the fact that exactly half of the book is focused on post-1988 artwork. There is clearly a "political" decision at work there which bothers me.

Then again, those are minore qualms. I can't wait to see the next instalment in this series.

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