I have just received a review copy of the upcoming book Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series: Layout & Background. Like the 3 previous volumes in the series it is a beautiful book filled with fascinating artwork. Like the 3 previous volumes it is a must-have.
But like the 3 previous volumes the book is also slightly frustrating. The fact that close to 50% of the artwork comes from post-1984 movies is to be expected but is nonetheless a bit of an issue for Disney history enthusiasts. The main issue however is the fact that an extremely large amount of the art is not credited to anyone. When we are talking about the early shorts I can understand this to some extent, but when it comes to some of the clearly recognizable layouts and backgrounds from The Aristocats, Jungle Book, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, or even Alice in Wonderland, one wonders how the names of Ken Anderson, Walt Peregoy and Claude Coats are not mentioned. Annoying and slightly shocking.
This being said, should you buy the book? My answer is an unqualified "yes". But this does not erase the frustration.