The Art of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 by Titan Books is another masterpiece filled with amazing art created by the artists at Sony Pictures Animation. It’s one of the last animation art books of 2013, but is this book as good as other art books that released this year?
Before I received this book my biggest concern was that this book’s main focus would be the food animals since the majority of the film’s marketing revolved around the food animals. But luckily enough when I read this book, I discovered they weren’t the main focus of this book because there was a big cast of familiar and new characters, many of which I didn’t know existed until diving into the book.
It really surprised me that the biggest part of this book was the ‘Character Designs’ section. This section contains the designs of both the returning characters and the new characters. Since the returning characters’ designs were already established int he last movie, the book focused more on the new characters, featuring a lot more pages, sketches and early designs of these new characters.nIt was especially fun to see the early designs of Chester V and Barb because most of the designs are very different from the final looks in the film.
All the original characters from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs had about 2 pages each, but if you want to see and read more about them you should check out The Art of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The returning character pages contain only color keys, storyboards, animation emotions and some of them a few sketches but these are mostly final designs.
The second and final section of this book is called ‘Production Design’ and is filled with the film’s various locations and scenes, as well as the designs of the food animals. The art in this section is really beautiful, colorful and most of the art is inspired by the Czechs children’s book illustrator Miroslav Sasek (if you like his work you definitely will love this book). This section contained a perfect mix of designs, color keys and 3D models, so you could really see that this books’ writers tried to cram as much art in this section as possible, which was an absolute delight. More art is better in my book!
This wasn’t the case with the food animals’ sections because the mostly only the final designs of these creatures were shown. I never expected that I would be interested in designs of food animals, but the designs are incredibly clever and really fun to see. There is a plethora of different designs for all the food animals, definitely more than I expected.
Another great addition to the food animal pages were the photos of real food animals that the directors made from real pickles and real strawberries. This adds another layer of how the filmmakers brainstormed creating these creatures. It is a fun extra addition to the book because this type of pre-production research and art is something you normally wouldn’t see in these types of books.
“The Art of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” is a great addition to any animation art book collection. It contains a lot of stunning art with a beautiful palette of colors. While it’s not the best animation art book I have ever read, but I will definitely read it again after I’ve seen the film.
Sometimes the character designs seemed too cartoony and too much like designs from an animated television show, but that’s okay because the whole movie has that style. This book is a perfect combination of art and text, so if you don’t like reading than this book is perfect for you. The book’s text is really informative and you will learn some interesting things about the film you would’ve have otherwise known. I haven’t seen the film yet but this book really made me excited to see the final product. So if you liked the film, you will love this book; if you didn’t like the film that much, than you probably won’t like the book that much either.
But is this book as good as the other animation art books that released this year? No. But if you really liked the film, or the film’s art style they used you will love it; if you are looking for more spectacular artwork, then I recommend The Art of Epic or The Art of the Croods.
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