If you’re gonna hate on Disney’s Planes, that’s fine. But don’t hate on the film’s art and design. It rocked. In my review of Planes, I explained that while I didn’t like the writing for the story or characters that much, I thought the visual authenticity and overall design of the film was awesome.
You gotta hand it to the Planes production crew. They went and created an aircraft-centric world that was so cohesive in visual motif, color, and lore that it rivaled the world established in Pixar’s Cars. Chronicle Books’ The Art of Planes is a testament to that accomplishment, despite many animation fans and film snobs alike rejecting the film.
I loved The Art of Planes! If you’re interested in pre-production and previz, this book is a true gold mine. Check out some of these cool features:
- Introduction by John Lasseter
- Full-page concept art
- Preliminary character sketches
- Technical drawings for aircraft/sets
- Color scripts
- Lighting tests
- High-definition CG renders of characters
- Reference photos
- Special effects renders
- Rejected / scrapped designs
- …and much more!
Everything in the book shows the challenging creative process behind making a world where everything has to do with airplanes, down to the smallest detail. I guess detail is a key word with this book; You get to see so many cool props, set pieces, characters, visual motifs, etc. that you might have missed when watching the films.
There’s also plenty of text explaining the crew members’ decisions behind the evolution of each design. I’ll admit there is a lot of annotation, and with that amount of text you unfortunately must sacrifice page space that could be used for larger image. Thus, the art images can be smaller than you’d like sometimes. I think, in the end, it’s a fair trade for all the information that’s packed into the book.
Did I mention the second half of the book is art from Planes 2: Fire & Rescue? I still need to see that one because I think the art for that film looks awesome. The Art of Planes is a top-notch art book, and I’ll enjoy reading and re-reading about the design process behind the beautiful world of Planes!