This year DreamWorks Animation is celebrating its 20th anniversary and the studio wants to celebrate with us, the fans of its films. It kicked off the party last week with DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition, which is an art exhibit in Melbourne, Australia devoted to the 20 years of DreamWorks history and art. To coincide with the exhibit, Abrams Books released the bookThe Art of DreamWorks Animation by Ramin Zahed.
The Art of DreamWorks Animation celebrates the 30 animated features released by DreamWorks, from The Prince of Egypt to this year’s Home. The book dedicates a few pages to each movie, which highlights character designs, color keys and a lot more.
Each movie also has a few of its crew members (directors, producers, art directors) who explain a little more about the movie and the art. It was wonderful that these quotes were included; even though this book is really about the art, we still get a little insider look into the making of the movie. Don’t expect this information to be as detailed and as informational as the text in typical The Art of books. But that’s expected since normal art books are 100+ pages dedicated solely to one movie, while this book encompasses 30 films. Nonetheless, their inclusion definitely were a high point and great choice.
As a collector of animation art books, I can say DreamWorks did a wonderful job selecting art for the book. Much of the art was entirely new for me even though I own some of the DreamWorks art books. So even if you have all of DreamWorks’ art books, this book will still surprise you with new and never-before-seen art.
The only complaint I have about this book is that the artists names are not found underneath each piece. It would’ve been great if the artists’ names were included so that the artists could get some recognition for their contributions. It’s a great way to discover new artists and then follow them online on their blogs or social media pages. It’s just a little omission, but I’d rather have art with no names than names and no art. So I guess I shouldn’t complain because there is a lot of art presented.
The final pages of the book listed all of DreamWorks Animation’s movies and the awards, which was something completely unexpected, simple and lovely. Yes, this is something you can find on Wikipedia, but the fact that this book is a celebration of DreamWorks Animation’s incredible 20-year history, these awards really put everything into perspective.
This book is a must-have for any DreamWorks or animation fan in general. If you’re only a fan of only a few DreamWorks’ films, then this might not right book for you. This book gives a more high level look at each of the 30 films in the DreamWorks canon, while individual art books (for example The Art of the Croods or The Art of Turbo) will provide a deeper dive into nearly every character, location and scene for that movie.
The Art of DreamWorks Animation is a worthy celebration of 20 years DreamWorks Animation. The book did wonderful job showing all the jaw-dropping art and hard work that was put out during the filmmaking process of these films. I would have been satisfied with just art, but the addition of the filmmakers’ quotes and information was the icing on the cake.
The Art of DreamWorks Animation by Ramin Zahed: Amazon
Special thanks to Abrams Books who provided a review copy of the book.
Max is an animation addict from The Netherlands. His favorite animated movies are Beauty and the Beast and Ratatouille, and he is a big fan of everything Disney, Pixar or DreamWorks related. He loves reading and collecting art books and one day he hopes to work for a major animation studio. Follow his art blog: http://maxdenhartog.tumblr.com