This summer, Pixar returned with the third installment in its Cars franchise. The film introduced us to whole new part of the Cars universe, and this latest art book, The Art of Cars 3, takes us behind the scenes at Pixar into the making of Cars 3.
The book starts off with a foreword by John Lasseter, executive producer of Cars 3, and a preface by director Brian Fee. The foreword and preface are just great little introductions to everything that’s to come from two people who were obviously very much involved in the making of this film. The foreword and preface are followed by an introduction by production designers Bill Cone and Jay Shuster. In their introduction, Cone and Shuster perfectly set up the journey they went on when they took on the roles of production designers of Cars 3. I had a blast reading the development they went through on this project, and it set up the rest of the book really well.
After those introductions, the book is divided into four main chapters. Each act of the film gets a chapter, and the additional fourth and final chapter is dedicated to outtakes and stuff that didn’t make it into the final film. Each chapter takes you though the act and shows off everything from character designs to storyboards to graphic design work. As expected, each of the chapters are divided into characters, locations, and scenes from the movie and accompanied by quotes and information given by the artists who worked on the film.
The fourth and final chapter in the book only consists of a few pages and shows off some concept art from earlier versions of the film. It’s a fun addition to the book, but they could have done way more with this. I would’ve loved more substance on these earlier versions of the story and how it progressed; instead, we just got the art.
The Art of Cars 3 is a fantastic art book. The problem for me, however, was that I simply don’t care for racing or cars, and this book is all about the design of those things so a lot of the art I simply didn’t care for. I enjoyed some of the beautiful concept paintings and the more expressive characters like Miss Fritter, but there was also a ton of stuff that I personally didn’t care about. The book did include tons of wonderful stuff besides just concept art, from great storyboards to really fantastic graphic design work to tons of behind-the-scenes material which I really appreciated and enjoyed.
If you are into cars, racing, this franchise, or if you are really interested in filmmaking, you’ll definitely enjoy this book. If you, like me, aren’t the biggest racing fan, there’ll definitely be things in this book for you, but there might be better art books out there for you as well. I definitely enjoyed reading this book, there’s tons of great stuff in it, and it’s a wonderful companion to Cars 3. It’s just not one of my personal favorites.
Purchase: The Art of Cars 3
A special thanks to Chronicle Books, who provided a review copy of The Art of Cars 3.
Edited by: Kelly Conley