11th Jan2013

Book Review: The Art of Rise of the Guardians

by Phil Wheat

Foreword by Alec Baldwin | Written by Ramin Zahed | Published by Titan Books | Format: HB, 156pp


In Rise of the Guardians, North (Alec Baldwin), Bunnymund (Hugh Jackman), Tooth (Isla Fisher), and Sandman try to recruit the mysterious Jack Frost (Chris Pine) to help them stop Pitch (Jude Law) from putting an end to childhood belief and sending the world into eternal darkness. The film is one of DreamWorks Animation’s most ambitious films to date, allowing families to get to know the icons of childhood in a whole new way.

Its mythic premise provided the artists at the studio with an opportunity to let their imaginations soar, producing a truly unique take on the imaginary figures of childhood and the innocence and joy they represent. The Art of Rise of the Guardians is a fascinating look at the ways these artists and craftspeople collaborated to create a stunning CG movie in three dimensions…

First off, I love artbooks. Especially the ones Titan Books have been putting out recently – Oeuvre, The Art of Drew Struzan, The Art of Assassin’s Creed III, The Great Showdowns etc. This latest tome takes a look at the process and the art behind Dreamworks’ brand new CG animated feature Rise of the Guardians, which is the closest, at least in terms of animation and storytelling, to the works of Pixar – and from this book it’s easy to see why it was such a success.

The book is divided into sections, each covering North Pole, Bunny Empire, Tooth Palace, the Clouds, Pitch’s Lair and Earth; each filled with details about the films aesthetics and how, whilst the designs are oftentimes are deliberate and precise, they develop organically over time as characters leap from the page and are brought to life by the animation and the voice acting. Each section is also crammed with artwork – gorgeous artwork at that; including a myriad of character designs, from early pencil sketches to wall-worthy full colour artwork from a plethora of different artists. There’s also a section on abandoned concepts which provides a whole new look at the film and what could have (and maybe should have) made the final cut of the film.

A gorgeous book that will appeal to both fans of the film and of great movie art, The Art of Rise of the Guardians is available now from Titan Books.


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