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Upcoming Pixar Reviews Chronicle Books’ The Art of Cars 2!

Art Of:, Cars 2

Posted by Martin • May 24, 2011

Whether you’re a fan of the Cars franchise or not, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the 2006 film and its sequel are some of the best looking Pixar movies of all time.

Of course, an immense amount of planning had to be done in order to bring such elaborate films to the big screen. In The Art of Cars 2 by Ben Queen and Karen Paik, readers will get a broad taste of what the "mechanics" at the Emeryville studio have been up to for the last couple of years.

A key point worth mentioning is this volume’s phenomenal organization. Location is key in a book that dedicates large portions to showcase car-ified versions of Tokyo, Paris, Porto Corsa and London. Chapters are also dedicated to the Pacific Ocean, the film’s spy aspect and "deleted concepts." You may be surprised to know that the characters were headed to Prague in one version of Cars 2.

Since the film’s look had already been established in the original Cars, the 160-page hardcover doesn’t dedicate much time to character exploration. With that said, many of the film’s personas are given their own spread showcasing the design process. Even Lightning McQueen got a tune up for the sequel. A couple of unused characters are also profiled.

Jumping off of John Lasseter’s energetic foreword, The Art of Cars 2 takes readers on the whirlwind production journey. Although it’s a relatively quick read, author Ben Queen (also the film’s screenwriter) never once talks down to even the most well-read Pixar fans. In fact, The Art of Cars 2 was an extremely informative book even after being thoroughly briefed at the Pixar press event.

The Art of Cars 2 (Chronicle Books) drives into stores on June 1.

Pre-order on Amazon.

Your thoughts?

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The Art of Cars 2: Final Cover Revealed!

Art Of:, Cars 2

Posted by Martin • March 1, 2011

Stunning, eye-popping, jaw-dropping… all words that describe the newly revealed cover of Chronicle’s The Art of Cars 2.

Written by Ben Queen and Karen Paik, the next installment in Pixar’s popular series of coffee table books is sure to keep you in awe as you turn through 160-glossy pages. I for one, can’t wait to see the artwork behind the studio’s latest.

The Art of Cars 2 will be available on June 1, 2011, but you can pre-order it now via Chronicle Books or Amazon.

Do you collect "The Art of…" books?

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Pre-Order The Art of Cars 2; Available June 1st!

Art Of:, Cars 2

Posted by Martin • November 30, 2010

Gearheads, art enthusiasts, Pixar fans— Race over to Amazon.com to pre-order The Art of Cars 2!

The latest in Pixar’s series of premium coffee table books is set to hit stores on June 1, 2011. Karen Paik (The Art of Ratatouille) returns to write this volume, accompanied by Ben Queen.

Keep in mind, the cover above is more than likely preliminary and simply serves as a place holder. Regardless, The Art of Cars 2 promises to showcase a glossy gallery from Pixar’s latest production in 160-pages.

As a side note, Forbes has just named Cars 2 one of the most anticipated films of 2011. We agree!

Your thoughts?

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Win The Art of Toy Story 3 From Chronicle Books Blog!

Art Of:, Toy Story 3

Posted by Martin • June 29, 2010

Getting your hands on The Art of Toy Story 3 might not be so easy these days…

Charles Solomon’s stunning coffee table book is so popular that Chronicle currently has it out-of-stock and is now reprinting. So if you still haven’t been able to purchase your copy, why not try your luck at it?

The Art of Toy Story 3 is up for grabs on Chronicle’s official blog! Entering couldn’t be easier: all you have to do is post a comment naming your favorite Toy Story character. One lucky winner will be picked at random by July 6th.

Note: As I write this, nobody has commented — shocking! Be the first!

Will you enter?

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Upcoming Pixar Book Review: The Art of Toy Story 3! [Available Now]

Art Of:

Posted by Martin • May 25, 2010

The Art of Toy Story 3 is like no other coffee table book from Chronicle‘s celebrated collaboration with Pixar.

Although this publication takes a new path, it’s nothing short of amazing. In fact, it superseded my already high expectations!

As a long time admirer of the studio’s artwork and behind-the-scenes stories, I couldn’t be happier. Much like its predecessors, this deluxe volume is packed with over 250 glossy, full color images. But we can also count on author Charles Solomon to satisfy our hunger for accompanying information.

Before we get to delve into the majority of the sketches, paintings and sculpts that fueled this project, John Lasseter reminds us that Toy Story 3 was originally meant to follow closely behind the first two films in the series, but due to previous issues with Disney, it just wasn’t possible — until today. 

That’s when he contacted the man for the job. In the special foreword, Lee Unkrich (Director) and Darla K. Anderson (Producer) separately introduce themeselves, both clearly eager for you to browse through the book.

As we prepare to look into the future of Toy Story, a turn of a page changes everything. Author (and noted animation scholar) Charles Solomon takes us back to provide the history of the first fully computer animated feature and its sequel for a better understanding of part 3.

Looking through the book, you’ll notice evolution, from Andy’s growth into a teenager, to subtle changes in Woody’s model. Yet there’s still a common uniformity signaling that we’re in the same universe that we’ve come to know.

Stories abound in eight major sections of the book. To avoid spoiling anything (TAo TS3 isn’t entirely safe for those who want to see the film without prior knowledge), I won’t name them but I will say that they effectively break down the film. Each page is filled with a generous amount of text (more than in any past edition) so if you just plan on flipping through, you’ll be missing out on first-hand insight from the filmmakers themselves. 

The images play well with the text, both of which fill each nook and cranny in 175 pages. You’ll also note that the captions for each picture are more detailed than ever. One of the coolest features, though, doesn’t involve words. Instead, the color script by Dice Tsutsumi is presented as a fold out!

After experiencing this publication, I grasp Toy Story 3 at a deeper level. I’ve only seen the film once, but I can tell you that I’ll be prepared to catch more things on my second viewing of Buzz and Woody’s latest thanks to the sincerity and emotion in the plentiful storyboards, concept art, reference photographs, maquettes and anecdotes spread throughout this hardcover.

The bottom line is, this ‘Art of…’ won’t leave you hanging. The "museum tour" is complete with a guide, but it’s your choice whether you take it or not.

The Art of Toy Story 3 is available on May 26th, 2010! I highly recommend vicariously embarking on this adventure with the filmmakers through Pixar’s latest coffee table book. Order it over at Amazon.com or Chronicle’s official site!

Do you currently own, or plan on owning The Art of Toy Story 3? When you get your hands on this must have, let us know what you think!

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The Art of Toy Story 3: Final Cover Revealed + Day & Night Picture Book!

Art Of:

Posted by Martin • April 27, 2010

Does the cover of The Art of Toy Story 3 look familiar to you? Maybe you’ve seen it in pictures as part of Pixar’s atrium art

The new volume in Chronicle‘s long running series of Pixar coffee table books looks to be one their best! As stunning as the jacket art is, I’m sure it’s only a tiny taste of some of the great pieces that we’ll find in the 176-page volume.

Included are over 250 original works from production — everything from concept art to storyboards — mainly from TS3 but also from the series’ first two films! The Art of Toy Story 3’s glossy images will be supplemented by text from author Chris Solomon, a preface by John Lasseter, and a foreword by director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson. For a backstory on the book and a look back at the past cover, check out my previous post.

As far as previews go, Pixar’s website is equipped with some great artwork. You’re also welcome to browse through my Flickr photostream to enjoy atrium pieces among other interesting things!

The Art of Toy Story 3 (SRP $40.00) hits stores on May 26th, 2010. Pre-order the book on Amazon or Chronicle Book’s website.

Day & Night Update: Also on the way from Chronicle is a picture book based on Pixar’s upcoming short! Day & Night is illustrated by none other than the film’s director, Teddy Newton! Pre-order the summer release here.

(via The Pixar Blog)

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Exclusive: Toy Story 3 Color Scripts by Dice Tsutsumi

Art, Art Of:, Lee Unkrich, Toy Story 3

Posted by Martin • December 21, 2009

This afternoon I was sent some exclusive images from Toy Story 3 production, so as you can imagine, I was very excited to show you guys!

These pieces are part of Toy Story 3’s color script, a visual representation of the film that allows for the lighting department to correctly illuminate each scene. Both were painted by the very talented Dice Tsutsumi, art director on the highly anticipated sequel.

You may recognize the paintings from two distinct shots as seen in the trailer. They contrast each other well, not just in color saturation but in emotion. For example, the first color script depicts young Andy enjoying his toys around the TV while the second is from a later scene in which the toys are discussing at Sunnyside Daycare — after their departure from Andy. Click on each image to see a larger version.

A second set of exclusive color scripts is over at The Pixar Blog with a third set at Pixar Talk; check those out too! I guess this is a bit of a preview inside The Art of Toy Story 3 and an early Christmas present from Lee Unkrich…

Let us know what you think in the comments section!

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The Art of Toy Story 3 Cover Art and Content Revealed!

Art Of:, John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Toy Story 3

Posted by Martin • December 13, 2009

Toy Story news is coming at us back-to-back this weekend, especially news that has to do with books and pre-orders, but I’m not complaining!

One of my favorite Pixar tie-in products is The Art of… series from Chronicle Books, so I was extremely excited to see The Art of Toy Story 3 available for pre-order today! The book has been through quite a bit of drama since the unexpected author change during mid-production but it’s clearly back up and steady. Fortunately, animation historian Charles Solomon (credited with related pieces in The New York Times and Rolling Stone) currently seems to have a great handle on this edition.

For one, the cover art (seen here, click to view larger) is stunning but what’s even more fantastic is the content promised inside this 176-page coffee table book. The Art of Toy Story 3 takes you into the world of Pixar’s latest production with 250 pieces of original artwork, a "gatefold of Toy Story 3 color scripts" and a look back at the art of Toy Story and Toy Story 2! Also including a foreword by director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson with a preface by John Lasseter, this book is shaping up to be a definite must have!

The "deluxe volume" will be released on May 26th, 2010 from the excellent folks over at Chronicle. You can pre-order your copy over at Amazon.com bumped down from the usual price of $40 to a reduced $26.40, an amazing value!

What are you most excited to see in The Art of Toy Story 3?

(Thanks, Pixar Builder from the Pixar Planet Forums)

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The Art of Toy Story 3 Gets a New Author + Toy Story Postcard Set

Art Of:, Toy Story, Toy Story 3

Posted by Martin • October 10, 2009

Chronicle Books never fails to deliver when it comes to Pixar art of books.

But sometimes, the authors behind the coffee table hardcovers may not be able to continue writing them for whatever reason. That’s what happened earlier this year with The Art of Toy Story 3‘s former writer Amid Amidi when he announced his unfortunate departure.

With that Pixar/Chronicle had to look for a new author and his name is Charles Solomon! He recently published Disney Lost and Found, which I hear is awesome by the way. The animation historian will undoubtedly have much knowledge to contribute towards the upcoming publication which is currently slated for May 1st, 2010. No cover art available yet.

You may also remember The Art of Pixar postcard set, a beautiful collection of production art which was released back in 2005. Sounds like they’re going with the same basic idea for The Art of Toy Story postcard set also from Chronicle! You can find the box of 100 collectible postcards in stores come November 25th.

Related note: Disney Publishing’s highly anticipated book, The Pixar Treasures, has been delayed until November 10th of this year. Yup, that’s the same day Up and Monsters, Inc. are slated for Blu-ray.

So tell us, will you be purchasing the postcard set, Art of Toy Story 3, both?

(via The Pixar Blog)

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Upcoming Pixar Reviews The Art of Up

Art Of:, UP

Posted by Martin • June 1, 2009

We’re late, we’re late! Here’s our review for The Art of Up by Tim Hauser from Chronicle Books:

First off, I’d like to apologize about the tardiness in my review. Hopefully some of you are still pondering if you should get this book and I hope I can shed some light on your questions.

This has got to be, dare I say, the best book in Pixar’s Art of series! Yup, I said it. The Art of Up could possibly be the best, and that’s saying a lot! Author Tim Hauser handles it masterfully, it’s his second book with Chronicle/Pixar after all! I think his experience doing The Art of WALL•E really made Up’s counterpart the great "read" that it is. It’s safe to say that if you liked TAo WALL•E, you’ll love The Art of Up. Not in terms of the quality of the pieces contained in this 160 page coffee table book (which is amazing nonetheless), but because it blends rich text with over 250 gorgeous paintings, sketches, sculptures and more!

That’s one of the highlights of both books, they don’t flood you with text, but they give you enough so that you have insight on what’s on the page instead of just pictures of Carl, Russell, Dug and Kevin. Speaking of the main characters, the latest installment in the series gives you a good idea on how these personalities evolved and in what order/why they were created. Ricky Nierva calls the design ideology "simplexity", caricaturing the cast into simple shapes but retaining details like fur and texture. "Simplexity" works great in this world because, even though the events in Up are farfetched, the emotional "lift off" renders it believable.

Hauser goes in depth into Up’s production, featuring quotes from the Up team including director Pete Docter and co-director Bob Peterson. Some cool facts you might not have known before picking up this book are that Muntz, in a previous incarnation of Up, was obsessed with fountain of youth like "snipe" eggs that would keep him young or that the original concept of what evolved into Up was a Muppet like story about two people living in a floating city! The best part is, there’s much, much more in there to enjoy and marvel at, for hours!

I would highly recommend this book if you haven’t already bought it. If you’ve just ordered it, you made a great investment! You can purchase the The Art of UP ($40.00 MSRP) from Chronicle Books or Amazon, among other retailers.

(Thanks goes out to Chronicle Books for allowing us to review yet another one of their magnificent coffee tale books. A big thanks also goes to Tim Hauser and Pixar for populating it with gorgeous details.)

P.S. I love the little touch they added when you remove the slip cover, it could be considered Pixar’s "My Adventure Book" for the last few years!

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