New reads

The brand new in­ter­stel­lar adventure from Dream­Works has in­spired a wor­thy ex­plo­sion of colour and shape

ImagineFX - - Reviews -

The Art of Home; The Art of Big Hero 6; The Art of To­tal War.

Au­thor Ramin Za­hed Pub­lisher Ti­tan Books Price £25 Web www.ti­tan­ Avail­able Now

Tip is a typ­i­cal kid on a typ­i­cal planet which is taken over lock, stock and bar­rel by a frankly stupid race of greedy aliens, the Boov. This trig­gers a chase across alienoc­cu­pied Amer­ica in Dream­Works’ lat­est CG ca­per, hit­ting UK cine­mas this spring. How­ever, the Boov turn out to be cud­dly com­pared to their own feared enemies, the Gorg, and both film and book set great store by the es­sen­tial defin­ing shapes of the three species: the spher­i­cally minded Boov, spiky Gorg and square Earth­lings, who live their lives in right-an­gled boxes.

Home is based on Alex Rex’s best­selling chil­dren’s book The True Mean­ing of Smek­day, a hit heav­ily in­flu­enced by The Hitch­hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But if this film tie-in has one main flaw, it’s the lack of at­ten­tion given to the source ma­te­rial. Rex pops up at the very end to in­sist that see­ing his story turned into glossy CG was a plea­sure, but if you want to get any kind of idea of how his orig­i­nal il­lus­tra­tions in­spired the film, you’ll have to ei­ther head to your lo­cal book­store or hit Google Images.

That aside, Ti­tan has as­sem­bled a suit­ably bright and en­joy­able pack­age to ac­com­pany Home’s re­lease, with lus­ciously re­pro­duced scenes through­out, in­sight­ful thoughts from a whole host of tal­ented folk from the nu­mer­ous pro­duc­tion de­part­ments, and even fold-over pages echo­ing the shape of each species. Au­thor Ramin Za­hed’s stroll through the dif­fer­ent ar­eas of cre­ativ­ity that went into the film gives the idea of a com­plete love-in from start to fin­ish, and cer­tainly leaves the unini­ti­ated keen to go and see Home for them­selves.

There could per­haps have been more about how the per­for­mances from the likes of Steve Martin and Ri­hanna in­flu­enced the an­i­ma­tion. But then again the book’s main fo­cus is the art of the film, and on that score it of­fers an eye-pleas­ing bal­ance of rough de­signs and lav­ish ren­ders.

De­spite a fair few in­ter­stel­lar smash hits dot­ted through its 30-plus CG car­toon re­leases over the years, Dream­Works films do have a ten­dency to end up in the bar­gain bin, while Dis­ney’s and Pixar’s of­fer­ings zoom up the box of­fice charts. If Home turns out to be one of the hits, as it de­serves, then this will be a wor­thy me­mento of a joy­ful project. If it proves to be more of an Over The Hedge than a Shrek, then this at­trac­tive book will end up as just a lov­ingly cre­ated cu­rio.

Slush­ious is made with bits of an ice slushy ma­chine and was part-in­spired by Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

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