Clas­sic re­vival Show­cas­ing in­cred­i­ble craft, this book documents how DreamWorks re­vived Jay Ward’s clas­sic 1960s cartoon char­ac­ters beau­ti­fully Au­thor Jerry Beck Pub­lisher Ti­tan Books Price £25 Web www.ti­tan­ Avail­able Now

ImagineFX - - Contents -

This large, land­scape book is a won­der­ful com­pan­ion to an­i­ma­tion gi­ant DreamWorks’ up­com­ing fea­ture film Mr Pe­abody & Sher­man. Based on the char­ac­ters cre­ated by Jay Ward in the 1960s, this 156-page hard­back pro­vides a small pre­view of some of the film’s snazzy pre­pro­duc­tion art and ex­plains how the orig­i­nal de­signs were trans­lated to the big screen.

It be­gins with a wrap­around book cover, painted by artist Tim Lamb, which vi­su­alises the char­ac­ters’ jour­ney from their orig­i­nal 1960s cartoon-style to the art­work cre­ated for to­day’s adap­ta­tion. In­side, fol­low­ing a nos­tal­gic for­ward by Ty Bur­rell (the voice of the new Mr Pe­abody) and a touch­ing pref­ace from Jay’s daugh­ter Tif­fany, the book pre­sents its first, and in our opin­ion, best chap­ter. It fo­cuses on the film’s ma­jor play­ers – Mr Pe­abody, Sher­man, Penny and the Peter­sons – and fea­tures mul­ti­ple char­ac­ter sketches and il­lus­tra­tions, all of which pro­vide an in­spir­ing vis­ual break­down of their de­vel­op­ment.

It’s a shame that this chap­ter has so few ded­i­cated pages in com­par­i­son to the won­der­fully de­tailed en­vi­ron­ment art and props sec­tion; how­ever, this doesn’t take any­thing away from the il­lus­tra­tive ge­nius that’s show­cased within this book. Here you be­come aware of just how tire­lessly the DreamWorks team worked to re­main true to the orig­i­nal, muchloved char­ac­ters.

An­other note­wor­thy sec­tion is the Build­ing a Scene chap­ter to­wards the end of the book, in which the nar­ra­tive sees Sher­man ask and Mr Pe­abody an­swer a se­ries of ques­tions about how the scene was trans­lated into 3D. While it is a sim­pli­fied ver­sion of the com­plex be­hind-the-scenes work, it’s a fun ap­proach that’s tech­ni­cally ac­cu­rate and makes what is in re­al­ity a thor­oughly com­pli­cated process ac­ces­si­ble to ev­ery­one.

Through­out the book it’s the art­work that does most of the talk­ing though, with some additional in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by DreamWorks artists and au­thor Jerry Beck. Full to the brim of in­spir­ing art­work, ev­ery page in this hard­back is a beau­ti­ful rain­bow of colours. How­ever, among the hun­dreds of com­po­si­tions fea­tured, it would have been nice to see a few more early de­vel­op­ment sketches and sto­ry­boards, par­tic­u­larly in the en­vi­ron­ments sec­tion. That aside, this Art Of book has much to of­fer il­lus­tra­tors, comic fans and dig­i­tal artists alike, pro­vid­ing a real in­sight to how DreamWorks artists work on mem­o­rable char­ac­ters. It’s also a healthy dose of in­spi­ra­tion.

Mr Pe­abody lives in a pent­house suite with Sher­man; it’s a slick mix of retro styling and con­tem­po­rary de­sign.

The film’s tit­u­lar char­ac­ters visit Florence, where they en­counter the work of a cer­tain Mr Da Vinci.

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