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