Directing for Animation: Everything You Didn’t Learn in Art School. By Tony Bancroft (Focal Press, $34.95).
Imagine taking a one-on-one class with one of the best-liked and most talented contemporary animation directors. Well, that is what you get when you pick up Tony Bancroft’s fun and informative new book about the art and craft of directing animation. Bancroft, whose numerous credits include Mulan, The Lion King, The Emperor’s New Groove and Stuart Little 2, serves up all kinds of important advice about how to make animated characters real and focus on key ingredients such as plot, place and purpose. He begins by discussing the nuts and bolts of the job, and moves on to more abstract topics such as “how to mediate all the chefs in the kitchen” or “how to infuse your own ideals, sense of humor and personality into the project.” In addition, Bancroft has interviewed some of the top animation helmers of the past 20 years (the likes of Dean DeBlois, Pete Docter, Eric Goldberg, John Musker, Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Nick Park and Chris Wedge) which makes this book an even more enjoyable read.