The Art of Zootopia by Jessica Julius – art book review
Art books are a boon to anyone who loves animation. They are full of character designs (including earlier ones that were discarded) and notes from the animators and artists. The backgrounds from different areas of the film are shown. Even areas and characters which didn’t make it into the film are shown. All of these help show the process used by the animators to arrive at the final film.
Zootopia was full of vibrant colors, and The Art of Zootopia reflects that. You would be hard-pressed to find a color not used somewhere in this book or in the film. Everything seemed so alive because of all the colors. This is a very carefully and meticulously designed book.
The end papers had examples of all the different advertisements and logos they created when designing the Zootopia world. Most of these ended up in the background, where it was harder to see them, but some of them were easily noticeable in the scenes in the film. CinnaBone, Mousy’s Department Store, Safewhey, Bitecoin, Ewe-Haul; all of these added to the realism in the film.
One of my favorite parts in The Art of Zootopia was where they discussed the architectural design of each area. Bunnyburrow, Judy’s hometown, was designed low to the ground to emulate how rabbit burrows are made by real rabbits. Judy’s house (which we never see in the film) was huge in order to accommodate her hundreds of brothers and sisters.
Contrast that with the Rainforest District, where everything—including the houses—blends in seamlessly with the trees. The houses are much larger, too, scaling with the enormous trees in the rain forest. The animators based almost everything in the film on natural shapes, including animal horns, flowers, seeds, plants, and even a drop of water!
Another interesting part of The Art of Zootopia was learning more about the original plot and how it transformed into the final movie released into theaters. Originally, Nick was the main character, and Judy was almost a sidekick of sorts. I found it fascinating to read about the process that took them from that original story to the final film. I completely agree with why they did it, too.
The time and effort put into creating the book is obvious. The art is vibrant and clear. There is no pixelation in any of the images (this isn’t the case with all Disney art books). The text and commentary is interesting and helpful in understanding all the imagery. Julius deserves a big thumbs-up for that. I highly recommend The Art of Zootopia to anyone who loves art, Disney, animation, or any combination of those.
Release Date: March 8, 2016 (USA)
ISBNs: 1452122237 (9781452122236)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Sexuality: 0 (though there is Gazelle)
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