Are you a fan of the Toy Story franchise? Do you enjoy Pixar-themed books? Are you fascinated with Pixar films and the process in which they make such masterpieces? It seems so typical to say that this book is for you if you answered Yes to any of the above questions – but that’s the case!
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Disney Editions has released The Toy Story Films – An Animated Journey (link to Amazon) book (by Charles Solomon) which is broken down into the following sections:
- Foreword – by Hayao Miyazaki
- It All Started With Tinny
- Toy Story
- Toy Story II
- Interlude – Buzz and Woody in Limbo
- Toy Story III
- Epilogue – Beyond Infinity
- Afterword – by John Lasseter
- Bibliography / Index / Acknowledgements
The hefty 3.75 pounds (1.70 kg) book measures 12 inches by 11.25 inches (30.48 cm by 28.58 cm) and contains 191 pages. Since there wasn’t an official “Art of” book released for Toy Story 2, this book more than fills that gap. It was great to read into a lot of the retrospective moments of the films – for instance, did you know that Lots-o Huggin’ Bear was actually created for the first film? The book even shows a piece of concept art that the amazingly talented Andrew Stanton drew, detailing the character.
In the section “It All Started With Tinny”, the book does a great job of going through the early history of Pixar (and computer graphics in general) – from the Lucasfilm days to John Lasseter’s development of Pixar’s short Tin Toy. Don’t worry though, it’s not a repeat of a lot of the historic Pixar information that is already out in the world – the content is clear and concise as the purpose of the book isn’t to focus on the company’s history. The one thing I really took from this section is the numerous pieces of artwork from John Lasseter – his early concept artwork is always something I love to look at and admire.
One of my favorite parts in the book talks about an area that always fascinates me – voice acting for the films. Tom Hanks, the voice of Woody, says “The voice acting is fun, but it’s much harder work than I anticipated. You essentially have to act full bore 100 percent, standing there with headphones on. On a live-action movie, you do it and stop and you do it and stop; then you hang around for three hours while they get ready to do the next thing.” He goes on to say, “You stand in place, but you have to embody the physicality of what the character’s going through.” The book is filled with many more insights like this that just engage you as a reader throughout the chapters.
The remainder of the book, as you could imagine, digs into great detail around the Toy Story films – showcasing the moments of despair (almost having Disney shelf the first Toy Story for the story and character problems) and the great moments of celebration (director Lee Unkrich winning the Best Animated Feature Oscar for Toy Story 3).
We highly recommend this book to Pixar fans looking for historical Pixar details and details surrounding the Toy Story films – and heck, you get to look at loads of beautiful artwork as well. Click the link below to buy the book, The Toy Story Films – An Animated Journey.