Despite the main film series officially ending several years ago, there has still been a remarkable amount of love for J. K. Rowling’s boy wizard creation. This is proved by the Fantastic Beasts movies, the stage production and the never-ending flow of tie-in books. This mammoth collection of the concept and production art for the film series is something fans have possibly been waiting a little too long for, but the result is sure to fire up the passion for the franchise once more.
With very little in the way of text to contextualise the images, it’s a good job that the pictures and illustrations are so captivating and mostly speak for themselves. Every aspect of the movie series is covered, via concept sketches, digital paintings, and blueprints and much more. All the images are stunningly reproduced on heavy-stock paper and contain enough new artwork to make even the most devout Potter fan drool.
Even if you’re not particularly fussed about the world of Hogwarts and the like, there are some amazingly detailed images to enjoy. You won’t particularly learn anything about the graphic design process of putting the movies together, but one certainly gets a feel of how much work goes into everything before the cameras roll.
Pedants might grit their teeth as the first film is constantly referred to as ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’, the US title, as opposed to ‘Philosopher’s’, which we’re more familiar with in the UK, but since it’s mainly just in illustration captions, there’s no major harm done.
Divided up into five chapters, each covering a different facet of the world, be it the terrain, the people and the like. Our particular favourite was the section devoted to the incidental things like labels, ID cards, and posters that maybe only seen on screen for moments. The attention to detail is impressive; one can’t just flick through without stopping to read some of the small print on The Daily Prophet or admiring the various bottle labels and signage. The maps and blueprints could have been printed larger, however, but that’s a minor quibble that doesn’t spoil one’s enjoyment.
A must-have for Potter fans, but also of note to admirers of fantasy art and world-building, The Art of Harry Potter is a monster of a book, one that is easy to dip in and out of but that may require a little re-enforcement if left on a smaller coffee table.
THE ART OF HARRY POTTER / AUTHOR: MARC SUMERAK / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW