BOOK REVIEW: THE ART OF HOME / AUTHOR: RAMIN ZAHED / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The Art of Home is yet another gorgeous coffee table book detailing the wonderful creativity that has been put into building the world of Dreamworks’ latest animation Home. From publishers Titan Books, who are rather adept at these comprehensive looks into the crafting of computer generated imagery, this latest is written by Ramin Zahed and features contributions from key talent, including a foreword by voice actor Jim Parsons and a preface by director Tim Johnson.
As usual, the art is superb from the sketches and storyboards right up to the finished animations. Revelling in its bright colours and lavishing beautiful image after beautiful image on the reader, The Art of Home could work just as an awe-inspiring picture book. As is often the way with these trawls through the archives of pre-production material, the initial sketches are frequently far more exciting than the final animation. The early stages of character design and world building reveal the excitement and imagination before something becomes inevitably lost when it all gets cleaned up in the final perfect rendering of computer generated images.
Home features some wonderful design elements from its pair of alien races, the Boov and the Gorg, to its reimagining of Earth after the takeover of the Boov. Working with the idea of bubbles being central to Boov technology, the imagination on display is often wondrous, but at other times a little flat. It’s always a treat to see how designs evolve, and to then read about the thought behind these weird and wonderful creations. While the film itself (reviewed here) has a bit of a lacklustre story and depends heavily on its voice talent (particularly The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons), the visuals still manage to impress when collected here.
The contributions of key talent are invaluable to the text, but occasionally there is a tendency towards repetition as some of these designers and supervisors cover very similar ground. However, the foreword and preface gets things off to a very fine start, with Parsons displaying a winning sense of humour and passion for the project and director Tim Johnson kicking things off with an excellent little poem.
The Art of Home isn’t an essential companion for fans of the film but it is a generally well written and insightful look at the huge amount of hard work that goes into creating the world of an animation like Home. With its luscious artwork making the most of the archive material on offer, it would make a worthy addition to any home.
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