THE ART OF ONWARD / PUBLISHER: CHRONICLE BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The Art of Onward is the latest in the hardcover Pixar book and truly something that it need by both art lovers and film aficionados alike. The introduction by the film’s director Dan Scanlon is particularly insightful as it gives a very personal and quiet in-depth look into his though process and what he set out to do when making the film something that is very rarely found in art books. This then leads into a look at Pixar’s internal screenings progression it describes how each Pixar film goes through eight screenings every three months there is a chart that attempts to explain this.
We then move into more of the art side of things. What’s particularly noteworthy is that the art in the book is in order and follows the plot of the film there is a ton of images from the finished product as well as concept and unused art. One of the many stand out pages, we learn how the Lightfoots (main characters) pet dragon Blazey was created. They used the director’s own dog; when viewing the images side by side, it becomes very clear as to where they got their base material from - his face, in particular.
One of the first pieces of concept art for Onward was that of a talking tree, which the director thought summed up the film beautifully. Unfortunately, it did not make it into the movie which we do feel was a missed opportunity.
Another thing that becomes apparent when you are going through the art work is how some of the concepts of the fantasy based inhabitants look a lot like some of the citizens from Monstropolis, the city where Monsters, Inc. is set. One of the things that’s very easy to miss when watch the film is the side gags and how clever they are on some of the products in the film two of the writer’s favourites are a parody of Mountain Dew (Mount Doom) and the other is Cheese Puffs (Gorgonzola’s Cheese Puffs).
All told this is one of the more in-depth art books to be released with text to accompany the imagery and gives some insightful looks as to how a Pixar film is made.