Monday, February 9, 2009

Thumbs up for Amid Amidi's "The Art of Pixar Short Films"

Amid Amidi's The Art of Pixar Short Films comes out later this month and is a delight.

(I prefer the embossed cover to the dust jacket.)

The first part of the book is a series of essays about each of Pixar's short films from The Adventures of Andre & Wally B through Lifted. Although short, the essays pack interesting anecdotes about each of the films - - Pixar failed to secure permission to use the Luxo trademark before finishing Luxo Jr.; the sound effects in For the Birds were courtesy of Jeff Pidgeon's squeaky toy collection; Bud Luckey designed the characters, composed the music, wrote the story, and provided all of the voices for Boundin' . . . because his first and second choice to be the singer died.

Because they are so short, the essays glance past topics that deserve to be explored in detail: Steve Jobs bought Pixar from Lucas in 1986 (how did that deal come about?), Pixar started making commercials in 1990 to earn money (which ones?), Ralph Eggleston and Bill Wise worked well together because they were both "misfits" (what does it take to be considered a misfit in the world of animation?).

But the heart of the book is over 100 pages of concept art, storyboards, and maquettes.

Thumbs up for the book, and honestly, Steve Purcell's illustration of the Screamin' Banshee is worth the purchase price. It's currently 34% off at Amazon.

Here's a few of Pixar's short films:

The Adventures of Andre & Wally B (1984)

Luxo Jr. (1986)

Boundin' (2004)

Mater and the Ghostlight (2006)

And finally, although it's not covered in the book, here's the very funny short film Rescue Squad Mater, currently in heavy rotation on the Disney channel:

*Previously: Axiom Starliner t-shirt.

*Buy Pixar posters at eBay.