Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series: Animation

Simply put, this is my favorite of all of the books that I own. The second volume of a series put in to motion by John Lasseter (I just ordered the first installment, Story, and I should have it by Tuesday), this is a collection of cleanup animation drawings starting, chronologically, from the days of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and ending at The Princess and the Frog.

Also, for those who are curious, this monster is a little bit bigger than 13″ wide, 1″ deep, and 11″ high; too big to fit in my IKEA bookshelf…

Anyway, the text and layout design of this book is absolutely beautiful. Most drawings are part of an action sequence, some of which fold out from the center, to create 4-8 image scenes (for example, Cinderella’s transformation) while the others are one-frame stills. There are also a few that are rough drawings with the matching cleanup shown as a comparison.

While you can tell that there was an effort to try and include every film from the studio’s history there are quite a few films missing at the end of it’s run.¬†Off the top of my head I can tell you that The Black Cauldron, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tarzan, The Emperor’s New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Brother Bear, and Enchanted are not included in this book, while The Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, and Mulan each only have 2 images (with the films in between them having full sequences). The emphasis here is definitely on the films in which Walt was involved in, with the more recent ones (the Second Golden Age to the present) getting the short end of the stick.

Despite this, this is an absolute must-have book for any Disney animation enthusiast. The third installment, Design, is set to be released later this year and I’ll definitely be picking it up.

On a side note, who else is excited for Waking Sleeping Beauty?!?!?!?!!!

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