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Layout & Background (Walt Disney Animation Archives) Hardcover – October 25, 2011

37 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 18 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Series: Walt Disney Animation Archives
  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Editions (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142313866X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423138662
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1 x 13.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By en_b on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The long awaited and fourth book in the Walt Disney Animation Studios Archive Series; "Layout and Background" is on the shelf and gives a nice broad retrospective of Background Art from the very first Disney films to present day. There's even backgrounds for Roger Rabbit among many others in here which Ive never seen in any other of my many books.
I do notice that a good portion of the reproductions are sadly, not that great- they're good, but Ive seen many of them in other books and there is a definite, noticeable difference in color and value. Also. While at the bookstore I inspected a few of the bindings and many of them were looking a little shaky.
It's too bad. I understand its a challenge to get the many pages to print well, it's a lot of art, but they dont have problems with their other art books- and a bindings glue already coming undone on such a brand new copy is one of the worst things to see. A personal pet peeve of mine. The copy I have seems to be ok and holding up, but watch out for those bindings- makes it tough to order from amazon or someone and just hope you get a good one. Cross your fingers.
With all that said- its still an amazing, fantastic, and easily accessible collection and I would buy it all over again at full price regardless of those two major disappointments.

I twitter about art of books every week for those who are interested, give me a follow or an RT @en_b !
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By George H. Taylor Jr. on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is the fourth release in the Archive Series (after Story, Animation and Design). I would be remiss if I didn't say that it was the most breathtaking one; it is. Layout and Background provides that rare and unimpeded glimpse at the artwork that supports Disney animation.

The concept behind the Archives Series started with the support of John Lasseter, who claims that his aspiration for the book was spending hours in the Animation Research Library gleaning from Disney's past animation's. He wanted to share this forgotten and sometimes never-before-seen art with the world. Although many famous artists have work featured, there are several pieces where the artist's name has been lost to time. This is a shame since the art is so beautiful.

As the title articulates so succinctly, this volume is all about the layouts and backgrounds that are featured in the production and final animation of Disney shorts and features. The backgrounds are the static images under the characters, props and special effects. They are often works of art, by themselves. Obviously, with animation, you want to redraw as little as possible. With the inventive use of celluloid, artists could create sensational images that could be photographed over and over. The layouts are the technical drawings that lead to the backgrounds and tell the filmmakers what is going to be happening during the animation process and on the screen.

Lacking the actual number, I would guess that the majority of pieces presented are finished backgrounds. Some times the layout piece stands alone and other times it is featured alongside the background. It is stunning to see how the step of adding color, texture and highlights make the difference in the finished background.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By How Roode on October 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all, if you don't already own the other three books so far in the Archive Series (Story, Animation, and Design), WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? This is by far the best art book series Disney has released yet, and it demonstrates a commitment to displaying the true (often unsung) artistry of the Disney animated films, without the excessive self-congratulatory commentary of many of the recent Pixar art books.

While the other books in the series have beautiful art as well, what makes Layout and Background a real gem is how much of the work collected here really is never-before-seen. If you own a few other Disney art books, odds are you've seen concepts from The Lion King, or animation drawings from Beauty and the Beast, but you've probably never seen background art from the Pluto short films. In fact, the layouts from the many short films (Mickey, Goofy, Silly Symphonies, the Disneyland TV show segments) are the big surprise of this book: the level of craftsmanship is shocking, easily just as impressive as in any of the feature films, and often spanning a greater range of styles.

The only small complaint I have about this book is that, compared to the 2D films, the editors really seem to have phoned it in on the background samples from the 3D films: instead of showing the layout art that went into creating the detailed 3D environments, they just show final renders, and not even the best ones, at that. There's a full-page image from Bolt that I almost wanted to rip out of the book (and I liked that movie!). So, note: if you're looking for background art from the 3D films, you're going to need to pick up the art book for each respective movie. Otherwise, this is a magnificent addition to any artist's collection, and a great coffee-table book for the everyday Disney fan!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Plasticanimalz on May 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is really nice and has a wide range of Disney projects featured in it. I would say it's probably 70% paintings and maybe 25-30% pencil drawings. There really wasn't much in the way of layout in the book, and is almost all BGs, but it's an amazing book for that specific field of animation and no book of this quality out there, like it. If you're looking for layout the other book that has Disney and other big animation films in it...the name escapes me, that recently came out, is much better for that. It has a scene from '100 Dalmations' on the cover. The Layout & Background book is great for a collector or for someone in the animation field who wants to brush up on their skills.
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