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The Art of Monsters, Inc. Hardcover – October 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1st edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811833887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811833882
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 11.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

What a treat!

Pixar's Monsters, Inc. was, as far as I'm concerned, the best animated feature released this year. This art book, published by Chronicle (not Disney -- how odd?), is the only "making of" tie-in created for the film and a delightful visual companion to the movie.

This book is a wonderful collection of preliminary inspirational artwork created for the film. Most of the pieces selected contain characters and concepts that bare no relation to the monsters and mayhem in the final product. But by allowing us to see all the hard (but funny) creative work that goes into the visual decision making, the filmmakers shed some light on the secrets of creating classic animation; they add to our knowledge of the development process and garner our respect for the enormous talent at large within Pixar.

Inspirational art is a vital component of every great animated film but average moviegoers never get to see any of it. As John Lasseter and Pete Docter point out in their intro, "Once the film is completed, the inspirational artwork is filed away in the archives, never to be seen by the general public."

What makes this book so enjoyable is the array of talent Pixar assembled for inspiration. The paintings, sketches and layouts, done in pastels, markers, acrylics, gouache, pencils and mixed media presented here, are just plain fun to look at. Many of the artists were given a few details about the settings or the characters, and were then allowed to let their imaginations run free.

The artists themselves are amazing. Some of my favorite pieces are from Lane Smith, J. Otto Siebold and Oscar Grillo. Stealing the show however, are striking works from Geefwee Boedoe, Ricky Nierva, Lou Romano and Dominique Louis.

Though famed for their landmark work with computer graphics, this book reminds me that Pixar is first and foremost a "cartoon studio" the finest in the world, at this point in the 21st Century. Dominique Louis' painting of Sulley's apartment exterior, showing a street filled with sinister looking brownstones, or Harley Jessup's grand concepts for the Monsters Inc. factory, are filled with tiny details that can't be written. The inherent humor of these design defy a literal, verbal description and the wit in the color and line cannot be produced in a word processing program. (Yes, even color has wit as amply demonstrated in Tia Kratter's color studies of Sullivan's fur and Dominique Louis' color script thumbnails.)

It's joyous to see a variety of professional cartoonists letting loose with a free reign to create creatures that defy logic and all sense of human comprehension.
The secret of Pixar's success (only one of their secrets, I might add) is that they aren't out to use the computer to recreate reality. They know the computer can already do that. They are trying to make authentic, honest-to-goodness, animated cartoons that tell great stories and touch the heart.

Walt Disney accomplished that goal in the 20th Century. Lasseter and his crew are the heir apparent. They understand what makes great, appealing characters and what it takes to bring them to life. This book gives us an over the shoulder peek, with some spectacular artwork that deserves to seen, admired and kept. Animation World Magazine

About the Author

John Lasseter is Pixar Animation Studios's executive vice-president of creative and the director of Toy Story, A Bug's Life, and Toy Story 2. He most recently served as the executive producer of Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo, and is currently executive producer of The Incredibles.

Pete Docter has been with Pixar Animation Studios since 1990. He is the director of Monsters, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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A beautiful gift for any Pixar fan.
Roisin
I really enjoyed this book and I find myself flipping through it over and over again even though I read the whole thing in one sitting when I first received it.
Haydee Aston
The colorful artwork in this book really gives you an idea of the development that a film like "Monsters, Inc." goes through to get to the screen.
Mad Movie Monk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on August 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Length: 0:45 Mins
This book is filled with plenty of character design and set drawings. You'll read no making of the movie. There are also no stills from the movie.

The collection of concept art is very colourful, especially the pastel drawings by Dominique Louis and Ralph Eggleston. Every panel drawn by them is a delight to look at.

A definite buy for any Pixar fan or if you're buying for kids.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert Adams on January 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Being a longtime fan of Disney & Pixar films I found myself particularly touched by Monsters, Inc and was eagerly looking forward to learning more about the how this film came about. Previous "Art of" books from Disney and Pixar were rich sources of information on how the story and characters developed from initial inspiration to big screen. As such I was dissapointed to find this book contains primarily concept art. Rich and vivid imagery but very little commentary.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Edward Juan on November 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
What's surprising is that in this book there is hardly any screenshots or CG graphic art. But that's what makes the book great! It really proves that computer does not dominate in the animation industry; everything is still from sketches and traditional works. The book filled with great works from Eggleton (director of "For the Bird") and many other amazing script illustrators. The only thing that is disappointing is that most of the images are already available in the Monsters Inc. DVD. Overall, no animator should miss this book! Don't want to miss those amazing prints!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "orbithead9" on November 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In recent years everytime a major animated film, particularly those associated with Disney, is released a flood of products overwhelms the consumer market. This is not however your typical 'making of' or 'behind the scenes' look at "Monsters Inc.". I'm certain that if it is not already out there it will soon follow if that is what you're looking for. This book is unique, especially since the movie is 3-D rendered computer animation, because it is not filled with wire-frames, and storyboards, and studio character layouts. This book is more about inspiration. The vast amount of illustrations are beautiful, whimsical, and as varied as the imagination itself. I thouroughly enjoyed this book as a lover of cartoons, of paintings, of drawings, and of monsters of all kinds. I highly reccomend it to children of all ages and art lovers everywhere.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. Metcalf on December 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is full of wonderful, imaginative illustrations that show the time and effort that was placed into Monsters Inc. The numerous different illustrators that have provided work make this collection of images a delight. There is very little text and explanation to go along with the images, but this is exactly what I was looking for. Its interesting to see how many changes the characters appearances went through to reach the final animated film. A definite buy for any fan of Pixar.
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Format: Hardcover
It's so gorgeous! Monster's Inc. Is my husbands favorite Pixar film and this was a gift for him. If you or someone you love loves Monster's Inc. this is a great buy. Good addition to other art books in the office or on the coffee table :)
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By Roisin on June 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Got this as a gift for a friend but looked through it before wrapping it up. Loved the artwork and the insights into how the characters were created. A beautiful gift for any Pixar fan.
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By Dani on June 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful artwork and a must-have for every fan. I've loved this movie since it first came out when I was 9. Definitely one of my all-time favorites and this book did not disappoint. Seeing how ideas and sketches turn into an incredible animation is always awesome.
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