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The Art of The Incredibles Hardcover – September 30, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After almost 20 years in the vanguard of computer animation, Pixar Animation Studios (home of Toy Story, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo, among others) is releasing another technological wonder, The Incredibles. Brad Bird, who made The Iron Giant and is described by Pixar executive producer John Lasseter as "the ultimate geeky animation fan," dreamed up the story of the Parrs, a family of superheroes who have been forced by law to stop using their powers and live normally, sort of, until a vengeful supervillain emerges and kidnaps the father. The book describes the long process that went into making Bird’s ideas a reality, with accompanying art showing the project’s design at all its stages. Short interviews with Bird and his animation crew reveal the collaborative work and innovation necessary to produce a computer-generated feature focusing on humans, which are much harder to depict realistically than, say, angelfish. As the supervising technical director says, "the level of effort it takes to have the Parr family sit down to dinner is comparable to having Bob pick up a bus and throw it through a wall." It’s fascinating to see the various images created in advance of the computer illustrations; on any given page, one can find the initial collages, sketches and, in some cases, digital effects that hint at how the movie comes to life. If Pixar’s track record holds, The Incredibles will be a major hit, but even if it isn’t, graphic arts fans and those interested in finding out how such impressive productions are realized will enjoy this inside glimpse at the movie’s making.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This Christmas, what promises to be the latest in Pixar's unbroken string of smash-hit digital animation features will be released--The Incredibles. The movie depicts a family of superheroes--paunchy, middle-aged dad; domesticated mom; and three kids--forced to go underground when the government outlaws them. Director Brad Bird envisioned the film as a tribute to the comic books and TV shows of his 1960s youth. As this handsome book shows, he has given The Incredibles a look that celebrates mid-twentieth-century American design, including the era's conception of how the future--our present--would appear. Bird, whose background is in hand-drawn animation--he directed the undersung The Iron Giant--has, with the help of Pixar veterans, made a smooth transition to the computerized medium. This attractively designed book features hundreds of conceptual drawings, character designs, storyboards, and other illustrations, plus enlightening, behind-the-scenes commentary from the movie's creators. Libraries wherever tie-in books to such Pixar blockbusters as Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc. have proved popular should prepare for similar demand for this latest volume. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811844331
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811844338
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.2 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Antonios Glikos on October 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I just recieved my copy of this 3rd Pixar-Art-Book in the series (The Art of Monsters Inc and the Art of Finding Nemo were also designed to the same style and dimentions) and Im more than happy!!!

Again there are tons of conceptual drawings, collages and pencil-sketches. Litterally an explosion of colours and talent! The text takes only a small part of the book which is great cause all of us want to see the conceptual artwork (we can always learn tons of info and trivia when the Special DVD set will be out).

Looking at the countless colour studies, again it is Mary Blair that sparkles behind them. It is so touching to see that this new generation of artists, that work with the latest digital technology have so much education and have studied the work of Mary Blair in such a depth that that to anyone who loves her work it almost feels like a Tribute to her amazing sense of colour and design (just check the drawing of the island and you'll see how similar is to the Neverland island of Peter Pan).

Personally I feel that this book is a necesary companion to the movie! All these treasures of the early conceptual drawings reveal another angle of Pixar, a more delicate and sofisticate side, that with the final digital artwork it can't be visible...

Congratulations to this fantastic team of artists and to their boss who give them the Freedom and the time to create all this awesome inspirational artwork!!!

I never saw something similar since Walt Disney left this planet.

The bookbinding is perfect (the Incredibles Logo is embosed to the front cover under the dust-jacket) and the printing is bright and great! A real 5-star artbook!!!
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Format: Hardcover
Length: 0:46 Mins
There's a lot of different artistic style in the book. When Brad Bird came to Pixar, he brought with him his team of artists, those that had worked with him on The Iron Giant.

Each artist produced concept art using different materials and style. There are collage, gouache, digital, marker, acrylic and pastel. Each drawing generates ideas and inspiration. You'll have no idea the movie was created for art so varied. There are no rendered stills from the movie.

The book touches mainly on character design and artistic direction of the movie.

If you want the process of creating The Incredibles, you'll want to grab the DVD instead. There are pretty comprehensive behind the scenes included in the DVD.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Incredibles is one of my favorite Pixar movies, and I loved the art direction in it. Exaggerated character designs without being too over the top, locations having that classic 50s American look, and the colors were perfect. So getting The Art of The Incredibles, I was expecting a really special art book, full of great art, and some rough drafts and sketches of how the characters and locations came to be. Instead, what I got was a book pretty much full of final drafts and concept art for the settings, and barely anything with the characters. It was pretty disappointing, especially with how much text they cram in here, but for the die hard fans of The Incredibles, it's a decent buy.

The Supers get most of the character design pages, of course, with a couple sketches of extras like the kid who sees Mr. Incredible lift his car in his driveway. All of these are drawn nicely, but more or less seem to be the finished design for the characters. When you compare this to something like The Art of Monsters vs Aliens, where you got to see the evolution of the main characters, it makes you wonder if they just went with the first design that was drawn, or if they just plain didn't want to put them in here for whatever reason. I was really hoping for some good sketches of Elastigirl and Syndrome, and only got a handful of drawings resembling how they look in the movie, nothing else. There's also a small collection of maquettes of the main characters.

But the majority of this book is locations, ranging from small rooms to the vast jungle The Incredibles are taken to, and the city where the rest of the action takes place in. Nearly everything is presented in large squares, and the dimensions are listed below the drawings.
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Format: Hardcover
The Incredibles remains my favorite Pixar film to date. I was very excited to read this book and I very much looked forward to seeing the progression from rough ideas to finished product.

Sadly, this was not what the book delivered.

The art in the book is rough and garish. The few development drawings and maquettes that are included are overshadowed by the gaudy, cut-paper collage versions of the characters that are featured on almost every page. Of all the artists that worked on this film, only a paltry few were chosen to have their work featured in this title and after a few pages the "sameness" of the chosen work dulled any enthusiasm I might have had for it.

I must also agree that the art strikes me as very early pre-production work as it has very little visual relation to what wound up on the screen. There is almost no development or evolution of the characters or sets shown and little to no mention of how these rough versions became the final polished movie. It seems to me to be an illustration of one single moment in the movie's development rather than a comprehensive look at all the art and creativity that went into the film. And a rushed one at that.

This is an interesting coffee-table book, certainly something avid collectors would want in their library. But for those of us looking for an insight into the vast process of creative development in such a wonderful movie . . . I'm afraid we will have to look elsewhere.
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