- Also Available: The limited edition of The Art of Ratatouille, featuring 5 limited-edition reproduction prints each signed by the artists, beautifully presented in a deluxe set and numbered for authentication.
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The Art of Ratatouille Hardcover – May 17, 2007
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About the Author
Karen Paik has been working on Ratatouille in the development department at Pixar since 2000. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
John Lasseter is the chief creative officer at Pixar, and the director of Toy Story, A Bug's Life, and Cars.
Brad Bird is the director of Ratatouille and The Incredibles.
Top customer reviews
The contents of this book are mainly comprised of conceptual scene and location layouts, and these primarily take up the front two thirds of the book. The other half uses the space to display the sketches and clay models of the characters. By this I'm referring to the concepts for the human characters. The rats went through many stages of designs therefore being granted 15 or so pages at the beginning of the book. This section is relatively shorter, perhaps due to a lack of more conclusive sketches towards the characters final designs, however this is merely an assumption on my part.
What I like about this art book, like most of the other Disney and Pixar art books is the inclusion of reference photos allowing insight into the inspirations behind the art.
I would rate this to be a recommended buy.
Overall, the book is divided in three aspects of the creation of the film: environments, character development and story. So, the very first "but" of the book is its length. Covering roughly 160 pages in which we are presented with the evolution of design and style of the film, albeit superficially. The images, sketches and paintings are integrated with small commentaries of the animators and the director Brad Bird. Those aren't really informative or insightful, but are interesting additions to the art. Another issue is that the book isn't well balanced in the content: for example, a lot of pages are dedicated to the development of Emille, Remis brother, while other much more interesting characters (like the brilliant "villain" of the film Anton Ego) are presented in a couple of pages. Finally, something that I really didn't like (and it seems this is a problem with most of Pixar artbooks) is that most of what you can called "art" in the book are mainly sketches and digital paintings. Some are great and others are so-so at best. Worse is the fact that all of this space could have been filled with comparisons of the art vs the finish scenes in the film. Some of those in the final movie look certainly beatiful and look like art in its own right. In that matter, this book is pretty much a registry of the early "development" of Ratatouille: the research trip made to Paris, the development of the character designs and the detail put on the backgrounds and environments.
If you're a fan of the movie (like me) or if you're interested in its development, buying the artbook is pretty much a no-brainer. Even with all of its flaws is still a decent companion for the DVD and it's a really good and beatiful cofee table book. The edition is a glossy harcover with an afterword by John Lasseter.
What I didn't like was the way amazon has taken to shipping my books lately. In the past they were nicely sealed with a larger cardboard which prevented them from moving around in the box. I recieved several hard cover books with torn backings thanks to this new way of just tossing everything carelessly into a large roomy box with a few bands of 'air bubbles'. Please don't change a good thing.