Friday, January 24, 2014

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Chronicles: Art and Design (Book Review)

Author: Daniel Falconer
Year: 2012
Genre: Non-fiction/Art/Film
Reading Level: Adult

Series: First in the Hobbit Chronicles

Summary: A detailed look at the art and design work behind the first Hobbit movie, including over a thousand images.  This book includes designs for costumes, characters, sets, locations and creatures.  There are pencil sketches, digital pieces and photos. 

Red Flags: Art and designs of hideous creatures

My Rating: A-
I love the three art books for the Lord of the Rings movie series, and I enjoy a good movie art book in general.  Strangely enough though, this book fell prey to the same malady as the Hobbit movies--Overstretcheditis.  No, of course I did not just make up that term.  (...)  Anyway, I love looking at all the designs, but I see no reason why this could not have been combined with the following book (Creatures and Characters).  

I rate the art and the behind the scenes stuff an A, but the drawn out nature dragged my rating down a bit.  I also object to putting just the artists' initials by their artwork.  I could keep track of a lot of them--I am pretty familiar with their names already--but, if it were me, I would be a bit peeved by that.  Give them proper, spelled out credit!  Also I got a little weary of people praising Peter Jackson for his genius.  I guess I just don't think he's a genius these days. 

The art books for LOTR are definitely superior, but I never object to seeing pencil sketches from John Howe and Alan Lee.  Movie making stuff always interests me too, but I wish this series were a bit more concise, as it easily could be. (Also I missed seeing art from Christian Rivers and Jeremy Bennett, but that's not the book's fault.  OR IS IT???)

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