The Art Of Coco (book review).

‘Coco’ is the latest film from Pixar. ‘Coco’ is the surname of a Mexican family and they are celebrating the dead at the Dia de los Muertos. The events are seen through the son Miguel. As explained throughout this book, the Mexicans celebrate and parade around their graveyards with joyous abandon with their ancestors usually wearing skull-face decorations.

The Art of Coco, foreword by John Lasseter, introduction by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina (Chronicle Books, £30).

I have to confess that there is little about the plot here so you won’t have much in the way of spoilers other than seeing the preliminary artwork in various formats and some clay models, chiefly by Greg Dykstra (and, yes, I did wonder about the surname but couldn’t find a connection) and at the back of the book, some by Jerome Ranft. These look closer to the final CGI version than the other preliminary paintings within this book.

P. 18/19 (Rivera Family concepts) top: Zaruhi Galstyan Digital, bottom left: Greg Dykstra Clay, bottom right: Daniel Arriaga Pen

A lot of this work was developed by the Pixar creative crew by visiting Mexico and who wanted to get a taste of the mood and colour in their adaptation. When you consider so much of this is going to be at night, fluorescents are going to be used a lot. By the by, the centrefold opens out to a four-page spread so be careful when you get that far in.

P. 18 Zaruhi Galstyan Digital

There are some visual gags and some explaining how background characters were built up by varying parts and colours. Seeing the family model sheets, there are a lot of characters.

It’ll be interesting to see how the film does on the subject of joyful death in the USA although it looks like the Mexicans are going to appreciate the interest.

P. 70 Harley Jessup Digital

From a graphics point of view, if you want to see how Pixar develops their films then this will be useful although I wish there had been a bit more text.

GF Willmetts

December 2017

(pub: Chronicle Books. 162 page illustrated oblong hardback. Price: £30.00 (UK), $40.00 (US). ISBN: 978-1-4521-5643-9)

check out websites: www.chronicles.co.uk and http://www.abramsandchronicle.co.uk/books/pop-culture/9781452156439-the-art-of-coco

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