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The Art Of Disney: Raya And The Last Dragon by Kalikolehua Hurley and Osnat Shurer (book review).

April 23, 2021 | By | Reply More

We have here, ‘The Art Of Disney: Raya And The Last Dragon’ by Kalikolehua Hurley and Osnat Shurer, of the development of said film and a little more plot than usual. Raya has to save her father and needs to locate the sea dragon Sisu and together they have to find a missing gem.

The Art of Raya and the Last Dragon by Kalikolehua Hurley and Osnat Shurer, foreword by Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Paul Briggs and John Ripa (Chronicle Books, £30)

Not unusually, this book is more to do with pre-production and character development and settings. Oddly, the opening two paintings on page 12-13 wouldn’t have been out of place in a fantasy paintings book but then everything is brought back a little for the needs of animation. More so as we see Raya grow up and Sisu being able to look human. Getting the tone of the costumes right was more to do with remembering leather is a heavy material and a need to make things lighter if to appear practical. An element often forgotten with fabrics in animation. Raya is also given a more practical animal to ride in the form of a Tuk Tuk, that appears to be a cross between a cat and a pangolin, whom his creators thinks steals the film. Other unusual pack animals also includes Serlots, a cross between a serval and caracol.

pg. 26 Griselda Sastrawinata Digital
The Art of Raya and the Last Dragon by Kalikolehua Hurley and Osnat Shurer, foreword by Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Paul Briggs and John Ripa (Chronicle Books, £30)

The film covers five different oriental locations so there had to be some similarities but different at the same time. Much of the styling also includes texturing and motifs. Although I doubt if anyone would want to see anything too plain, you do have to wonder how much viewers, especially children, absorb from what they see on the screen.

pg. 40 Tuk Tuk, all 9 faces, Cory Loftis Digital
The Art of Raya and the Last Dragon by Kalikolehua Hurley and Osnat Shurer, foreword by Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Paul Briggs and John Ripa (Chronicle Books, £30)

For those who pay attention when looking at who does what in this book, the work of Ami Thompson comes up a lot but she was the character designer so inevitably has a bigger presence.

At the back of the book, there are several multi-page spreads that open out so don’t be too surprised when you open them up and seeing coloured panels from the film.

Oh, there’s a funny section where the various artists draw each other turning them into sight gags.


pg. 90-91 Kevin Nelson Digital
The Art of Raya and the Last Dragon by Kalikolehua Hurley and Osnat Shurer, foreword by Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Paul Briggs and John Ripa (Chronicle Books, £30)

I didn’t really know what to expect when I thought I ought to look at this book but glad I have. If you want to break into this industry, it becomes obvious that you have to be drawing mad and hope some of your designs end up in the final film. The more of these books you look at and learn from, the better prepared your portfolio will be. For those who just like artbooks, then you will be well served here.

GF Willmetts

March 2021

(pub: Chronicle Books, 2021. 168 page illustrated oblong hardback. Price: £30.00 (UK), $42.50 (US). ISBN: 978-1-7972-0297-6)

check out website: www.chroniclebooks.com

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Category: Illustration, Movie books

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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