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The Art Of Soul (book review).

November 30, 2020 | By | Reply More

With a title of ‘Soul’ and ghosts, you would wonder where Disney/Pixar are going with this film and who is its target audience? Afterall, are kids into jazz? However, when you also say ‘soul music’, the dots start joining together.

The Art of Soul, Foreword by Tina Fey, Introductions by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers, published by Chronicle Books, 2020.

Please bear in mind that I’m only examining this book for its pre-production values without seeing the final film to see how all this work comes out. The portrayals of the jazz scene show rhythms that you can well believe would be moving. The ghost side of things I’m less sure about. Even its designers profess that they had problems with getting this sorted in 2D, although the landscape and buildings built in 3D and shown here look interesting.

The Art of Soul, Foreword by Tina Fey, Introductions by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers, published by Chronicle Books, 2020.
p. 8 Harley Jessup – digital

What these books do excel at is showing how much work goes into making the choices for everything from character design, backgrounds, signs and even colour choices. It’s only with these books that you can get such a feeling of what is needed and how it is dimensionalised graphically.

The Art of Soul, Foreword by Tina Fey, Introductions by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers, published by Chronicle Books, 2020.
p. 39 Ray and Young Joe: Grant Alexander – digital; young Libba: Daniel López Muñoz – digital

If there is any weakness then I wish there was something like a director’s commentary pointing out what they felt worked for the film. Afterall, it isn’t as though none of the ideas weren’t good but choosing what makes for the better choice or an amalgam or composite to make it work better, if you see what I mean.

The Art of Soul, Foreword by Tina Fey, Introductions by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers, published by Chronicle Books, 2020.
p. 24 top left and top right: Hyein Park – digital; top center, bottom: Jason Deamer – digital

For those who want to work in the animation industry at any level, seeing the art is a great way to see what the requirements are and get your learning curve sorted out. For those of you who just like to see some of the earlier aspects of designing a film, then you’re more than covered here.

GF Willmetts

November 2020

(pub: Chronicle Books, 2020. 176 page illustrated oblong hardback. Price: £30.00 (UK), $40.00 (US). ISBN: 978-1-4521-7981-0)

check out website: www.chroniclebooks.com

Category: Illustration, Movie books

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 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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