Book Review: “The Art of Strange World”

Hi everyone!

I received “The Art of Strange World” by Juan Pablo Reyes Lancaster Jones and Kalikolehua Hurley to review. The book is available now, and features concept art and more for “Strange World”, the new film from Walt Disney Animation Studios. As of this writing, I have not seen the movie yet.

“The Art of Strange World” is the newest in a long line of “The Art of” books from Chronicle Books, which has published fairly recent books like “The Art of Turning Red” and “The Art of Encanto“. I was buying “The Art of” books before I started reviewing them. Here is my review on “The Art of Strange World“!

The cover of “The Art of Strange World” is colorful, with the “Strange World” reminding me of the title card for vintage films like “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”.  While the Clade family and Splat are on the book jacket, the book itself has a blue cover with an outline of Splat.

The preface of “The Art of Strange World” is from Jennifer Lee, Executive Producer and Chief Creative Officer at Walt Disney Animation Studios. She talks about how a Walt Disney Animation Studios film can transport guests to places that we could never go on our own. She says that “Strange World” does that, with new male heroes.

Director Don Hall writes the foreword. He discusses how his sons were his inspiration for the film, back in 2017. A discussion his sons had with friends about the environment led to the creation of the movie.

Just like all “Art of” animation books, “The Art of Strange World” features a great deal of concept art. Early in the book, Don Hall talks about how every move at Disney Animation begins in a story room – this page shows why the film was made. In the case of “Strange World”, Hall was inspired by the environment and father and son relationships. The book is about a father, son and grandson. Hall says he wanted the story to be intergenerational, with Jaeger Clade’s son Searcher as the lead character. There are a nice amount of pages dedicated to Searcher’s farm and the Clade family, including Meridian and Ethan Clade.

The concept art is gorgeous, vibrant like the trailers I’ve seen for the film. The book shares a look at Avalonia, the people of Avalonia, and the wide variety of vehicles (airships). There are a number of environments discussed, including The Amber Desert and The Petrified Cave.

Splat was the first character designed for “Strange World”, they wanted to make it “likeable and huggable”, like Baymax from “Big Hero 6”. Toward the end of the book, there are a number of pages showcasing the creation of Splat. There is a diverse cast of characters in the film, with the father figure being Jaeger Clade.

It is always fun to find interesting tidbits about the movies in the “Art of” books. For example, where the dog “Legend” received the inspiration for his name.

The Art of Strange World” has given me insight into the movie, but I look forward to seeing “Strange World” so I can have even more insight into the book. “The Art of” animation books are really great companions to the film. I’ve mentioned before in more recent “Art of” book reviews that I’d prefer more text. “The Art of Strange World” has almost a perfect amount of text for me, to understand more about making the movie. It is a nice addition to our bookshelf.

From the publisher about “The Art of Strange World”:

The Art of Strange World highlights the stunning artwork from the film’s creation—including character designs, storyboards, color scripts, and much more—and features exclusive interviews from the creative team along with behind-the-scenes details. The next in this fan-favorite, collectible series of Art Of titles, this book is the perfect gift for Disney fans, animation students, film buffs, and more.

EXCLUSIVE BEHIND-THE-SCENES DETAILS: Fans will want to delve into and explore this new Walt Disney Animation Studios film through production art, stories, and making-of details exclusive to this book.

PART OF THE FAN-FAVORITE SERIES: The collectible Art Of series from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar is perfect for animation enthusiasts, filmmakers, students, and fans of Disney alike. Add it to the shelf with other books like The Art of Encanto, The Art of Raya and the Last Dragon, and The Art of Frozen.


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