Tuesday 27 October 2015

Disney's "The Art of Inside Out" (Chronicle Books)

Oh dear, another Pixar movie that made us both blub like babies and probably our favourite movie of the year. Let's take a look behind the scenes at Disney / Pixar's amazing "Inside Out"...

With a foreword by Amy Poehler (who played Joy in the movie) and introduction by Pete Docter (head honcho on so many brilliant Pixar movies) you'll have to forgive me for not giving any kind of author / illustrator credits on this book. That's largely because there's practically no text to speak of, but just page after page of sumptuous scribbles from Pixar's talented team of artists and animators.

So if we can skip by that for a second (and I'm more than happy to add in author / illustrator creds if those folk DO get in touch!) let's dig into another brilliant Disney art book from Chronicle.

"Inside Out" is one of the biggest movies of the year, firmly getting Pixar back on track with a hugely original and emotional film about...emotions! Our 5 states of mind that happily dwell inside our noggins, meet Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear and Sadness.

In this fab book you'll get to see how the movie evolved from really simply (scribbly) sketches into a more fully-fleshed out version of the inside of Riley Anderson's child mind, and all the things she goes through as her idyllic life is uprooted when the family moves to the big city by the bay, San Francisco.

Riley's inner turmoil is wonderfully depicted in the movie as Joy struggles to keep Riley happy, amidst such huge changes in her life. Without spoiling the movie too much though, it's a valuable lesson that we need all our emotions sometimes - they all contribute to making us who we are.

Back to the book and we see how the seed of an idea took a very long time to come to the screen, originally conceived back in 2009 but with 6 years of trying to iron out the wrinkles to bring the story properly to life. Originally the emotions could travel outside of Riley's mind and see what she sees in the real world. That idea was pretty quickly canned and as with nearly all of the Chronicle / Disney books, it's as fascinating to see what didn't make the cut as what did.

Normally these books hit our Book of the Week slot, but this one is a bit of an odd fish at times. There seemed to be page after page of really scribbly early drawings from the movies, and very little digging into each of the characters as we've seen with the other "The Art of" books. Don't get us wrong, it's still an utterly essential purchase for fans of inspirational artwork, but not as immediately appealing as other books in the series and certainly lacking a good dose of explanatory text for what some of the images are actually showing.

Still, it's a fantastic movie and there's still a ton of inspiration in here for would-be artists who love character art and particularly love the inventiveness of Pixar's cream of the crop talent. Don't you wish you worked there sometimes? We certainly do!

Charlotte's favourite bit: The fantastic characters who draw up Riley's dreamscapes every night, as a series of filmed episodes of snatches of her life.

Daddy's favourite bit: Bing Bong. How the hell can a grown man cry over a character who's part elephant / cat / candyfloss?


"Disney's The Art of Inside Out"

Published by Chronicle Books

Publication Date: April 2015