Monday, November 5, 2012

Between Books - The Art of Meet the Robinsons

Book cover showing the Robinson family in a group shot.
I thought I had the perfect plan.

I had never read or reviewed an “Art of” book.  And I love Meet the Robinsons.  So I thought the fairest way for me to a review an “Art of” book was to review The Art of Meet the Robinsons by Tracey Miller-Zarneke.  The book had to be a instant delight for me, it could not fail.  Instead I discovered I may not know what to think of “Art of” books. 

The Art of Meet the Robinsons is a short book that highlights concept art from the movie.  This art ranges from story sketches, color studies, concept art, and full paintings.  There is smattering of commentary explaining artistic choices and intent in character and setting design. 

The good of the book is the art.  It is the intended highlight of the book, and it is more impressive than the text.  Honestly I would have enjoyed more art mostly due to my love of the movie.  But I really loved some of the details you do not get a good glimpse of in the movie like the Robinson Industries posters.  There are also some interesting facts that I did not know including the fact that director Steve Anderson was an orphan like Lewis and that Lewis originally was to see a monorail when Wilbur gave him a tour of Future City, Walt Disney would have been proud.  But again,  I am the guy who could have used more.

“More” may be how I would summarize how I felt in general.  I wanted more art and I definitely wanted more background.  And I wanted more pages, there are only around 60.  I wanted to spend more time in the book, but with it being so short it was a quick dive into the world of Lewis and Wilbur.  I wanted the book to appear more like an adult book.  I easily could put this volume on my shelf next to children’s storybooks and it would look like it was at home!  I wanted more discussion on the design of Todayland, actually I wanted some since there was none other than art.  Though this book is no longer in print I would really felt disappointed if I paid the original suggested retail price of $17.99 for this volume because I wanted so much more.

I feel like either I do not understand “Art of” books and their nature yet, and if this is a representative sample I am going to struggle through these.  Or maybe this book demonstrates a problem that I have felt with Disney when it comes to Meet the Robinsons, a feeling that this film has been treated as second class.  I was introduced to Lewis, Wilbur and the Man with Bowler Hat at a meet and great at Disney-MGM Studios, yeah it has been that long ago!  I had no idea what their names were!  And I had to be dragged to the movie, which I knew nothing about and was sure would be horrible.  I just do not believe Disney in the midst of a transition after purchasing Pixar put a lot of effort into promoting the movie with its original release.  I wonder if the company in transition limited the resources available to author Tracey Miller-Zarneke, limiting what The Art of Meet the Robinsons could have been.  Sure the volume has samples of great artwork, but I just wanted more.

No comments:

Post a Comment