The Art of Tangled | Art Book Review
In my opinion, the Art of Tangled is probably one of the best art books ever published. Regardless of which stage of the artistic process you are most intrigued by, the Art of Tangled has got you covered.
The book starts off with a bang, giving you access to character sketches from one of the greatest animators and illustrators of all time … Glen Keane.
Throughout the opening preface and introduction of the book you are basically given some insight as to the initial vision for the movie as well as some of the challenges they encountered while making it. One interesting point is that Tangled was Disney’s first computer animated fairy tale adventure. Talk about setting the bar high for every future fairy tale film to follow. Once again in my opinion, Tangled is one of the top 5 Computer Animated films of all time … from any studio.
You are also given a brief history as to the origin of the Rapunzel story, which is a pretty interesting read if it’s something you weren’t already familiar with. Just the fact that the idea for Tangled was being bounced around by Disney as far back as 1937 just goes to show how long it can take to actually just get one of these movies made.
It’s All About the Art
The one thing this book has no shortage of is character concept art. You really get your money’s worth in that department. Disney spent over a decade doing character design and conceptual art for this movie. So it’s no surprise to find artwork from so many amazing artists.
Although the rough sketches in this book are quite amazing, some of the rendered paintings are literal masterpieces. One of my favorite pieces in this book is by David Goetz. He pretty much sums up the premise for the entire movie in just one painting. This is one of those times where a picture truly is worth a thousand words.
But it’s not just David’s work that reaches this level of artistic mastery; there are other works from artists such as Dan Cooper, Scott Watanabe, Lisa Keene, Claire Keane, Andy Gaskill, Craig Mullins and so many more. In fact, if you took everything out of this book with the exception of the rough sketches by Glen Keane, Mac George and Jin Kim, this book would still be worth every penny.
When reading this book it’s incredible to see just how much thought was put in to designing every little detail of Rapunzel’s world. The book explains how the environment of this movie wasn’t just treated like a backdrop. Every aspect of it had to be functional to the story as well.
If you ever wanted a lesson on how to properly draw hair, then this book is for you. There is over 75 feet of it to study.
A Master Class in Design
This book is not only a master class in character design; it also provides insight on how to age characters, where to find reference when designing them, as well as visual cues on picking quality color palettes and how to properly light a scene. The Art of Tangled is a must have encyclopedia for animators and illustrators alike.
And for those of you environment artists out there who are not that into character design, fear not the Art of Tangled has got you covered. The environmental concept art in this book, whether it be painted, digital or graphite, is absolutely phenomenal.
Inspiration in the Interior Cover
The book closes just as it started, with more incredible sketches from the great Glen Keane. This is by far my favorite sketch of Glens in this book. Glen has this amazing ability to say so much with so little. This one sketch sums up the relationship between Rapunzel and Maximus for the entire movie. How he’s able to do this blows my mind.
So there you have it, one of the greatest art of books of all time. Be sure to check out the video version of this review below.
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