Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2

Book Description:

Here is a look behind the frozen fjords and ice caves of Berk at the making of the sequel to a beloved animated classic. This full-color, lavishly illustrated book features more than 650 paintings, drawings, sketches, models, film stills, lighting studies, color keys, story boards, and photographs. Along with quotes from all the principal filmmakers there is also an introduction by the writer/director Dean DeBlois and a foreword by Gerard Butler, the voice of Stoick.

In this brilliantly conceived sequel, we are on a journey of exploration to new lands, four-winged dragons, long-lost love, vicious and powerful enemies, and ginormous Bewilderbeasts.

How does a movie of such imagination and magnitude come into creation? Well, you begin with an incredibly talented team of artists, writers, engineers, animators, modelers, and tech wizards and you let their creativity soar. The result is a stunning, original vision—bigger, better, and fiercer than ever—of an earth-shattering, fire-breathing sequel to the legendary story of Vikings and dragons in the frozen north.

Hold on to your dragons, fans and friends, you're in for the ride of a lifetime!


This was a fun book to review because I have kids and we love animation. So I decided to pull out the book when my daughter was having a sleepover and we took notes about the pages that made an impression. The girls, all preteens, had a great time! Now we just need to see the movie!

Here's what the girls had to say in their notes about the book:

*The introduction shows some sketchwork of Toothless that reminded us of Stitch, curious and cute, but probably going to cause some trouble.

*On pages 14-15 the Director explains their visit to the Arctic and showed the pictures that inspired the locations in the book. We learned that there are 5000 polar bears in a place called Svalbard.

*The book was divided into sections that make it very easy to browse what you are more interested in, like the characters or the places that the dragons live. One interesting thing was how they aged the characters from the first movie into the second, like they really did grow up, because sometimes sequels don't think of stuff like that. 

*All the artwork is different! Some pictures of the locations are very real looking, others are cartoonish, and our favorites were the watercolors. The watercolor scenery was amazing and so beautiful, with places that we would be lucky to visit, like on pages 76 to 79. Those pages are about the New World Coastline, with the pretty fall colors on the trees and the soft light. It feels peaceful.

We all liked how everyone involved explained how they came up with all their ideas, and how those ideas evolved from simple pencil sketches to awe inspiring watercolors to fun cartoon images. This book, and others like it, would make fantastic gifts for friends and loved ones that enjoy movies, because you get a chance to look beyond the finished product and see the creative process involved. It has also served as a really good conversation starter when visitors pick it up off the coffee table and start flipping thru the pages. This is a great book to look at with family and will excite children of all ages! 

Goodreads   Amazon  BN

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