The Art of "Rise of the Guardians" (The Art of Dreamworks) [Hardcover]

For aspiring animators and or fans of “Rise of the Guardians,” this hardcover look at the development of “Rise of the Guardians” from a series of eight young adult books that were compressed and transformed in to a marketable fantasy animated film will be thrilled to learn all the facets and elements of the film that were finely tuned and included to give the movie that extra dimension.

Though the film is primarily built around the belief in deities, the film implements a lot of international aspects that reflect belief including the Middle Eastern influence on the Tooth Fairy’s costume, as well as the Bunny’s giant egg sentinels, all of which were influenced by Eastern mythology. There’s also a detailed glimpse in to the creation of the realms for the guardians, including the small trinkets and interesting details added to certain background and environments, including North’s toy shop, and the detailing of his Yeti workers, all of whom were a fine addition to the story.

There’s the explanation of Tooth’s little baby teeth, as well as what foreign land helped inspire Pitch’s caverns. Author Ramin Zahed goes in to wonderful and vivid detail, chronicling the development of all of the characters, and shows how the heroes began life in more complex and whimsical molds and were eventually given a simpler more family friend tone that helped their presence on-screen. Particularly there’s Jack Frost, and Bunny, both of whom became less literal and more metaphorical by nature. There’s also the basic exploration of concept art, as well as film development, and the guidelines presented for each character in the movie. Each hero in the Guardians are based on a common shape, and it’s fascinating to see how they were molded around said shape and how it helped them come to life and stand out from everyone else.

No two characters are alike in “Rise of the Guardians,” giving the entire universe a very careful and meticulous master stroke that really helps breathe life in to an epic storyline. Beyond a fold out based around the animation process, as well as large illustrations detailing the development of North, Bunny, and the very painstaking process of creating Sandy’s sand world, there’s a foreword from actor Alec Baldwin who plays leader North, and a very lengthy and interesting preface from author William Joyce who explains how he created the idea of the Guardians and why he felt it was his duty to write the series of books and keep the Guardians alive. It’s a fantastic book for any respective film or animation buff, exploring a wonderful film.