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The Alchemy of Animation: Making an Animated Film in the Modern Age [Paperback]

Don Hahn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 7 2008 Disney Editions Deluxe (Film)
The Alchemy of Animation: Making an Animated Film in the Modern Age is a step-by-step introduction to animated filmmaking from one of the foremost producers of animated features. By drawing (sorry!) upon more than seven decades of Disney's classic and beloved animated films, this stunning book explores the role of the directors, story artists, songwriters, and animators who each play an integral role in the creation of an animated feature.

This book includes a special focus on the digital techniques of filmmaking and fresh, behind-the-scenes work from the most current Disney films, including Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, and Bolt, as well as showing other forms of animation such as the stop-motion of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach.

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The Alchemy of Animation: Making an Animated Film in the Modern Age + The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation
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About the Author


Don Hahn's name is synonymous with some of the most critically acclaimed animated motion pictures of this generation, including The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast, (the first animated film ever nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture (and before the Best Animated Film category was established). He was also the associate producer for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the groundbreaking 1988 film that pioneered new techniques for combining animation and live-action. His other film credits include Fantasia/2000 and Atlantis. He is currently at work on his next Disney animated film.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Just like going on an animation studio tour April 4 2009
By Parka HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Length: 0:16 Mins
This book is like a pass that will give you access to a tour in an animation studio. The tour guide here is Don Hahn, who has been in the animation industry for years, directing some popular movies like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, etc.

Don Hahn brings us down to the production floor, visiting every department, talking about the people and their role in movie production. You may have seen many making-of videos from DVDs but this book is the one stop source to the introduction to animation.

The book introduces the process of animation from idea creation to the ending post production work. It looks at three forms of animation that exist today and talks about how they are created. They are the computer-generated, 2D hand-drawn and stop-motion production.

Included concept art, sketches, set photos, sculptures, storyboards, 3D renders and some discarded ideas are included. This is like walking along studio corridors looking at all the art pinned on the boards.

The roles and responsibilities of every crew working on the film is explained. In a sort of way, it's also a guide to finding what kind of jobs are available in the animation industry. For the longest time, I've been trying to find out what a clean-up artist does and now I know, which is to "clean up" characters making sure they are consistent in style.

For people interested in the animation industry or how animated movies are made, this book provides a very good introductory background.

There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just like going on an animation studio tour April 4 2009
By Parka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is like a pass that will give you access to a tour in an animation studio. The tour guide here is Don Hahn, who has been in the animation industry for years, directing some popular movies like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, etc.

Don Hahn brings us down to the production floor, visiting every department, talking about the people and their role in movie production. You may have seen many making-of videos from DVDs but this book is the one stop source to the introduction to animation.

The book introduces the process of animation from idea creation to the ending post production work. It looks at three forms of animation that exist today and talks about how they are created. They are the computer-generated, 2D hand-drawn and stop-motion production.

Included concept art, sketches, set photos, sculptures, storyboards, 3D renders and some discarded ideas are included. This is like walking along studio corridors looking at all the art pinned on the boards.

The roles and responsibilities of every crew working on the film is explained. In a sort of way, it's also a guide to finding what kind of jobs are available in the animation industry. For the longest time, I've been trying to find out what a clean-up artist does and now I know, which is to "clean up" characters making sure they are consistent in style.

For people interested in the animation industry or how animated movies are made, this book provides a very good introductory background.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So that's how they do it! Oct. 8 2008
By Gary Gisel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've long been a fan of animated movies, enjoying the story and the art but also being fascinated by what it must take to get one of these movies from concept to the screen.
The Alchemy of Animation does a great job of pulling back the curtain and explaining the process.

This book would be well worth the price for the plethora of pictures alone. It includes images from all stages of the process from initial concept through the final versions used in the movies. While that is a great reason to buy the book, it isn't the best part. The book is full of insight and information about animation. In particular I appreciated the focus on the story as the key element, regardless of the art form chosen and the way that the differences and similarities between traditional animation, stop motion and computer animation are highlighted.

If you are a fan of animation, or are looking for a great gift to give someone who is a fan I strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Required for an animation class Aug. 15 2013
By GB4711 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Required for a college animation class and was very helpful and useful time and time again. Great to retain as a reference guide as well.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for basics July 29 2013
By AnimationStation - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book purely because Don Hahn wrote it. I have waited for books by Disneys Renessaince Men. This book does well in the production structure department but not more then that. It is no modern version of the Illusion of Life by Frank and Ollie but a bare bones book for newbies on the structure of an animated film.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book lots of info April 18 2013
By stephen clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book had great content and pictures, don Hhn is a get movie maker and is very knowledgable, however when I recieved this book it came with some stickers that said used two stickers were both on the cover and back and were also large and would not comeoff the front or back.. other then this small annoyance its a great book
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