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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon February 12, 2010
I can't believe it when I saw this book, two months earlier (supposedly) before it's scheduled to be out, on the shelf at the local bookshop. Flipped a few pages, and I saw the unique style of Nicolas Marlet, flipped back to the cover to find out it's authored by Tracy Miller-Zarneke and the movie's from Dreamworks. Those three names immediately reminded me of quality art book The Art of Kung Fu Panda. I'm glad to say that this book is as good and fun. By the way, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois are the famed directors here.

The book has more than 350 development artwork, including early character designs, story sketches, and concept paintings. The books is divided into roughly three parts, the dragons, vikings and the environment including the props like houses. Discarded art and characters are also included, like Hiccup's mother - a cook who loves dragon meat if I am to guess by the drawings. Tracy Miller-Zarneke has collected interesting quotes and commentary from the production staff.

Nicolas Marlet and Simon Otto seem to be the lead character designers responsible for the concept art the dragons and vikings, although a good amount of designs shown are actually from Nicolas Marlet. The character digital paintings are great and the colours are really beautiful, kudos to Zhaoping Wei.

I love Art Director Pierre-Olivier Vncent's environment paintings. This guy really know how to draw scenic yet precarious backgrounds like sloping hilltops, snow-capped arches in the sea and Dragon island which is like an ice-cream cone with molten lava as topping. Brilliant. Not only that, his tranquil pieces are also spectacular, National Geographic-spectacular. He has created places you want to visit but probably not because one wrong step and you'll roll down the hill.

There are even a few illustrations from Dominique Louis, who did some pastel concept art for Pixar. His doing pastels digitally now and there's no difference from his traditional work. The fun and stylised houses, statues, weapons, boats and other props are from Kirsten Kawamura and Mel Zwyer.

Fantastic art book. Highly recommended.


By the way, if you missed the "About the Author" section above, I have to mention it here again because Tracey Miller-Zarneke has authored some really great art books you should check out.
The Art of Kung Fu Panda
The Art of Meet the Robinsons
The Art and Making of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs


(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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on December 10, 2014
Beautiful and breathtaking book. Each page is full of captivating art, concept steches, orginal storyboards, and facts and insights from the films creators. It will be the perfect companion to the film and leave you feeling a new sense of wonder. Each detail is perfect and you can tell it was made by someone who truly loves the film and books. Any fan will love being taken on an informative and visual trip as you learn about the journey from page to screen. I bought this on sale but would pay full cover price. I can not find any fault with it at all. This is not a boom you shelf and forget, I have read mine many times and still find it compelling.
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on November 8, 2014
Bought this a gift for my husband. He gives it 5 stars and says: "It's a wonderful book! It's a cherished piece in my collection. It's very enlightening on how they wanted to do things."

As an artist and animator, he's found this book is useful and inspiring. As a fan, this book brings out his child-like wonder and unabashed glee.
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on November 29, 2010
This book is a beautifully put together book. It has not only a lot of insight into the creating of the movie and the process of production to screen, but it has some amazing art to accentuate the text. It's interesting to see how the characters made the jump from book to the finished product that was in the movie and the thought process that went on in their refinement. Even the details like the different dragons fire, and the reasons why backgrounds were designed the way the were, is explained in the book. Overall a great addition to any film lovers library.
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on May 26, 2014
Love the art work and what went into the movie. Definately a must for anyone who loves to look at fantastic drawings and the ideas that have gone into it and the other renditions of the artists that work for DreamWorks.
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on February 18, 2014
love the style of the illustrations, beautiful,very detailed dragons, loved the colors. also the island, people and symbols of the movie
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on February 5, 2014
great book and variety of art, lovely hardcover with sleeve, decent price for content. I would recommend this product =)
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on April 1, 2014
My 15 year old goes to art school and loves How to Train Your Dragon...she loves the drawings. Great buy.
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on October 10, 2015
Amazing for any art lover who is also a animation fan
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on November 25, 2014
Got it early; thank you very much!
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