A couple years ago I was sitting on my couch at home on a Saturday night (like the social butterfly I am), watching a little animated film HBO chose to premiere that week when I fell madly in love. The movie was How To Train Your Dragon, and it was one of the cutest movies I'd seen in forever. Not only was the animation astoundingly beautiful, but the characters were also laugh out loud funny, and I spent the next two days watching it ever single moment it came on. Which was a lot, as those of you who have HBO know. Once they premiere a movie, they play it 24/7.
Fast forward four years to 2014 when I discover my beloved movie has a sequel releasing. Best. News. Ever. Making my How To Train Your Dragon love complete was the arrival of a special package in the mail, one that contained a truly stunning book featuring the artwork that helped bring the second installment to life.
I majored in film in college and have always been fascinated by the behind-the-scenes aspect of moviemaking, so this book was a real treat for me and something I highly recommend to those interested in art, animation, costume design and the like. Between the covers is page after page of both sketches and finished artwork, the characters, settings and costumes broken down visually and then described by key members of the production staff to give us an in-depth look at everything the filmmakers take into consideration during the animation process. While the information provided by the director, production designer, art director and numerous others is an absolute treat, the true highlight of the book is the artwork itself, so I'm going to let it do most of my talking for me.
I took a few pictures of some of my favorite pages of the book so I could share them with all of you, and hopefully encourage those who have yet to experience these movies to give them a try! I have little doubt you'll love them as much as I do, and you might just want to pick up a copy of this book for display on your coffee table. Because...dragons. And Gerard Butler. You're welcome.
MEET THE HUMANS
Hiccup in sketch form:
(One of my favorite things about this book is the fact that we get to see the artwork in various stages of completion - from early black and white sketches and storyboards to paintings in color to final animated form.)
The fashion of Astrid (Hiccup's love interest):
Drago (the villain):
MEET THE DRAGONS
Toothless in sketch form:
(Look at his face! Is he not the cutest dragon you've ever seen? I want him for myself.)
Find The Art of How To Train Your Dragon 2: