Beautiful, glossy and rich – Tracey Miller-Zarneke has written a book that deserves to be pored over again and again.
I showed the book to a group of animators who completely geeked out over the detail in this book. In comparison to similar titles, it has more backgrounds, storyboards, props and character animation sketches and is physically a much bigger book. On any double page spread, there might be as many as ten different images from the film. There are beautiful sketches drawn on the back of cardboard boxes, messy thumbnails and pen and ink drawings that are barely decipherable, yet full of animation. You really get a glimpse of the scale of the project and how the visuals develop from day one to the final product.
There are pages and pages devoted to backgrounds and all of the details that go into making objects that you might barely notice when on screen. Sketches become translated into 3D models and structures. The pages devoted to Transylvania Town show intricate pencil sketches, stunning matte paintings and spectacular pallettes. What’s really great about the book is the comments from animators, production designers and visual effects supervisors informing you of all of the stages and their roles in realising the final film.
This isn’t just a book just for animators though, I’ve handed this over to non-creatives who have been completely immersed in the pages and I’ve struggled to wrench it back from them. It’s not a book that you can really absorb in one sitting without being overwhelmed by the sheer number of images contained within. If the book is anything to go by, we know that Hotel Transylvania is going to be visually stunning with an attention to detail that is arresting and certainly deserves to be seen on the big screen.