Book Review: The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania
These coffee-table the-making-of art books get more lush and lavish all the time! If the advances in book-publishing technology over the past few years continue, the equivalent books by the end of the decade will probably feature three-dimensional holograms and audio clips.
The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania is the be-all, tell-all book about Sony Pictures Animation’s computer-graphics and 3-D Hotel Transylvania animated feature, to be released on 28 September. The book is written by Tracey Miller-Zarneke, a voice actress on Disney’s Meet the Robinsons, assistant production manager on The Emperor’s New Groove and Chicken Little, and the author of the making-of art books about Meet the Robinsons, Kung-Fu Panda, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, How to Train Your Dragon, and Kung-Fu Panda 2. The Foreword is by Hotel Transylvania’s Director, Genndy Tartakovsky, and the Introduction is by Bob Osher, the President of Sony Pictures Digital Productions.
Without doing a scientific analysis, I would say that the emphasis of this Art and Making of book is 100% on the Art and 0 % on the Making of. The first 100 pages of this 160 page book are devoted to Character Design. There are ten pages on Dracula alone. Mavis, Dracula’s teenage daughter (she’s 118 years old), gets six pages. Jonathan, the young human backpacker who crashes the castle and Mavis’ birthday party, gets another six pages. Supporting characters get lesser amounts, but there are over a dozen supporting characters from the more prominent to the minor background roles that most moviegoers will barely notice, from Wayne and Wanda Werewolf and Murray the Mummy to the castle’s zombie bellhops, Mr Hydraberg, Steve the green blob, the Day of the Dead mariachi band, the Drop-In Guests (assorted skeletons, floating brains, giant flies, and the like), Quasimodo the chef, a large tentacle named Gustav, and even Glenn-who-is-offstage-in-the-movie-but-if-he-was-shown,-this-is-what-he-would-look-like. The last 60 pages are Production Design; mostly the ancient castle before and after its renovation into a luxury hotel for monsters, with the adjoining cemetery, typical Transylvanian town, and the modern human world beyond.