Fantastic Planet: Surveying the World History of an Artform in Animation Art
Typographically, Animation Art could have used one last proof-read; there are lots of gaffes, no doubt artifacts of the rush to get the book in stores by November, all of which can be corrected in later editions. Also, and how could it be otherwise, I'm sure they missed one of your favorite topics. (There's no mention of Michael Sporn, and I could have used a chunk on Bay Area studios of the 1980s.) But what is here, you need: a well designed, profusely illustrated survey of a century-old art.
Just compiling a list of critically acclaimed shorts and features from around the world mentioned in this book and realizing what is and isn't available on home video is enough to make you cry. But getting frustrated is the first step toward getting important works back in print, and Animation Art should help stoke our fires by turning us on to previously undiscovered delights and reminding us that, yes, most of it is still out there.
Animation Art: From Pencil to Pixel, The History of Cartoon, Anime & CGI General Editor: Jerry Beck with forewords by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Bill Plympton. Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing, 2004. 384 pages. $45.00
Taylor Jessen is a writer living in Burbank, who writes a monthly column for AWN, Fresh from the Festivals. Like most white people, he has participated in one whipped cream fight in his lifetime.