This book represents a real labour of love. With a lovely Betty Boop cover and a great foreword by Sylvain Chomet, Stephen Cavalier has written a comprehensive book excellently covering all aspects of animation.
This includes its origins, such as Eadward Muybridge’s sequential photos, French motion photographs, George Mèliés’ important work A Trip to the Moon, Winsor McCay’s Gertie the Dinosaur and other wonderful experimentation.
There are biographies of key animators from around the world, including Zlatko Grgic from Zagreb Film Studios, an excellent chronology of international animation from its origins up to 2010, lots of great photos of characters, scenes, and an excellent glossary covering all aspects and types of animation in detail.
There is info on studios as diverse as Disney, Studio Ghibli, Bruce Bickford, Paul Terry, and on and on. We get great detail on everything from Steamboat Willie to the stop-motion used in music videos for the White Stripes.
Why just four stars? It must be a copyright problem, but there are many articles with no illustrations. There are no images from any Warner Brothers work, no Ren and Stimpy, no Spongebob Squarepants, no Astro Boy, among others. This is, I’m sure, not the publisher’s fault. The book is still excellent and highly recommended. Maybe I just wanted it to be perfect!
Amazon, Nov 2011