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Book Review: The Art of Monsters vs Aliens

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:05 pm
by parka

This is a great art book filled with concept art, and the content is well written by Linda Sunshine.

The book is split into 5 parts, Character Design, Locations, Special F/X, The Making of Monsters vs Aliens and Out of the Picture.

The book starts off with an foreword by Stephan Colbert who voices President Hathaway. Just like many animation films, he coincidentally looks like the character he voices.


Every animation film has a specific technical or visual problem to solve. In this case, it was the tricky portrayal of size and scale. This is all in the introduction where the staff talks about this and other technical and story challenges to making the movie.


Under Character Design, we have concept sketches and digital paintings. Each character comes with writeup on how they come into being, from idea to how many times it has evolved as required by story. The characters featured are Susan aka Ginormica, Dr. Cockroach, The Missing Link, B.O.B, Insectosaurus, Gallaxahar and clones, Robots, President Hathaway, General W.R. Monger and other humans.


On Locations and Set. The art featured here shows how the set is caricatured to fit into the comedy. Everything is captioned to explain the rational. There are lots of interesting stuff to read and see. For example, there's one cross-section blueprint on the Area Fifty-Something, and just right outside the facility, there are people tunneling to China. And the humpback commercial airplane looks hilarious.

Part four addresses the more technical aspect of making the movie, like rigging, lighting and texturing. There are 12 pages in all, and I'll probably be getting the DVD when it eventually comes out for additional behind-the-scenes production process.

Finally, the book ends with a few unused concepts.


The beautiful illustrations are printed in low gloss thick paper, well bind in hardcover (with a dust jacket).

Linda Sunshine has done well by providing lots of context into the art and story, making this a very enjoyable book to read.

This review was first published on There are more pictures and videos on my blog.