The Art of Up (Pixar Animation)

        Category: Book Reviews The art of | Article posted on: May 16, 2011

Up is a 2009 American 3D CGI comedy-adventure film produced by and presented in Disney Digital 3-D. It is Pixar’s tenth feature film and the studio’s first to be presented in Disney Digital 3-D.

The film centers on an elderly widower named Carl Fredricksen and an earnest young Wilderness Explorer named Russell who fly to South America by floating in a house. The film grossed over $731 million worldwide, making it Pixar’s third-most commercially successful film, behind Finding Nemo and Toy Story 3.

Author Tim Hauser has provided a good writeup into design style and production process of the movie. There’s talk on the story arc, themes, the characters and a bit on the artistic side of production, like visiting a jungle for the research. The Pixar story team provided lots of quotes giving great insight into the story process. On the technical side to animating, nothing much is mentioned.

The challenge for this movie is aimed at simplicity. The character designs are based on simple shapes like squares (Carl), ovals (Russell, balloons), bullets (dogs), etc. I’ve the impression there are less sets and characters compared to other Pixar movies. There seem to be only the city, the sky (flying objects) and the jungle (big). You can see the focus is going to be on the characters.

The art included are character designs, storyboards, color scripts and few environmental paintings. Descriptions for the illustrations come in the form of quotes. There are lots of character sketches for the main characters, Carl, Russell and the house. Readers looking for the plot will find that in Lou Romano’s colour scripts.

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