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5 Essential Art Books For Animation Fans

It's that time of year again... the pre-Christmas frenzy is well and truly underway. If you're looking for a gift for an animation loving friend, significant other or family member (or even yourself) then what could be better than an Art Book? These hefty tomes allow you to admire all the work that went into your favourite animated film or series in all their glory, often featuring concept art and other material that doesn't make the final product. We've put together a list of some of the finest examples out there right now, in the hope of making your Christmas shopping a bit easier.

The Art Of Aardman:

The UK's Biggest animation studio turned 40 this year, and this cracking book takes a look through their extensive archive. Featuring original concept art and sketches, right up to finished models and sets this provides an insight into making the studio's films and series including Wallace and Gromit, Morph, Shaun The Sheep and Chicken Run. A must-have for fans of stop-motion animation.

Song Of The Sea Art Book

The films of Cartoon Saloon are unusual in that the finished films end up looking almost identical to their gorgeous concept art. This hardback book contains more than 1000 pieces of pre-production art from the stunning Oscar-nominated Song Of The Sea, complete with commentary from director Tomm Moore and his team.  Available directly from Cartoon Saloon's store. or from Stuart NG books in the US.

The Art Of The Iron Giant

The film may have come out way back in 1999, but it took until this year for Brad Bird's classic 2D feature to finally get an artbook of its own.  This takes a retrospective look at the making of the film, complete with new interviews, plus never published concept art, backgrounds storyboards and more. The perfect companion to the recently released Blu-Ray edition of this much-loved film.

The Art Of Zootopia/ The Art of Zootropolis

The undisputed star of this year's Disney fuzzy buddy movie was the titular city of Zootopia (or Zootropolis in some markets) itself.  Which makes the artbook- giving you an insight into all the amazing world-building and high-concept design work in this movie- particularly appealing.

The Art Of Princess Mononoke

Viz have published English-language translations of the Art Of Studio Ghibli books for more than a decade- and they are all must-have for fans. This one focussed on Hayao Miyazaki's 1997 classic Princess Mononoke has been recently rereleased just in time for the film's upcoming 20th anniversary and is no exception. Packed with concept art, promotional art, storyboards and production diaries.

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