Disney Editions Synopsis
The Pixar Treasures is a scrapbook of instinct and inspiration, experiences readers can touch, and visions that exist only in the imagination. It begins with a group of animators who were inspired by Walt Disney films. In the late 1970s and early ’80s, John Lasseter, Brad Bird, and Joe Ranft were hired into an apprenticeship program at Walt Disney Productions. The last of Disney’s golden age artists, including animators Eric Larson, Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas, and Ollie Johnston mentored the young dreamers, and as Pixar later developed, their work would draw heavily from this direct connection with Walt Disney’s “Nine Old Men.”
The tale continues with Pixar’s foray into computer animation, and the resulting success of Toy Story. With chapters on A Bug’s Life; Monsters, Inc.; Finding Nemo; The Incredibles; Cars; Ratatouille; and WALL-E, Hauser’s narrative covers the struggles, growth, and successes of an incredible animation studio. And it gives readers a sneak peak at the newest Disney/Pixar film, Up. Filled with unique removable keepsakes, The Pixar Treasures is an essential collector’s item for every Pixar fan.
I have been amazed at the ability of Pixar to continually make quality movies…one after the other. They have an unbroken streak of hit films that any movie studio in business today would be honored to posses. All told, Pixar films have brought in over $2.8 billion (with a “B”) in US domestic box office gross with $6.6 billion in international gross.
I am also equally convinced that John Lasseter embodies the creative vision and entrepreneurial spirit of Walt Disney; Walt reincarnated per se. His talent for bringing the best of himself and the people that work with him to bear on everything they produce is virtually unparalleled in today’s “reality based” entertainment. The last guy to have this touch was, you guessed it, Walt himself.
The Pixar Treasures is a condensed scrapbook of these great successes during the span of Pixar’s history. Offering brief narratives with a wide selection of photographs, sketches and replica memorabilia for the reader to enjoy.
The book itself is a scant 64 pages long and laughably divided into 28 chapters; the chapters are merely the spreads showing the evolution of the Pixar timeline. I do wish the author had provided a deeper dive into some of the specifics that make Pixar so special and its characters so universally appealing. If you look at Mr. Hauser’s other books (The Art of Up, The Art of WALL.E) it is clear that he has the capability to provide a longer, more in-depth and engaging narrative. I would imagine this compactness was a condition placed on him by the publisher and/or perhaps it’s publishing schedule.
Despite the book’s brevity, it is filled with some treasured information and replica keepsakes from Pixar’s storied history. Much like the Disney Treasures and Disney Keepsakes (by Robert Tieman) this book seeks to satisfy the curiosity for information about Pixar’s magic in creating their films as well as provide some tangible touchstones for the fans of the studio.
Some of this information may be familiar to those of you who have read To Infinity and Beyond!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios, but with such engaging coverage of the team at Pixar, you can still find great nuggets to take away.
I am enjoying this book as a fan, but as a consumer the price for admission is pretty steep with a list price at $60.00. Being the holiday season, however, you can certainly find it online for less but its price is still high when compared to other great books within the Disney Editions imprint. Some of these other books also provide a more comprehensive review of the creative process used by the Walt Disney Co. and their subsidiaries.
I would recommend this book for the true Pixar fan only. It provides only the most cursory information within the two-page spreads rather than a long-form narrative most readers would appreciate. Therefore, the casual reader would glean very little from this book.
If you know of a Pixar fan, or are one yourself, this book may be one to add to your library.