I’ve been a fan of Genndy Tartakovsky‘s work since 1995. Being a huge fan of animation and movies my whole life, I’ve always loved to see a cinematic flair to the way I watched cartoons. Both of Tartakovky’s earlier works, Dexter’s Laboratory and The PowerPuff Girls had that. They introduced me to a master of animation and storytelling and it’s no wonder they reached such wide audiences.
Now, I’m not going to go into all of his work, but I will say that I followed his journey from the small screen to making his first feature length film, Hotel Transylvania. He directed the wonderful, Samurai Jack, and then went on to do the first volumes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. These were both strokes of genius, and it’s no wonder that Hollywood decided to give him a chance to take on a bigger project. With Hotel Transylvania we got to see what Tartakovsky does best; which is mixing humor and wit, with amazing visuals that add to the overall movie experience.
The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania by Tracey Miller-Zarneke and published by Titan Books, goes on the journey that Tartakovsky took to bring this film to life. The book focuses on the conceptual art and drawings, and even shows some of the storyboards on the making of the film. You get to meet each colorful character in the film, ranging from The Invisible Man and Big Foot, all the way up to Dracula and his daughter Mavis. It’s great to see the many incarnations of the characters, from their VERY early beginning sketches, to what they look like in the final film.
The book also does a great job of taking us on the filmmaking journey. Miller-Zarneke gets interviews with Tartakovsky, as well as the artists and effects team on the movie, to go deeper into the process on how this movie came to life. The little nuances on what type of stickers should go on Frankensteins luggage to show where he’s traveled. Or, just what does a monster pool party consist of.
I really loved this book. It could be that I’m a huge fan boy of Tartakovsky already; but more than that, it’s just a great piece to accompany an already great movie. Hotel Transylvania only reminded me of how fantastic Tartakovsky is as a director; and it was great to see someone who has such passion for animation, get his dream project of bringing a feature-length film to life. If you love books, movies, or animation or all three, then I highly recommend The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania. You can stop on over to Titan Books and grab yourself a copy; and be sure to check out any of their other fantastic film and animation books as well!