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The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation by…

The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation (1981)

by Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas

Other authors: Nai Y Chang (Designer), Walton Rawls (Editor)

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478631,624 (4.82)6



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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Marvelous book by two of Disney's original animators ("the Nine Old Men") and a great example of craftsmanship in animation as well as near-boundless creativity. ( )
  SESchend | Sep 6, 2017 |
I am looking to replace my lost copy of this book! ( )
  GregTurnbull | Apr 20, 2016 |
"The Illusion of Life" tells the tumultuous story of the beginning of Disney animation, how they grew from making shorts to feature films, and how they polished their craft as the post World World Two economy settled in. Johnston and Thomas speak from the perspective of having been there; they worked on many feature films including "Snow White," "Fantasia" and "101 Dalmatians."

Part history and part guide to animation, the authors tell many stories from the trenches of the animation studio. They not only share funny gags and conflicts within the studio, but also the best practices that they developed over several decades of film making. Included in the book are numerous behind the scenes drawings: caricatures of cartoonists, photos of Walt Disney acting out a sequence, and, of course, numerous sketches and concept drawings from some of Disney's biggest films from the 30s to the 80s. Highly recommended. ( )
  jasonli | Oct 8, 2014 |
This was a Christmas present from my mom when I was about 12. She got it on the discount rack at Kmart and I used this book so much that both the front and back cover have fallen off. I just took it out and looked through it again last night, to find something to stretch my drawing muscles on since I haven't done any drawing in 15 years now. It's every bit as wonderful and full of inspiration as I remember it being. My daughter loves looking through it too. ( )
1 vote TLMorganfield | Sep 4, 2013 |
One of the three practically required references for animators and aspiring animators (the other two being Richard Williams' book and Preston Blair's book).

This coffee table-sized book was written by two of Disney's "Nine Old Men" at the apex of their careers. In "Illusion of Life" Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston cover the history of animation at the Disney Studios and discusses the process of creating an animated film from beginning to end.

The "principles of animation" are covered as are layout, storyreels, background painting an much more. The book is filled with artwork from concept art to background paintings to reproductions of cels to cel setups to rough drawings by the animators. It also contains more technical material such as the design of Disney's Multiplane Camera and the impact it had on animation.

This is a beautiful volume that you'll learn something new every time you read it. ( )
3 vote wdavidlewis | Mar 20, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ollie Johnstonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Thomas, Frankmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Chang, Nai YDesignersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rawls, WaltonEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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The inside story of the gradual perfecting of Disney's character animation technology, an American art form.

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