Titan Books publishes fantastic art books for TV and major motion pictures, but they specialize in animated movies in particular. Their art book for Netflix’s Klaus did a spectacular job capturing the many aspects of making an animated film, but also the innovation. That’s a big reason why I wanted to take a look at Over the Moon: Illuminating the Journey, an art book for the recently-released Netflix exclusive. Can it bring the same magic and charm as Klaus?
Broken up into nine chapters, Over the Moon: Illuminating the Journey captures the uniqueness of the production while also supplying ample amounts of art from various stages of production. Permeating this book is the understanding of film and the richness of production thanks to writer Leonard Maltin. The famous movie critic does a great job laying out the work, but also supplying good behind the scenes anecdotes. The book never feels too thin on narrative or art, and there’s a good balance between the two. That’s a tricky line to walk for art books going behind the scenes with movies.
Directed by Glen Keane, who has many notable animated films under his belt like Tangled, Tarzan, and Pocahontas, this book gets into how Keane and the production crew did as much research as possible to get Chinese culture down perfectly. With a screenplay co-written by Audrey Wells, who tragically passed away of cancer in 2018, this production has a very important task of not only making Wells’ narrative stay true to the original script as she left this film to her family, but to the culture it explored. In that, this book excels at capturing important details about the human element behind every choice.
Over the course of this book, you’ll learn how characters were crafted and designed, how settings are created to exhibit traits of the characters that lived in them, and what went into the amazing set pieces on the moon. Interesting facts are everywhere in this book, like how the ping-pong musical number went through over 90 iterations. There are a lot of details that enrich the movie experience.
The amount of art is exceptional in this collection as well. Throughout the book, there are storyboards of key scenes for acts one, two, and three, which helps guide the reader through the narrative structure of the film. Art ranges from sketches to concept art to CGI renderings. For a film as rich as this, Titan Books does not disappoint. No stone is unturned in this book, which is frankly something that does tend to happen with movie art books. We get a look at Fei Fei’s rocket, her many friends, supporting characters, and the creation of the many worlds.
Over the Moon: Illuminating the Journey is a good example of how art books are a great way to enrich the moviegoing experience. Not only will this book delve into details you would have never discovered by watching the film, but it also reveals art and ideas that are gloriously worth investigating that didn’t make it quite exactly as seen in the film. This book is the latest example of how Titan Books is quite good at capturing the magic of moviemaking through hardcover ink and paper.
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