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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art and Design Book Review

The Hobbit- The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles- Art and Design Book

Fans of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” films will want to pick up “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art and Design.”

Between DVD and Blu-ray extra features, online production diaries, and tie-in book releases, fans of “The Hobbit” films have a plethora of behind-the-scenes material to pore over. One of the most exciting (and most recent) releases comes from Weta and Harper Design in the form of a hardcover book titled “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art and Design.”

Throughout the 227 pages of writer/Weta Workshop designer Daniel Falconer’s book, readers/fans will get a detailed look at the creative process AND the collaborative effort that goes into making a film with a mountain of photographs of maquettes, paintings, models, stills from the film, colored and penciled sketches, and concept art of characters, props, weapons, costumes, and interior/exterior locations featured in ‘Smaug.’ While not exactly telling the entire story of the film, the book mostly follows the chronology of the film by starting with Beorn and ending with Smaug. Each picture featured here is accompanied by notes from production designers, set decorators, concept artists, costume designers, and Weta Workshop employees who worked on the film. As an added bonus, the book contains a special fold out portrait of the Master of Lake-town (as seen in the film).

The wonderful thing about this book is that there is something for every fan here. Some will geek out over the design sketches of the Elves while others will be in awe of the stunning painted pieces of Mirkwood, Dale, Thranduil, Dol Guldur, etc. While everything in ‘Chronicles’ is attention grabbing, my personal favorite sections included the Beorn and Master of Lake-town character designs (several of which were actually better than the final versions in the film in my humble opinion) and the impressive Azog and Orc maquettes. I am always fascinated by “what could have been” elements of movies. It’s the film geek in me.

Overall Thoughts: If you live and breathe Middle Earth, Peter Jackson’s films, and or anything to do with “The Hobbit”/”Lord of the Rings,” you owe it to yourself to pick up this superbly designed book.

Note: If you’re left wanting more by this book, worry not as two more “The Desolation of Smaug” book releases are planned. Ringers can also pick up two Chronicles books for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” as well.

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December 25, 2013 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , ,

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