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Smaug: Unleashing The Dragon Book Review

Smaug- Unleashing the Dragon Book

Smaug gets the spotlight in “Smaug: Unleashing the Dragon.”

In the latest “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” tie-in hardcover book “Smaug: Unleashing the Dragon,” writer Daniel Falconer gives readers a glimpse into the collaborative effort that went into making a single character for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” which is, of course, the fire breathing dragon Smaug. Despite the book’s short length in comparison to other “The Hobbit” tie-in books, this book really digs deep into the amount of work and artistry that goes into a single creation.

After a very thoughtful foreword by actor Benedict Cumberbatch (the voice actor and performance capture actor for Smaug), readers are treated to the predictably copious amounts of concept art, maquettes, illustrations, alternate character designs, still frames, hand drawn pictures, renders, digital models, and even images of how the character evolved over the time. Accompanying the imagery are a number of quotes from Weta Workshop crew members, designers, and art directors along with actor Benedict Cumberbatch. The written material contains invaluable conversations about Peter Jackson’s vision, inspirations for the character designs, the F/X, film sequences involving Smaug as well as a plethora of details about the anatomy, eyes, scales, expressions, lighting, and voice and sound. Last, but not least, fans also get a nifty fold out poster contained within the book’s pages.

While “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art and Design” book contains a lot more information and images, I appreciated the single focus of “Smaug: Unleashing the Dragon.” The book offers real insight into the process of making a beloved character come alive from the page to the screen.

Overall Thoughts: “Smaug: Unleashing the Dragon” is an absolute must read for fans of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” feature films and or Smaug fans everywhere.

June 8, 2014 - Posted by | Book review | , , , ,

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