The Art of Disney’s Dragons
Dragon lovers and animation artists will love The Art of Disney’s Dragons, a Disney Editions volume. Hundreds of sketches fill the pages, mostly of dragons, ranging the whole spectrum of simple initial black-and-white sketches with many transitions through the final versions of the animated films. Apart from a Forward and an Introduction, there is no text in the book but these notes by an artistic director and supervising animator give the readers plenty of explanation how this huge collection of sketches came to light. One main focus is the dragon character Mushu from the 1998 animated film Mulan. Although we think of dragons as sexless, we see a few sketches (probably jokes) with huge udders (dragon milk?); a dragon building a sand castle on the beach; fire breathing dragon with a fireman standing by. The reader learns that in mythology there are two kinds of dragons: Chinese and European. Mushu was of Chinese style with a long sinuous body. Many nameless artists created hundreds of sketches of a character until these sketches were whittled down to the final version. These sketches were reproduced from the enormous Disney archives. The Notes at the end of the book describes each sketch.