I recently acquired the book titled – Story – from the Disney Archive series. It’s really a collection of storyboard and story art from various animated Disney films through history. From Snow White to Lilo And Stitch, including art for The Nightmare Before Christmas.
It’s one of the least focused books in the Archive series, but that’s OK. In John Lasseter’s introduction he makes a good case for calling all the work in the book ‘story’ work, whether they are stand alone story sketches or part of a modern day storyboard sequence. He also gives a bit of a story lesson about how storyboards started as just sketches in the corner of scripts that helped the Disney artist better visualize the story.
It’s a delight to admire all the different styles of art in the book. Some panels are made up of no more than 6 simples lines that communicate exactly what they need to for that particular story beat. Others are filled with beautiful draftsmanship and stylizations.
The book includes a few pages of art that would definitely be considered traditional ‘layout’ art and a fold-out page dedicated to Dumbo and that amazing ‘raise the tent’ sequence. But the overall effect of the book is wonderful. It’s just beautiful to see page after big page (the book is 26 x 11 when opened up) of artwork that is concerned with telling a story. You can enjoy the character design, the layout, the sheer beauty of the storyboard pages from Ferdinand The Bull but then you can step back and admire how much is communicated in the drawings. You also get plenty of opportunity to see classic Mickey in all his modernist, circular construction deliciousness. There’s even a few pages with Pluto art. Pluto is my all time favorite Classical Disney character.
It’s a beautiful book and is an inspiration for anyone who draws pictures that need to communicate a story.