Technically, the title of the book should be Princess Mononoke The Art and Making of Japan's Most Popular Film of All Time.
The poems right at the beginning sets the mood immediately: This is going to be a magical film.
This book is generous with concept art, movie stills, paintings, storyboards, layout drawings and a few computer animation tutorials. They are presented chronologically based on the progress of the movie. Captions for the art pieces explain the scenes instead of the concept behind it. In a way, they help relate back to the film.
The environment paintings are fantastic. The richness in details tries, successfully, in creating a world that looks as if it really exist. There's a certain sense of peace in each of them. Character designs are done in water colour, and a delight to look at.
The 3 computer graphics tutorials covers the making of 3D images, multilayer compositing and digital painting. The technology behind the movie's creation process is explained clearly.
This version of book I'm reviewing is published by Miramax Books, Hyperion in 1999. It's pretty much out of print and hard to find. So if you can locate it, you should really buy it. Fans will be jealous of you.
If you like this book, you might also want to check out the other art-of books I have reviewed for Studio Ghibli's movies.
Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more art books for review.
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Check out other books I've reviewed also, with pictures:
Art book list | Design book list