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Buy *Pixarpedia: A Complete Guide to the World of Pixar... and Beyond!* by DK Publishing online

Pixarpedia: A Complete Guide to the World of Pixar... and Beyond!
DK Publishing
300 pages
August 2009
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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If your kids are anything like mine, they love Pixar films. Of all of the films that get seen over and over in my house, the Pixar films hold up the best. Repeated viewings offer deeper insights into the story behind the film, the technology of the film, the animation techniques, and cleverly hidden Easter eggs. My son often borrows the neighbors' Toy Story extra features disc, though the copy we have contains much of the same information. He's just gotta see it from every angle. It is for the likes of him that the Pixarpedia was created.

As you'd expect, Pixarpedia is about all of Pixar's major films and most of the shorts they created. It starts out with a history of Pixar, of its beginnings as George Lucas' Graphics Group before being purchased by Apple's Steve Jobs and turned into the animation powerhouse it is today.

Each film gets its own chapter with a brief rundown on what happens in the film and an extensive profile on each character - not just the major stars, but other little off-hand characters you might not have noticed before as well. Background toys from Andy's room in Toy Story and Toy Story 2, Daria's first gift fish (Chuckles) from P. Sherman's fish tank in Finding Nemo, all the extra Supers from The Incredibles that you may not know about.

Adding to these exhaustive details are some excellent still shots of many of the sets from our favorite films. Chief among these is an excellent shot of Gusteau's Restaurante from Ratatouille. WIth all the brass and stainless steel, it looks like the kind of kitchen where magic happens. There are stills of Andy's room, Nemo's fish tank, parts of the Axiom from Wall-E and more. There are occasional shots from the films that look too dark, but for the most part the pictures in Pixarpedia are beautiful.

What would a DK book be without cutaways? We have a shot of Pizza Planet with cutaway sections revealing the layout of the entire restaurant, including what's inside the rocket. There is also a cutaway of Al's Toy Barn from Toy Story 2.

After all the film details comes the "And Beyond" Section. This shows off many of the Easter eggs in each film, little in-jokes and extra tidbits that the Pixar Super-Geniuses include to make the film a richer experience. Did you know that Boo from Monsters, Inc. has a Jessie (Toy Story 2) doll? She also had a Nemo before the film came out. Pixarpedia also shows off hidden mickeys (an image of Mickey Mouse) in each film.

While Pixarpedia will satisfy most children and adults, there could always be more stuffed in there. I'd love to see some examples of the many commercials Pixar made along the way. I'd also like to see some of the details integrated. In the detailed character info, it would be great to see who voiced them. This info is included in the "And Beyond!" Section, but I see no reason to separate these details.

Despite this, I can't recommend the Pixarpediaenough. Excellent pictures, great details, inside info! What's not to love?

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Eric Renshaw, 2009

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