When I stumbled across the Toy Story 2 Little Golden Book at the local Giant, I couldn’t not get it. The art style was too freaking precious. I remember thinking it was just a shame I couldn’t find any of the other Toy Story books. It wasn’t much later before I found the Toy Story 3 one at another store. The stupid stick-on clip they use to hang them with refused to come off of that one cleanly, tearing the paper off the back, much to my dismay, but I told myself it gives it character.
Onto the books themselves, it’s a testament to the original stories themselves that they’re able to be distilled down to such a degree, all without losing any of their charm. The illustrations are a huge part of that, with the charm of some of the best Pixar concept art, only refined. It makes sense, too, seeing as at least the Toy Story 3 book was illustrated by a Pixar employee, Adrian Molina, who was a story artist on Toy Story 3.
Seeing books like these, or the concept art for any of Pixar’s movies, I can’t help but wonder what a feature-length 2D animated movie would look like from Pixar, and wish they would take that plunge at one point or another. They’ve done 2D in the Spark Shorts. Why not extend that experimentation to the feature length films?
For now, I’ll have to make do with the concept art they release and books like these. Hopefully I can find Toy Story or Toy Story 4 soon, or perhaps some of those original Toy Story offshoots Little Golden Books did. Thus far, I’ve only succeeded in finding Lightyear, but that one just lacked the same charm. I love the movie, still, but wasn’t sold on the illustrations. Maybe I’ll buy it some day. Just not some day super soon.