Rare Animation Books For Sale

I recently posted on Twitter about purging some of my art book collection. I’ve always liked the idea of passing books to people I’ve connected with through this website.

Most of these titles are out of print or up for exorbitant prices online. All prices are listed in Canadian Dollars. So if you’re thinking in USD, you’ll pay roughly 30% less. I have checked Amazon, eBay, and Stuart Ng Books. If you can find a title listed elsewhere for less, I’m happy to beat it. I have provided many high-resolution pictures to show the condition of each book.

Art books are heavy and oddly shaped. Making shipping expensive. I live in Canada. While there is a thriving animation industry here, I know there will be inquiries from abroad. Know in advance that, while I am happy to send to you wherever you are, the shipping prices will be expensive for those outside Canada or British Columbia. You’re also welcome to skip any shipping charges and pick up in person. It’s always nice to meet fellow animation enthusiasts. These books have served me well, and now they need a new home.

Please use the contact form below if you’re interested in any titles.

All books are in good overall condition with tight bindings and no markings, rips, or tears, unless otherwise shown in photos. Most of the cosmetic wear is external and usually limited to the dust jacket. Please make sure you look at the photos carefully.

Before Ever After $143.00 SOLD

Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man $300.00

The Art of The Iron Giant $500.00 SOLD

‘Anatomy of Facial Expressions’ – Review

Anatomy of Facial Expressions is a new book from Uldis Zarins. You might remember I reviewed his first book, Anatomy for Sculptors, back in 2014. I have since used Anatomy for Sculptors more than any other anatomy book I own because, above all other books, it’s a visual reference guide. Everything is clearly explained with photographs and illustrations, so there is no need to read through a lot of text to get the information you’re looking for.

Anatomy of Facial Expressions follows the same format and the production value has even improved. The photographs are clearer, the illustrations are better, and the addition of CG models, split screens, and overlays take out all the guess-work one often experiences when studying anatomy book illustrations.

I worked for two years as a Facial Animator at EA. During that time I studied Paul Ekman’s Facial Action Coding System (FACS), read Gary Faigin’s The Artist’s Guide to Facial Expression several times and referenced it daily, and studied facial anatomy from a half dozen anatomy books. In my opinion, Anatomy of Facial Expression, is the best facial anatomy resource there is.


This book outlines every muscle and bone of significance to an artist. You will come away with an understanding of what each bone and muscle does, and how it moves. You will understand which muscles are involved in each of the major facial expressions, and how they contribute to the shapes we identify with those expressions as they contract. You will understand how facial anatomy varies with age, sex, and ethnicity. You will understand which muscles contribute to eye movement (something I’ve never seen before in another facial anatomy book). A nice added bonus is the addition of subcutaneous fat to the illustrations (pictured above in yellow) This is a major influence on the shapes and forms of the face, and is often overlooked in facial anatomy resources. The wealth of illustrations (many showing angles I’ve never seen before) and the use of CG overlays will make your understanding of the subject matter crystal clear. Those of you that have also studied FACS will like that every illustration and photo in the book lists the designated FACS codes for quick reference.

Take a sneak peak through the book via this video by ParkaBlogs:

If you buy this book, I don’t personally see the need for any other resource on the subject. The aforementioned book by Faigin would compliment it nicely, but it’s not technically necessary considering how thorough this book is. As with anything, you get what you pay for, and the price tag on this volume might scare a few people away. Let me assure you that it’s worth the $100 price tag.

How to Win a Copy

We’ll be giving away three copies to our readers, one on each of our social media channels (FacebookTwitter, and Instagram) You don’t have to follow us on all three, but you’ll up your chances threefold if you do. Keep your eyes on our social feeds for our announcement. You’ll need to share our giveaway post when it arrives. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide. Good luck! 🙂


UPDATE (October 23rd, 2017): Twitter give away is live today! Winner announced end of day (10 pm PST). Follow us and share this post:


UPDATE (October 16th, 2017): Instagram give away is live today! Winner announcedat midnight. Details here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BaUCb4cjVnI

UPDATE (October 9th, 2017): Twitter give away is live today! Winner announced end of day. Follow us and share this post:



Give Away – They Drew As They Pleased: Volume 3

Didier Ghez has returned with the third volume in his series for Chronicle Books, “They Drew As They Pleased.” This volume continues where the second left off, covering the 1940’s and six new artists: Eduardo Sola Franco, Johnny Walbridge, Jack Miller, Campbell Grant, James Brodrero, and Martin Provensen. They Drew as They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Late Golden Years: The 1940s-Part Two, features a ton of never before seen art from Disney’s ARL:

Character design by Johnny Walbridge for one of the clowns in Dumbo.

Early character designs of Figaro from Pinocchio by Jack Miller.

Story sketch of the stork from Dumbo by Jack Miller.

This is easily the most plentiful and impressive volume in the series to date. To celebrate the release, Chronicle Books is giving away one copy to a lucky On Animation reader. To qualify, follow us and share the following posts on our social media channels. A winner will be chosen in two weeks.  Good luck!


Book Review – The Silver Way

Stephen Silver’s, “The Silver Way” is a welcome addition to a small selection of quality character design books. Up until now, I would have recommended Tom Bancroft’s, “Creating Characters with Personality,” and Preston Blair’s, “Advanced Animation,” as the most relevant resources on the subject.

But one thing that sets this book apart Continue reading Book Review – The Silver Way

Excerpts from Bryan Cranston’s, ‘A Life in Parts’

A couple of insightful observations on acting craft from Bryan Cranston’s autobiography, A Life in Parts.

On preparing for the “Jane’s Death” scene in Breaking Bad:

When I do the homework for such a delicate scene, I don’t make a plan. My goal when I prepare isn’t to plot out each action and reaction, but to think, “What are the possible emotions my character could experience?” I break the scene down into moments or beats. By doing that work ahead of time, I leave a number of possibilities available to me. I stay open to the moment, susceptible to whatever comes. The homework doesn’t guarantee anything. With luck, it gives you a shot at something real.

On sincerity in acting choices:

I knew on camera, when you walk into a room, you must know where the light switch is. You can’t need to look, or else it’s a lie. Which is like giving the audience a pinch of poison. When you tell a story, you have to take liberties. You compress time. You create composite characters. You jump years ahead or flash back. Art is not life.

The audience might not be consciously aware of these little pinches, but if you keep doling them out, they’re reaching for the remote or walking out of the theatre. They’re sick of the poison. They don’t want anymore; they’re done. They might not even realize they’re responding to inauthenticity or sloppiness in storytelling. It’s not the audience’s job to articulate the reasons they don’t respond. It’s their job to feel. All that matters where the audience is concerned is: Did it work? Were they moved?


The Art of Loish

I finally got around to checking out my copy of The Art of Loish, which was crowd-funded last September. This is a beautiful volume. 3D Total has done a fantastic job with the format and printing. Loish takes us on a journey from of her early days discovering drawing to her freelance client work and major projects, with stops in-between for tips, tutorials, and work in progress progressions. It’s an inspiring glimpse into the process and personality of a very talented artist. I highly recommend this book.


Give Away – The Art of Zootopia

The Art of Zootopia will be released soon, and we have one copy to give away to our readers. To qualify for the draw, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, and Retweet or Share the news! The winner will be announced here on Friday! Good luck 🙂


‘Before Ever After’ is an Incredible Glimpse Into the Origins of Disney Animation

beforeeverI have been meaning to write about this book for a while now, but I’m short on time these days so I’ll keep this brief. Buy this book! It’s an incredible tome of animation knowledge and history. It’s everything that inspired me to start learning about animation: the passion for the craft, the sense of discovery and learning, the drive to push your work further, and so much more. Before Ever After puts you there, in the room, with the artists that shaped this medium into what it is today as they learned from top talent both inside and outside the studio. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I just hope Don Hahn can release further volumes for us to consume. Check out the official website for the full synopsis.


Give Away – The Nine Old Men by Andreas Deja

Update: Congrats to the winner, Brian Roy! Please contact us to claim your prize!

I want to thank every one for their continued support of On Animation over the past year. Traffic continues to surge, and it’s wonderful to hear and read all the amazing feedback I’ve received online and at animation conferences around the world. To kick off 2016, On Animation is giving away a copy of Andreas Deja’s new book, The Nine Old Men. Be sure to check out my review.


To be eligible to win, simply follow us on Facebook or Twitter and spread the word about this post via the share button below. Good luck everyone!