BOOK REVIEW The Crafting of Narnia

Through the wardrobe into the land of Weta

Author: Weta Workshop

Publisher: HarperCollins • 304 pages • £20

ISBN: 978-0-007-27058-3

Rating:

Two hundred years from now, people might pore over books like this in much the same way as experts today drool over antique furniture catalogues. As a record of the incredible amount of time and energy that goes into the making of a movie, they’re second-to-none. Weta Workshop has already given us tomes dedicated to its work on King Kong and Lord of the Rings; now the New Zealand FX powerhouse hits Narnia.

Covering The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian (though concentrating mostly on the former), the contents are what you’d expect: pages of creatures, weaponry, armour and landscapes are arranged so you can follow the design process from beginning to end. Some of it’s fascinating (centaurs change size according to the shot they’re in, to avoid looking like ponies), some surprising (check out the first few drawings of the White Witch – shades of Evanescence’s Amy Lee if you ask us).

Chances are you’ll recognise some of the names of the Weta chaps by now – the affable Richard Taylor writes an introduction, while it seems every drawing is scribbled by the highly talented Christian Rivers. It’s almost like catching up with distant relations. Thoroughly recommended, whether you like the movies or not.

Jayne Nelson

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