The Art of Monster House

I recently rented Monster House on DVD. Some photorealistic shots ala Toy Story, and the house looked like an incredibly complex model, especially as it breaks aparts and comes alive. Overall, it was OK, but I had higher expectations (for the story, not the animation).

However, the DVD does have a hidden gem. While checking out the special features I saw a section on concept art. I was expecting the usual pencil sketches, maybe a couple quick color illustrations. Instead, I was happily blown away by these fantastic concept paintings by Chris Appelhans. It’s Norman Rockwell meets Vincent Price (and maybe Chuck Jones). They lose a bit on a monitor, but look great blown up on a widescreen TV.

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3 thoughts on “The Art of Monster House”

  1. WOW. Great artwork.

    I really liked this movie because it had a couple of really surreally scary moments. There was a genuine spooky atmosphere of doom and despair; not your usual kiddie fare (a la Pixar Inc.)

    I also agree that the story was not what it could have been. I’ll stop here because I don’t want to add spoilers.

    On a personal note, do you still have the movie?? Would not mind seeing this artwork on the big screen….

  2. The still paintings look great! Awesome lighting – very dramatic. And the perspectives and overall cinematic feel of them work great. I’d almost think they’d make a really cool, dark, graphic novel. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Yeah, the lighting really hit me. There are very few painted comic books and graphic novels – Mark Texeira’s Union comes to mind (at least I’m pretty sure he did a series of all-paint comics, but this was 10+ years ago). I’m guessing something like that is exhausting unless you’re doing a rush job. And if you’re not, the return on your time spent must be paltry, unless you create an all-time best-seller. If you’re an accomplished painter, you’re probably best off concentrating on getting cover and poster work, or perhaps commissions.

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