In 1981 one of the greatest animated features was unleashed upon the world which redefined the way in which animation was seen. That film was Heavy Metal (1981) and it was produced by legendary film maker Ivan Reitman based on the Heavy Metal graphic magazine and incorporated animators and styles from all over the world to help contributed to the anthology style film. In the book Heavy Metal: The Movie writer Carl Macek breaks down each of the segments and their respective animators.
This is an amazing book not only on the making of a cult classic film but a look at some of the most influential animators of the ‘80s. Some of the stories are based on actual stories from the magazine as well as many original stories (or inspired by stories). Some of the artists whose influences can be seen in the film include Michael Ploog, Richard Corben, Bernie Wrightson and Chris Achilleos, to name a few. Animation is one of the most complicated forms of art out there but each segment, as you’ll read in the book, utilizes a multitude of classic and new styles of animation (or at least new for the time).
This book gives an excellent insight into the process of creating a feature length animated film. There are hundreds of sketches, drawings, stills and story boards to help illustrate the complexities of creating the film. What the film does extremely well and what will be a big draw for readers is the fact that Macek delves into the many changes that took place during the production of the film especially in regards to what was changed (or dropped altogether).
If you are a fan of the film Heavy Metal (or even the magazine) and animation then this is a great look at these types of films and is a great addition to anyone’s library.