Kids + Teens

Creating Day & Night + Win an Autographed Copy

In honor of the DVD release of Toy Story 3, which includes the short film Day & Night, Amelia Anderson looks back on creating the book version of Teddy Newton’s instant classic.

Working on Day & Night was a privilege and one of the best experiences I’ve had as a designer at Chronicle Books. Day & Night, the book, was inspired by the film short of the same name that opened up the fabulous Pixar hit, Toy Story 3—not the usual circumstances for a children’s book! Working on this book with its creator, Teddy Newton, and editor, Andrea Menotti, proved to be a truly joyful and unusual collaboration.

It was so incredibly cool to be able to work with one of Pixar’s shining-star artists, Teddy Newton! Teddy wrote, directed, and created the art for the Day & Night short film, and then did it all over again for the book. I always imagined that you had to be a special breed to be an animator at Pixar and Teddy proved me right. He is a wonder! He is one of those super-charged creative types who have a million ideas flying in and out of his brain at once. He talks fast and draws even faster. It was very important to Teddy to stay true to the theme of his tale: the fear of the unknown and how it’s a very good thing for one to push themselves outside of their comfort zone in order to grow (and to make unexpected friends too, of course!).

The creation of the book was a lot of fun. Chronicle Books has an enormous wooden table on the Design floor and Andrea, Teddy, and I had a blast spending a full day taking up that entire table with sketches, film stills, notes, and snipped out lines from the story figuring out how to best translate the film into a book. There were some challenges we had to overcome. For one, the film had sound and movement to enrich and progress the story, our book would be flat and silent. We worked to pair down the tale to its essential scenes and rely on simple, expressive art, and variety of scale, to tell the story. If we were missing a link in our story, Teddy would just draw it in about 2-seconds flat—seeing his ideas translate instantly into visual representations, with characters full of expression and humor, was such a rare treat! Another challenge was keeping the text minimal but exuberant, while still honoring the rather philosophical theme. To do that, we relied heavily on the art to tell the story and added text only where it could enliven the art with dialogue or sound, or where we needed a simple explanatory line of text to set up the scene.

 

 

Another cool thing about working with a Pixar artist is that we got to go to their amazing offices for a behind the scenes tour! We couldn’t take many pictures, but I will say that the day we were there, there was a giant, human-sized Ken Dream House in the lobby!! Here’s a picture of Teddy, me, and Andrea with The Incredibles (Teddy worked on the character concepts for that film).

Here’s Teddy and me with Mr. Incredible.

And lastly, here’s me and Andrea and her adorable doodlebug daughter, Eliza (who you can bet also loved the Pixar offices!).

Watch the video below for Teddy’s take on creating Day & Night.

We’ve got three autographed copies of Day & Night to give away. Leave a comment with your favorite Pixar character to enter. Winners will be chosen on Monday, November 8th at noon Pacific. Good Luck!

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Amelia Mack

Amelia Mack

Amelia Mack is our Senior Designer for Children’s Books. She enjoys sleeping (because she gets so little of it these days), as well as oil painting and knitting.
Amelia Mack

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