Update about Walt's People - Volume 11
It looks as if the manuscript will be ready for review by the contributors around the middle of next week, which in practical terms means that the book should be released around the end of August or more likely early September.
Here is the introduction (the Foreword has been provided by John Canemaker and the cover drawing is being created by none other that John Musker).
[One of my dreams would be to know that all the artists who surrounded Walt have been interviewed or have written their memoirs. This is not the case.
And yet, to fully understand Walt and his creations, I am more and more convinced that one needs to understand the artists and individuals who surrounded and influenced him. Which is why, above and beyond the interviews which are the heart of Walt’s People, I will also include in the series a few well-researched essays about key but little-known Disney artists. By better understanding the lives and times of Perce Pearce, Otto Englander, John P. Miller, Cy Young, John Sibley, or John Dunn, to name a few, we will manage to connect more and more dots, while picturing even more clearly the dynamics of the Studio.
If you have written or are planning to write such an essay, I would encourage you to submit it for publication.
Speaking of connecting the dots, this volume has a scope unequaled by its predecessors. It includes for the first time a large section about Walt Disney Imagineering, a subject which we have not yet tackled much in the series, allowing us to understand better the evolution of the Audio-Animatronics and the building of Walt Disney World. It also delves for the second time into the ‘50s, thanks to the interviews with Ward Kimball, Frank Armitage, Ray Aragon, Jacques Rupp, and Joe Hale. There is even a chapter focusing on very recent Disney history, in which we discover how Ed Catmull helped preserve “the holy fire” of Disney storytelling and bring it back where it belongs. Of course the Golden Age of Disney animation, the troubled ‘40s, or Disney comic-book history are also discussed in detail, thanks to the “usual suspects.”
One more thing: my interview with Ray Aragon was conducted only a few days before his death, which leads me to remind you, once again, how important it is today to preserve Disney history in a timely fashion. Time is running shorter and shorter.
And now, without further ado, let’s meet two Disney Legends who knew Walt as a young man.
Oñati, Spain, April 2011.]