Wednesday, July 04, 2012


Didier Ghez does an excellent job documenting Disney related books both in and out of print. (Click on the Disney Books Network link at the right.) However, some Disney related books that are announced never make it to print.

For instance, before I moved to Florida sixteen years ago, I wrote a book entitled HOOKED:  PETER PAN ON STAGE AND SCREEN covering the history of the iconic character from his beginnings to Spielberg’s film “Hook” with three chapters devoted to the Disney version of the character.   The publisher disappeared with the manuscript (this was in the day of typewritten documents) and all the one-of-a-kind photos that I had foolishly sent.

Recently I found in a storage box, my original notes for the book including the foreword written by voice artist June Foray (who this month won her first but long deserved Emmy award) in July 1992:

“Even in my pre-adolescence, I was an omnivorous reader, loving Homer, Dickens, Shakespeare, Tennyson, Hawthorne, Balzac, Rostrand.  But, ah!  Then there was James M. Barrie.

“What kid, young or old, doesn’t yearn to fly over the rooftops of reality and live in a halcyon world of escapism, the Never Never Land of Peter Pan?

“Thus, my exhilaration is almost ineffable to describe when I received a call from the Disney Studios to create the voices of two mermaids and the Indian squaw in their animated feature PETER PAN.  Childhood revisited:  My ecstasy was completely consummated a few weeks later when the casting director engaged me to be rotoscoped as one of the mermaids.  Forget the sore muscles and bruises from slithering up one side of a pile of lumber and down the other to emulate the half-human, half-marine creature.  A mermaid in PETER PAN resembled me!

“And now, to my joy, Jim Korkis has written the denouement, the definitive book concerning anything you ever wanted to know about the conception, creation, and production of all those many PETER PANs.  The reading of this book will find the reveries of childhood peopled by Peter, Wendy, Captain Hook and assorted fictional charmers affording a reprieve from our oft times prosaic existence.  Jim Korkis lets your fantasies fly again with the perennially young Peter Pan.  Your coming back to earth will be considerably more rewarding.”

And how many of you have a copy of the Spring 1991 catalog from Publishers Group West which was distributed that year at the American Booksellers Association and announced THE UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO THE ANIMATED FEATURE FILMS OF DISNEY by Jim Korkis and John Cawley? There was even an ISBN number for this 250 page trade paperback which would be "a complete guide to all of the animated features from the Walt Disney Company. Covers the entire behind-the-scenes story for each film, including exclusive interviews and rare illustrations." However, the publisher was, to put it politely, an outright crook and when John and I finally wised up to that fact, we cancelled that project although I notice it still gets listed as "published but out-of-print." I think I still have the notes and sample chapters for that book somewhere in a box in my storage unit.

However, just like in a Disney film, there is a happy ending because I do have a Disney related book in print, THE VAULT OF WALT, that because of its short, self-contained chapters should make fun summer reading. (Click on link at the right)

[Jim Korkis is still looking for a permanent job or for freelance writting or speaking assignments. If you need a great Disney historian, writter, speaker, etc. Please keep him in mind and more importantly email him at to hire him ASAP.]

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