Monday, October 01, 2012

Let me start my stating the obvious: if you are reading this blog today and if there is only one Disney history book you will buy this year it should be this one. The Fairest One of All is a "must have" more than any other books I have discussed in recent years. It is full of never-seen-before visual documents, as expected, but more importantly, it is the most in-depth and the most accurate historical analysis of the making of a Disney movie, ever. This is the closest to perfection that a book about the making of a Disney movie will ever get.

Does this mean that after reading this book you will know absolutely everything about the making of the movie and about the artists who worked on it? Of course not, since this is as impossible in practical terms as the creation of Borges's imaginary 1:1 scale map of the world.

In other words, when we discuss Disney history, there is always more to research and to learn. This book is for the most serious Disney historians among us a stepping stone. A very tall one.

For some it will serve as inspiration to research the life and career of Dorothy Ann Blank, others will want to understand better the role Natalie Kalmus and Technicolor played when it comes to the history of Disney (this subject alone would deserve an in-depth monograph), while at least one of the readers will someday decide to write the long-awaited biographies of Ham Luske, Norm Ferguson, Freddie Moore, or Art Babbitt (that one is currently in progress thanks to Jack Friedman).

What is certain is that all of us will be indebted to J.B. Kaufman for all the dots he connected, all the documents he gave us access to and all the stories he unearthed through his new book. As always, along with Michael Barrier, John Canemaker, Paul F. Anderson and a few others, he raises the standards of Disney history to levels which are difficult to reach and is preparing the field in a spectacular way for those in the future who will have the discipline and dedication it takes to contribute in a meaningful way to the understanding of Disney history.

Hats off. It is now more difficult than ever to have the patience to wait for the release of J.B.'s upcoming book about Pinocchio. When  it comes to Snow White, the wait was worth it. Get that book today.

1 comment:

Todd J. Pierce said...

Very much looking forward to this.

And also, love the nod to Borges.