Friday, October 30, 2015

You know the day is going to be a good one when Michael Barrier releases the transcript of one of his fascinating interviews. Today is one of these days with Goofy director Jack Kinney.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Are you eager to buy a signed copy of They Drew As They Pleased - The Hidden Art of Disney's Golden Age for you or for a friend?

Here is the agenda of my small signing tour in Los Angeles:

Friday, November 20: From 11.00 to 12.45 at the Disney Studio in Burbank

Saturday, November 21: 1PM to 2PM at CTN Expo

Saturday November 21: 7PM to 9PM at Gallery Nucleus

See you all soon!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Two upcoming books from Theme Park Press which might be of interest to a few of you.

From the publisher:


Everyone knows Disneyland, but few Americans can name a single *British* theme park. Come across the pond to meet the UK's John Wardley, whose exciting career as an innovator of dark rides and roller coasters began with a simple magic trick.

Before he began designing such famous British theme park rides as Nemesis and Oblivion, John Wardley was a young boy brave enough to bring a flashlight onto the Clacton Pier Ghost Train dark ride to figure out how it worked. From there, he became Britain's foremost theme park designer, with over 20 rides to his credit for Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, and other locations.

Hang on tight for:

- John's early years as a magician, and designing special effects for *The Rocky Horror Picture Show*, James Bond films, and other productions

- John's early theme park projects, including jungle boat rides, underground mine trains, and the Scream Machine

- John's "meet and greet" with Queen Elizabeth

- John's unique working relationship with Madame Tussauds (the wax museum) to revitalize British amusement and theme parks

- John's later theme park projects, including the world-famous Nemesis and Oblivion coasters, and the revolutionary TH13TEEN wing coaster

With exclusive photos, this is the thrill ride you *read*!

=== ===


No thrill rides. Few characters. Great food and shopping. Alcohol. For many Disney guests, Epcot's World Showcase is *their* kind of theme park, and this first-ever, illustrated, pavilion-by-pavilion guide is *your* passport to everything it has to offer.

The World Showcase can be overwhelming in its variety and detail. Each pavilion is a self-contained "experience", with entertainment, shopping, dining, and even attractions and shows. With so much international flavor on display, it's easy to breeze past hidden gems and miss out on the magic - not to mention overlook that perfect meal or souvenir!

You'll learn all about:

- The history of each pavilion, with helpful tips on finding (and appreciating) its historical and architectural details

- The best places to eat, from table-service restaurants to kiosks, and what you'll find on the menus

- The best places to shop, with descriptions of each store and its unique merchandise

- Shows, "street" performers, fun activities, characters, and other pavilion entertainment

- Plus, the book includes your very own "photo album" with over five dozen shots of the best each pavilion has to offer

Get your passport in order - the "World" awaits!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

There is not that be be said about this book that does not yet already appear on the blurb from Amazon:

[This whimsical, deluxe Art Deco-themed art book showcases Walt Disney characters in a style reminiscent of caricatures from the famed walls of Sardi's and The Brown Derby. Disney Supervising Animator and Director Eric Goldberg drew a little more than 200 stylized images in a collection that first debuted as a display within the Roy E. Disney Animation Building in Burbank, California. Now with An Animator's Gallery, the show comes right to you.]

The book is a beauty and Eric's drawings are very enjoyable. That's basically it. Definitely not a "must have" for Disney historians but a great gift for casual Disney fans. Dave Bossert and Eric Goldberg have produced a very good book, but there are so many great Disney books that have been released this year that this one is unlikely to make it on my "top 10 list." I love owning it, though.

Monday, October 26, 2015

For those of you who focus on the history of the Disney parks, do not forget to pick up this new book from Theme Park Press, which contains some fun interviews with quite a few of the men and women who worked on / for Walt Disney World, including Mary Sklar, Bob Gurr, Jay Rasulo, Tony Baxter and various others.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Disney Books Network was updated over the weekend.

Friday, October 23, 2015

I will carry on reviewing newly released books next week, but in the meantime, here are two upcoming comic book volumes which I will pick up as soon as they are released:

- Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 9: "Rise Of The Rhyming Man"
- Silly Symphony, Vol. 1: The Complete Disney Classics

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Once again, I am amazed at how many great Disney history books are being released in 2015. It will take us a few years to digest all of them.

The Nine Old Men by Andreas Deja is at the very top of my "best of 2015" list. It's a book that is written with passion by one of the best animators of Disney's new golden age. Andreas not only has the artistic and technical knownledge which allowed him to select the very best animation drawings and scenes from Milt, Marc, Frank, Ollie, and the others, but he also spent years accumulating knowledge and stories about the nine masters more often than not first hand. The result is exactly what I was hoping for: a book where both text and illustrations are pure delight.

I afraid that this is another "must have". What an embarrassment of richess!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Before Ever After: The Lost Lectures of Walt Disney’s Animation Studio by Don Hahn and Tracey Miller-Zarneke is a revolutionary book. It is the kind of book that raises the standards for Disney history books overall. It's close to 450 pages long and when you start looking at it, you know right away that Don and Tracey tried to make every page special (they succeeded). Every document included in the book has been selected with extreme care. Most of the photos and illustrations have never been seen before, each of the lectures is special in its own way. The authors found a lot of great material and then started digging even deeper to find even more treasures.

This is the book I dreamed would be released about Disney's Training Program. It's "practically perfect in every way."

Of course, the only criticism one could raise, is one that could be raised about many books that are dear to our hearts (the criticism apply to my own books too): we wish the book were even larger and included even more of those rare illustrations and lectures.

Let's hope the book is immensely successful. I would love to see a volume 2 released some day

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

2015 is proving to be a truly exceptional year when it comes to Disney history books. David Bossert 's volume about Dali and Disney is clearly one of the highlights and a "must have".

Bossert managed to include in the book every single piece of artwork created by Dali for Destino, as well as many never-seen-before photographs. His text is also well-research and a very good read.

Two thumbs up. Five stars. One of the best Disney history books of 2015 without a doubt.

I just purchased this book which contains an excellent short interview with Disney live-action director Robert Stevenson. This is not a must-have but some of you will be love to know that this interview exists.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Another interview about They Drew As They Pleased, this one on The Mouse Castle Lounge.

The Disney Book by Jim Fanning is a marvelous book about everything Disney. It is not a book for Disney historians however, but a book for future Disney historians.

In other words: if you know of a smart kid that loves Disney and wants to know more about all your can think of in the Disney universe, The Disney Book is the perfect introduction to bring him or her as a gift. You won't find rare, never-seen-before photos, or documents that have been freshly unearthed, but you will find all the photos and images that we love and that will give beginers a taste of what Disney history is about. 

The layout is very enjoyable, the range of information covered is very broad, and the book is likely to get a lot of kids excited about the universe we adore. Not a small achievement. Congratulations Jim!

Friday, October 16, 2015

The catalog of Van Eaton Galleries' upcoming 2nd Disneyland auction is now available in pre-order.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My brother, who lives in Shanghai for the moment, has promised to pick up a copy of the catalog of the Disney art exhibition that is currently taking place in that city. I will let you know how good it is when I get it in a few months.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Vault of Walt: Volume 4: Still More Unofficial Disney Stories Never Told by Jim Korkis has just been released. I am looking forward to getting it!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Auctionata has just announced its upcoming Animation and Comic Art auction which will take place on October 14. A few interesting items in there, including this great piece of concept art by James Bodrero (not Preston Blair, despite the catalog's description).