Tuesday, March 24, 2009

They say, "don't judge a book by its cover." And in the case of the upcoming book The Little Mermaid: From the Deep Blue Sea to the Great White Way by Michael Lassell, boy are they right. I have tried to scan it above (without success as it glitters). Frankly the "kitschyness" of it is difficult to describe. Which is exactly why you should not judge this book by its cover.

Once you open it - and if you are even interested in The Little Mermaid musical - you will discover a very good book. The text is easily readable and tells the behind the scenes story of this beautiful Broadway production. But what makes the book particularly good as is always the case with Lassell's publications is the excellent selection of custume-design artwork. As ever I am fascinated by concept art, design, and all the elements that you do not actually see in a movie or on-stage and loved the fact that Lassell included so many of them in the book. What did not hurt either were the large scale reproductions of Kay Nielsen's Mermaid paintings, although I would have loved to see some that have not been reproduced so often before.

Overall I would not rate this book among my top-ten of the year, but it is definitely a good pick if one of your centers of interest is Disney musicals. No stunning surpises but one can't expect a new volume of The Disney Archives Series or a new Canemaker book every day, so one has to make do with an ugly cover and a good book.

No comments: