Tuesday, December 04, 2018

My good friend David Peake just emailed me to attract my attention on three books that have just been announced on the Hachette Books site and that will be released by Disney Editions next year:

1. It looks as if Becky Cline's wonderful book The Walt Disney Studio - A Lot to Remember will finally be "re-released".

2. A book titled Animator Letters Project by Willie Downs sounds intriguing. The blurb mentions:

[The Animator Letters Project is a book for aspiring animators that dream of working at a major studio but don't know how to get there. The nearly one hundred handwritten letters by some of the most creative animators and directors in the animation industry tell their own unique story, along with words of wisdom for the next generation of artists. In an age of technology, where texts, tweets, blogs, chats and emails are the norm, this book's handwritten element offers a personal connection to those in the industry. Get ready to be inspired by the likes of Pete Docter, Don Hahn, Byron Howard, Gary Trousdale, Roger Allers, Gary Goldman, Brenda Chapman, John Musker, Ron Clements, and Rob Minkoff, among many others. ]

3. But the most exciting new upcoming book on the list is Marc Davis in His Own Words - Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks by Pete Docter, Chris Merritt. This massive 384-page volume should be THE must have of 2019. The blurb reads:

[On February 16, 1962, senior animator Marc Davis officially transitioned from Walt Disney Feature Animation to a new division of the company: WED Enterprises, the group assembled to design Walt's new theme park. The move would be a significant one. After thirty-plus years animating classic Disney features, Marc would become one of the most renowned of Walt Disney's new breed of employee-Imagineers.
During Marc's time with WED (later Walt Disney Imagineering), he would become a driving force behind the designs of many of the most iconic attractions at the Disney theme parks. Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, it's a small world, Jungle Cruise, Country Bear Jamboree, and many others feature environments and storylines that were heavily influenced by his conceptual artwork.
Featuring work from the sixties through the eighties, this two-volume set includes more than 1,500 pieces from the Imagineering archives, the vast majority of which have never been published. In addition, for the first time Marc's design theories as well as many of his stories of working with Walt are featured in his own words as recorded during hours upon hours of interviews by author Chris Merritt.
Marc Davis-In His Own Words is a treasure trove for artists, students, and Disney collectors around the world.]

Monday, December 03, 2018

Last week I had the pleasure of receiving the two books Seen, Un-Seen Disneyland: What You See at Disneyland, but Never Really See and More Seen, Un-Seen Disneyland by Russell D. Flores.

While I knew that these books are not history books and that I would not consider them as "must haves" I was still very curious about them. I liked what I saw: those two books focus on small details of the park that casual visitors might not be aware of. They are very visual, well researched (complete with a detailed bibliography) and well organized. Definitely nice to have in order to enhance the quality of your visit to the park.

Way to go Russell!

Friday, November 30, 2018

I have just received my friend and fellow Disney historian Dave Bossert's new book, Kem Weber: Mid-Century Furniture Designs for the Disney Studios and I was blown away.  If you are interested in this subject matter, you have to get this book. The research is meticulous, the production quality of the book is stunning, and the number of illustrations is unbelievable.

The highlight from my standpoint are all the never-seen-before photos of the Burbank studio in 1940 (from UC Santa Barbara), including a fabulous one of Joe Grant, James Bodrero, Dun Roman and Dick Huemer in Joe Grant's new office.

From my personal standpoint, this book is a must-have.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

I was checking the Getty Images website a few days ago and had the pleasure of discovering those three photos of Walt in Paris. As you will know, if you have read Disney's Grand Tour, they were taken on June 27, 1935 at the Gaumont-Palace cinema in Paris. The woman on Walt's left in the above photo is Mlle. Vacaresco, President of C.I.D.A.L.C. and the man with the mustache below is Pierre Humble, director of the Theatre du Petit-Monde (see Disney's Grand Tour for more details).

I wish I had had access to those specific photos at the time I wrote the book!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

This just in:

[The Walt Disney Co. continues to fete the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse through a partnership with Chaos Magazine.

The deal saw Chaos Magazine release a special-edition “True Originals” issue that pairs Mickey Mouse with some of fashion’s top models including Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Karen Elson, Cara Taylor, Vittoria Ceretti and Shenelle Williams. The magazine will be on newsstands Dec. 3.]

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

I had the pleasure of officially launching They Drew As They Pleased - The Hidden Art of Disney's Mid-Century Era yesterday at Books and Books in Coral Gables.

If you have not bought your copy yet, now might be a great time to do so: It is available at a 37% discount on Amazon, and Chronicle Books will base its decision on whether or not to release Volume 6 based on sales of this volume until the end of the year. I have also pitched them another series of books and sales of the Mid-Century Era volume are bound to inform their decision.

If you already have the book, could you please, please post a review on Amazon?

Thanks as always for all your support!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Interesting video about the upcoming Heritage Auctions animation art auction...

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

David Peake just noticed that on the Hachette books website, the release date of the Windows on Main Street book has now officially been postponed to August 13, 2019 and that Dave Bossert's next book, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Visual Companion has been officially slated for release on the same date.

Monday, November 19, 2018

This just in from David Peake:

[I have a copy of Mickey Mouse Museum. It probably isn't a "must have", but it is "nice to have".

I was pleasantly surprised by the latest grocery store checkout magazine.  It does have useful information including brief interviews with some of the Italian Mickey comic book artists and the newest voice of Mickey Mouse.  There are a couple of photos I had not seen, and some artwork from an unproduced short: "Morgan's Ghost".  There is a Glen Keane drawing of a worried Mickey looking at Ratigan,  a reproduction of a newspaper cartoon about Walt's death, and some pre-production art from a couple of released shorts.]

Friday, November 16, 2018

Stunning auction coming up at Heritage Auctions. Here are a few of the highlights. Madame Upanova by Campbell Grant (above)...
 A beautiful David Hall for Peter Pan...
This Photostat caught my attention because of story artist Eric Gurney's initials under the drawing at the bottom right which confirms that he created this specific model sheet.
 Great Big Bad Wolf drawings by Ferdinand Horvath.
And some original art for the model sheet of Mickey's Service Station!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

This just in from Theme Park Press about the 7th volume of The Vault of Walt:

[Deck the Halls with Disney!

Those stockings hung by the chimney with care aren't stuffed with toys this year, but with a Yuletide collection of seasonal Disney lore. Put some extra Christmas (and Disney!) magic under your tree with Jim Korkis' jolly compendium of merry mouse tales.

The best-selling Vault of Walt series has brought serious, but fun, Disney history to tens of thousands of readers. Now in its seventh volume, the series features Disney historian and master storyteller Jim Korkis' meticulously researched, entertaining tales about Disney's films, theme parks, and Walt himself; and this time they're brimming with holiday cheer:

- The making of Disney classic holiday films like Mickey's Christmas Carol and Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas

- The truth behind Walt Disney's ambivalent attitude toward Christmas

- The story of how Disney creates its holiday parades, decorations, and
processionals in the theme parks

- The rundown of Disney's many Christmas comic books and giveaways, including Walt's early involvement with Toys for Tots

- The history of such "extinct" Disney theme park holiday celebrations as Lights of Winter and Port Orleans Christmas

And best of all: you don't have to wait until Christmas morning!]

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

 Two very interesting books have just been released in Italian. Can't wait to get them...

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The new Disney Twenty Three magazine is about to be released. A few good articles in there, including one about the making of Mickey’s Christmas Carol.

Monday, November 12, 2018

A few days ago, French animation artist Jacques Muller passed away, which is extremely sad news.

Days after his death, I learned that he had self-published a massive autobiography, which I plan to order very soon. I just realized that some of you might want to know about it, hence this post.

Friday, November 09, 2018

I am very much looking forward to the release of Ralph Breaks the Internet. I loved the first movie and I have a feeling (based on the trailer) that this second installment will be excellent.

The "art of" book which I just got from Chronicle Books only heightened my eagerness to see the film. It is full of fun concept art and new characters who look very promising.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Michael Barrier has just released his 1986 interview with Les Novros, Bill Hurtz, and Paul Julian. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

I realize it is expensive but the new Mickey Mouse Taschen book by David Gerstein and JB Kaufman is a "must have". The amount of new material it contains is absolutely stunning. The chapter about the unproduced Mickey shorts is truly revolutionary.

You can see a preview here.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

In a cafe in Lucca, my good friend Matteo Moriconi discovered this music sheet from 1933 owned by collector Piero Caniparoli. The music of "Topolino va soldato" was composed in 1933 by Carlo Alberto Pizzini.

According to a site about the composer, Walt Disney heard the music played in Rome on Saturday, July 20, 1935 during the special gala evening in his honor that he attended at the Roman Barberini film theater.

You can listen to a recording of the music at this link.

Friday, November 02, 2018

I love those two early British posters which I discovered recently on the web site of the auction house Bonhams.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A huge Mickey Mouse exhibition will take place at the Castello di Desenzano near Verona in Italy starting on November 10 this year. A catalog in Italian and English is being prepared and will be released towards the end of November. I am currently writing an essay which will be included in that catalog.

Friday, October 26, 2018

In the new Hake's auction there is a also an item that I had never seen before: a pre-WWII pig from Spain by the company Ernesto Cahn. By looking for more online, I found the three pigs in their original box. I will now have to try and find more info about Ernesto Cahn...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The new auction from Hake's contains a few marvelous items. My favorite is this specific piece of artwork. The caption (which I checked for accuracy before it was published) reads:

[15x17.75" frame contains mixed media concept original art for an unproduced Disney project adapting Rudolf Erich Raspe's Baron Munchausen character, specifically Jack Pearl's radio characterization. Art is by Bill Herwig, who joined the Disney studio in Jan. 1934. While all production documentation for this project appears to be lost, a 1935 memo from Disney's Story Research Department mentions a Baron Munchausen idea w/a list of projects in progress including a "Baron Mickey" listed w/story number "M 502." A few years earlier, Disney had begun looking into a way to splice animated sequences into other studios live action films, in a way to add to their exposure while at the same time minimizing the cost of producing a full length feature film on their own. MGM was approached about "The Adventures Of Munchausen" project, w/MGM's David O. Selznick noting that Disney's animation would be the perfect vehicle for conveying the Baron's tendency for telling tall tales. Sadly this project w/Disney's involvement never came to be. The film was eventually released as "Meet The Baron," a solely live action film starring Jack Pearl and Jimmy Durante. Offered here is a glimpse into what might have been. The wonderfully watercolored scene shows a magical kingdom, complete w/a multi-tiered castle (w/some roofs and walls made of Swiss cheese) set against a starry bkg. featuring many stars and a few ringed planets. Herwig has signed in pencil at lower right and art has been attractively matted to 8.25x11". Displays Exc. Superbly detailed original art from a lost Disney project. Rare.]

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

And I also received my personal copy of Jim Korkis's Secret Stories of Mickey Mouse and love seeing all those facts about Mickey gathered in a single volume.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

I just received copies of two of Jim Korkis's latest books: More Secret Stories of Disneyland and Other Secret Stories of Walt Disney World. As always, it is a true pleasure to get Jim's new books and to see even more little-know stories collection in physical volumes.

Way to go to both Jim and Theme Park Press!

Monday, October 22, 2018

While I did not get to see this exhibition in Paris, I was glad to get the catalog thanks to a French friend. Not a "must have" by any stretch of the imagination but definitely a document that I loved to get.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

I am curious about this upcoming book, which seems to include at least one section about Disney animation in Australia...

Monday, October 08, 2018

This just in from Theme Park Press about Jim Korkis' new book:

[Mickey Mouse! This Is Your Life...

In this one-of-a-kind "biography," Disney historian Jim Korkis chronicles the animated life of Mickey Mouse, from his birth on a train to proud parents Walt and Lillian Disney, to his upcoming 90th birthday bash. It's the full and complete story of Disney's forever-young mouse.

Most Disney fans nowadays experience Mickey as a costumed character in the theme parks. He has no TV show, no franchise of feature films. His heyday was before most of us were born. But Mickey has endured as a uniquely American symbol, and the best way to "meet" Mickey is not with an autograph book but with a fun look back at both his public and his private life.

In over 100 short chapters, Korkis covers every noteworthy event in the mouse’s life, including Mickey’s cartoon career, where he lives, whether he’s married, his suicide attempt, hidden Mickeys, the “men behind the mouse,” and much, much more.

No hype, no studio-approved narrative: it's all here, the good and the bad, the highs and the lows.


Friday, October 05, 2018

I have been waiting for this book for close to 10 years, since it was first announced by Disney Editions around 2009.

From All of Us to All of You The Disney Christmas Card by Jeff Kurtti does not disappoint: not only are all the Disney Christmas Cards from the XXth century reproduced in the book, Jeff also took the time to write short bios of some of the artists who created them. I also love some of the visual bonuses he included, especially the two Latin American Christmas designs of Donald and Panchito by Hank Porter, which I had never seen in a book before.

Way to go Jeff!  

Thursday, October 04, 2018

This huge book in Spanish about the Disney songs will be released in Spain in a few day. I have not seen it yet and therefore cannot comment on its content.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Friday, September 28, 2018

I just received a review copy of The Art of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse by Jessica Ward.

This is by no means a "must have." It is just a very fun book.

If you own The Art of Mickey Mouse (Hyperion, 1991), The Art of the Disney Princess (Disney Editions, 2009), or The Art of Minnie Mouse (Disney Editions, 2016) you know what to expect: fun reinterpretations of Mickey Mouse by dozens of modern artists.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Great interview by John Musker and Ron Clements by Kevin Kern from the Walt Disney Archives.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Call me stupid if you want, but I will pick up a copy of this autobiography this week...

Monday, September 24, 2018


I spent the whole weekend working on several book projects and I thought it might be time to give you an update:

1. I was reviewing the galleys of the 5th volume of the They Drew As They Pleased book series (The Hidden Art of Disney's Early Renaissance) which focuses on the 1970s and early 1980s and on Ken Anderson and Mel Shaw in particular. They look absolutely stunning. The book covers a period which has seldom been discussed in Disney history books and contains huge amounts of artwork linked to The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Rescuers and many, many more Disney projects, various of which never made it to the screen. The book will be released in August 2019.

 2. Over the past few weeks, I also wrote the first drafts of the chapters which will appear in the 6th and final volume of the series (The Hidden Art of Disney's New Golden Age), which focuses on the 1990s until the Present and includes chapters about Joe Grant, Hans Bacher, Mike Gabriel and Mike Giaimo. That is the volume that will be released in 2020.

3. Finally, I am finalizing Walt's People - Volume 22, which will be released in February next year and which will contain some truly exceptional content, including a short autobiography of Ferdinand Horvath (!), the complete Disney-related letters of Eduardo Sola Franco, and an in-depth interview with Gary Goldman about his Disney career.

4. And Walt's People - Volume 23 is also making good progress and will include an in-depth interview with Fini Rudiger-Littlejohn and with Jeff Burke among other highlights...

On the other hand, two projects are on the back-burner right now: the diaries of Ward Kimball and the autobiography of Leo Salkin. I am still hopeful that those two books will make it in print some day.

There are also a few very cool surprises in store above and beyond the books that are already official, including a fascinating magazine, a series of monographs and a "lost" autobiography from an animator who worked at Disney in the 1930s. I will share news about those as soon as possible.

More soon!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Dave Bossert's new book is now available for pre-order.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

I finally had a chance to browse the new Disneyland book by Chris Nichols and wanted to correct what I said about it a few days ago.

The book is an absolute beauty and, when it comes to the text, Chris really did his homework. So the question is, is the book presenting enough visual documents to be worth buying? From my standpoint, the answer is a clear yes. At first sight, I would say that I found that about 30% of the visual documents are photos or pieces of concept art that I had never seen before. I especially loved some pieces by Rolly Crump and some concept art of Adventures Thru Inner Space, as well as some beautiful black and white photos of Fantasyland. I am glad that I will finally get a physical copy of the book in two weeks. I consider it a "must have".

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Has any French reader of this blog seen this book? Is it worth picking up?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

I love this French comic book series and I am very much looking forward to this upcoming volume which has just been announced...

Wednesday, September 12, 2018