Tuesday, December 22, 2020

I just received my holiday gift. It is pure delight. Here is what I was able to learn about this little gem:

This book was given to all employees at Disney Feature Animation during the time they were making The Princess and the Frog, around 2008/2009. It's a compilation of the caricature show they had once a year. Ed Catmull and John wanted to publish it. Tamara Khalaf designed and curated it. John Musker wrote the foreword.

Apologies for the bad photos below. They are just meant to give you an idea of the content.


Monday, December 21, 2020

It is this time of the year again! So many good Disney history books have been released this year that picking the very best ones is a difficult task. In no particular order, here are the books (and one magazine) which I believe really moved the needle in 2020 (Note: I am yet to get Christian Renaut's new book, which therefore cannot appear in this list):

Kurtti, Jeff; Hunt, Vanessa: The Disney Monorail: Imagineering the Highway in the Sky published by Disney Editions; 2020.

Cline, Rebecca; Price, Charles; Allan, Graham: Holiday Magic at the Disney Parks: A World of Celebrations from Autumn through Winter published by Disney Editions; 2020.

Ghez, Didier: They Drew as they Pleased Volume 6: The Hidden Art of Disney's New Golden Age published by Chronicle Books; 2020.

Ghez, Didier: Walt's People: Volume 24 published by Theme Park Press; 2019.

Kaufman, JB; Hollifield, Jim (editors): 2020 Hyperion Historical Alliance Annual published by Hyperion Historical Alliance Press; 2019.

Blyth, Jeff: Polishing the Dragons: Making EPCOT's "Wonders of China" published by Bamboo Forest Publishing; 2020.

Lambert, Pierre: Alice Au Pays des Merveilles published by Huginn Muninn; 2020.

Korkis, Jim: Secret Stories of Extinct Walt Disney World: The World That Disappeared published by Theme Park Press; 2020.


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

I discovered this book yesterday on eBay and knew immediately that it would become a Hanukkah gift to myself. The description says that it is 152 pages long. I can't wait to get it.

I had never seen this book before and did not even know it existed. This looks like a special release sold only to members of the Disney Studio in the mid-2000s.

I will report on the book's content as soon as I get it.


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

According to this newly released interview, Don Bluth has written his autobiography and is looking for a publisher. I can't wait to read that book.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

This upcoming book could be really interesting.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020


I can't wait to read Christian Renaut's new book. It does not contain any illustrations but it relies on hundreds of interviews that Christian conducted with Disney artists since 1985. I have a feeling this will be a "must-have".

Sunday, December 06, 2020

I just received a copy of Charles Solomon's excellent new book, The Disney Princess - A Celebration of Art and Creativity, released recently by Chronicle Books.

There is more text and a larger variety of illustrations than in Charles' previous books and this volume will, I feel, satisfy both the wider audience and knowledgeable Disney history enthusiasts.

I am glad to add it to my large collection of reference books (although I probably would have recommended removing the glitter that the publisher decided to add on the book's pages). Paul Felix's caricature of Charles at the end and the dedication to Howard Green at the beginning are the cherries on the cake from my standpoint.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Two spectacular auctions coming up:

Heritage Auctions' Largest Animation Art Sale Ever: https://youtu.be/lV-M5FxNaWo

The Art of Peter and Harrison Ellenshaw: https://youtu.be/l5CopS3WeAM


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Here is one book I am eagerly awaiting. According to the site of ANAFI (and Google Translate):

[The first tribute volume for Anafi 2021 members will be Mickey Mouse Weekly - The art of Harold Whitaker: 1950-1953, edited by Alberto Becattini, a real gem that will surely meet the favor of the members. Between 1950 and 1953, the animator Harold Whitaker created for the British Disney weekly Mickey Mouse Weekly a series of splendid stories continued with mixed media: pencils and inks for the characters and color paints for the backgrounds. The volume presents, for the first time in Italy in their full version, three adventures (The Reluctant Pirate, The House of Magic and The Hungry Ghost Mystery) with the duo Mickey Mouse-Eega Beeva, plus the comic adaptation of The Magnificent and Fabulous Mr. Toad. All accompanied by an extensive historical philological introduction and by the cards of the authors (Ronald Nielsen, in addition to Whitaker). A volume of 128 pages in color, unique and unmissable, that enthusiasts and collectors have been waiting for for some time. Original cover by Casty.]


Sunday, November 22, 2020

There is one movie this year I would really have liked to see in a cinema (although not under the current circumstances): Pixar's Soul directed by my favorite director, Pete Docter.

A Pixar movie, directed by Pete Docter, about a jazz musician!? There simply could not be a better combination in my mind.

If the art book is any indication, the movie will be as good as I expect it to be. The Art of Soul itself is an absolute delight: it is full of concept art from cover to cover, all of it original and beautiful... Were some of those pieces of artwork inspired by Walt Peregoy's work on One Hundred and One Dalmatians? I would not be surprised if that were the case.

The bottom line is that this book is one of the very best "Art of" books from Chronicle Books to date and that I simply can't wait for the movie to release on December 25 on Disney+

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Not to be missed:

Virtual Talk | Imagining the Impossible: The History of Herb Ryman with Former Imagineer Eddie Sotto

The Baum Bugle, the research journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club has just released a heavily-illustrated special issue celebrating 35 years of Disney's Return to Oz. One of the great articles this issue contains (among many others) is an interview with Production Designer Harley Jessup by Disney Archivist Kevin Kern. 

The Baum Bugle is normally only available to members of the International Wizard of Oz Club (to find out more, follow this link).

Fortunately, the International Wizard of Oz Club has a very, very limited number of copies (no more than 25 I believe) that they have agreed to sell to readers of the Disney History blog and to members of the Disney History Institute Facebook page.

The cost is $15 apiece, including postage to US addresses, and interested buyers need to make a PayPal transfer directly to admin@ozclub.org.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

With the holidays, right around the corner, quick reminder about these great Disney-history-related books and magazines that have been released in the last 18 months and are worth picking up.

Full disclosure: I contributed in one way or another to all of them.


Sunday, November 08, 2020

Thursday, November 05, 2020

 Can't wait!

Friday, October 30, 2020

I just realized that the DVD of Tyrus has been released! According to the director, Pamela Tom, there are two ways of buying it:

[1) Through PBS.org. The cost on their website is 24.99

2) A less expensive option is $19.99 and can be purchased directly through me. The DVD comes in a cardboard sleeve and is signed. For those purchases, people can Venmo me at: pam88tom@gmail.com and should include their name and mailing address.]


Friday, October 23, 2020

Jim Korkis is not just releasing one book, but three this holiday season. I mentioned the other two already. Here is the final one!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

 Oh no!

Marge Champion, Actress, Dancer and Model for Snow White, Dies at 101

I had the pleasure of interviewing Marge a few years ago. The interview appears in Walt's People - Volume 14.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

How I missed the release of this exhibition catalog two years ago is beyond me. I am just glad that I was able to order it yesterday. I can't wait to get it later this week.


While this is not technically Disney-related, I know that many of you will love to know that Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol - The Making of the First Animated Christmas Special by Darrell Van Citters is finally back in print.

Monday, October 19, 2020

This book by Graham Allan, Rebecca Cline and Charlie Price is, simply put, unbelievable. At 380 pages, it is massive and contains more than 1,500 photos. It will take you weeks to go through it properly and to admire all of the details (including a few dozen black and white historical photos).

The reaction of my wife when she saw the book on our coffee table was: "Let me go through this page by page." She was blown away, but also totally overwhelmed by the first few pages about Halloween. "This is so fascinating, and there is so much in there, that it will take me at least until Christmas to 'read' this book as it deserves."

In other words: Not for the faint at heart, but definitely a must-have for Disney parks enthusiasts.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

I simply can't wait to get a copy of Pierre Lambert's upcoming book. Here is an exclusive preview!


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

 Heads up about another new book by Jim Korkis!

Monday, October 12, 2020

 I am happy to say that the Disney Books Network is finally back online after a few weeks of issues.

I plan to update it later this week.

Friday, October 09, 2020

 A new book I just added to my Amazon wish list.

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Do not miss today:

- An interview with Pete Menefee (thanks to Michael Goldberg for the heads up)


Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Jim Korkis' new book has just been released. I will order my own copy today.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

I have just received a review copy of The Disney Monorail: Imagineering a Highway in the Sky.

I have yet to read it (although it contains relatively little text) but it is such a visually stunning book, filled to the brim with exciting artwork and photographs, that I can already say that this is a "must-have" and one of the best Disney history books of the year. 

Congratulations to the three authors. This one is a winner!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

 I just ordered this new book.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Hyperion Historical Alliance (HHA) has some great news to announce today!

The latest issue of the HHA Annual has finally been released. You can order it at this link on Amazon.

If you like to read very in-depth essays by vetted Disney historians about little know aspects of Disney history, you should not miss this issue of the Annual (nor the previous one). I believe you will love it.

Please spread the word!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Really looking forward to this upcoming French Disney graphic novel...

Monday, September 21, 2020

A new podcast you may want to listen to.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Monday, September 14, 2020

Now that the last volume of the They Drew as They Pleased book series has been released, what am I working on when it comes to Disney history, aside from volumes 25 and 26 of the Walt's People book series?


1. 2020 Hyperion Historical Alliance Annual

The new Hyperion Historical Alliance Annual is about to be released in just a few weeks and contains two new essays by yours truly. One about "Grace Huntington in Disney's Story Department" (I am particularly proud of this essay which explores totally uncharted territory) and one about "Mickey Mouse's Revivals (1978 - 2018)."

2. The Origins of Walt Disney's True-Life Adventures monograph

This new monograph relies on huge amounts of never-seen-before material including the diaries of cinematographers Al and Elma Milotte, their "lost" autobiography, storyboards of many of the early, unproduced True-Life Adventures and a lot more. It will be the first time ever that this story will be told. The layout of the monograph is now in the process of being approved by Disney, and (depending on how things evolve with COVID), the monograph should be released by the Hyperion Historical Alliance Press at some point next year.

3. 2021 Hyperion Historical Alliance Annual

I have submitted two essays for the 2021 HHA Annual. One about "Bianca Majolie in the Story Department" (I have uncovered huge amounts of new material since I released that chapter about Bianca in They Drew as They Pleased - Volume 1) and one about "Walt Kelly in the Story Department" (including a surprising revelation about the origins of Pogo).


4. Walt Disney's Adventures in Music, History and Nature monograph

I have started researching the second volume of the "True-Life Adventures" monograph series. That second volume which will focus on "Beaver Valley" and "The Olympic Elk," but also on two parallel series that Walt was working on at the time: "Adventures in Music" and "Adventures in History".

5. Mickey Mouse on Stage and on Radio in the 1930s monograph (in collaboration with Libby Spatz)

Full of new info and never-seen-before photos of the Fanchon and Marco shows, the Roxy Theater show, the Stadler and Rose shows, the "Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air" radio show, the British "Meet Mickey Mouse!" radio show and a lot more...

6. The Making of Walt Disney's Darby O'Gill and the Little People monograph (in collaboration with Jim Hollifield)

Complete with an in-depth exploration of Walt Disney's trip to Ireland in 1946. Full of stunning never-seen-before photographs. I am currently awaiting the detailed diaries of one of the storytellers who met Walt in Ireland in 1946. Can't wait to get them in a few weeks and to get the entries translated from Gaelic to English.

7. Two essays for the 2022 HHA Annual

If all goes well, I am planning to research and write two essays for that issue of the Annual. One will be about Walt Disney and Hans Christian Andersen, the other about a proposed collaboration between The Walt Disney Studios and the French animation studio Les Gemeaux in 1946/47.

Of course, all the "longer term" projects are now progressing more slowly than planned due to the impact of the pandemic.

More about all of this soon... 

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Pierre Lambert's new book will be released on October 24. Can't wait!!!

Thursday, September 03, 2020

 A new podcast (Notably Disney) about the latest volume of They Drew as They Pleased. Enjoy!