Posted in Non-Fiction, review

The Disney Book


Blurb: “For more than 90 years, Disney has captured imaginations with pioneering entertainment and storytelling for all ages. From Sleeping Beauty to Frozen, Mary Poppins to the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise and Disneyland to Tokyo DisneySea, explore the world of Disney in this exciting guide.”
Did you know that Walt Disney originally want to call Mickey Mouse, Mortimer until his wife said the name sounded too pompous?

Did you know that the Hawaii location backgrounds in Lilo & Sitch are actually watercolour paintings and not CGI/Animation?

Did you know that the first Disneyland Park opened 17th July 1955 and seven weeks later celebrated its one millionth guest?

No? Well now you do. And that’s just a snippet of what you will learn in this book.

Also, each copy of the book features a 35mm filmstrip from Brave. So that’s just a little extra to tempt you.

This book is split into three parts:


The first part is titled “Drawn Disney” and covers everything from Walt Disney in the early years to Mickey Mouse, to the Silly Symphonies cartoons, to some of the classic films we know and adore. As a lover of animation and how it’s made, it was a real treat seeing some of the concept art, the cameras used to make the films, and how the voice actors would actually act out scenes to give the animators an idea of how the characters should move on screen to make them look more human.  This section shows little surprises/links to other Disney productions to look out for in their various films, which I’ll definitely look for the next time I give them a watch. I greatly underestimated the work that went into some aspects of these creations, for example: sound. Bambi (1942) has fewer than 1000 words of dialogue. The rest is just sound. But it provides an excellent example of how much information can be conveyed just through putting sounds together.

The second part is titled “Disney In Action” which you can probably guess covers the live action side of Disney. There are mentions of Walt’s love for Jules Verne which lead to him creating his first made-in-Hollywood blockbuster “20,000 leagues Under The Sea”. A model of the Nautilus can be found next to Space Mountain in Disneyland Paris. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise was inspired by the classic Disneyland park attraction. Again, the detail of the design for the Dead Man’s Chest is something really overlooked on screen, but really appreciated when you’re aware of it.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a section on live action Disney without mentioning the incredibly fun “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” starring Angela Lansbury and Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. Both of which combine live action with animation, creating two of arguably the best Disney live action films.

The third part is titled “Experience Disney” and focuses on the Disneyland theme parks. The idea for to expand Disney to this area came to Walt when he was sat in a theme park watching his children on a ride. The first Disneyland Park opened in July 1955 featuring 18 major attractions. By the end of its first year, 3.6 million people had visited. But Walt didn’t want to stop there and began making plans for a four-part theme park in Florida, also featuring the Magic Kingdom park. Sadly, he died a year after plans were publically announced. His co-partner and brother Roy gave a speech stating that the new accumulation in Florida would be named “Walt Disney World” so that no one will forget the man behind the creations. Two months later, Roy died.

This book combines all kinds of wonderful information and facts with colourful images and photographs that stop it  becoming just some old boring textbook.

This is an absolute must for any Disney lover!

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A proud Hufflepuff who talks about books and also tries to write them.

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