Saturday, December 31, 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016

OK, I am finally able to focus on the blog again. Apologies for the short absence over the past few days.

While researching the career of story artist Leo Salkin, I stumbled upon the digital archives on The American Legion Magazine. They contain a few cool Disney-related pieces and I will be posting a few of them over the next few weeks.

This first one dates from October 1934 and is an homage of Walt Disney to The Stars and Stripes cartoonist Albian A. Wallgren.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The blog is a little silent these days as I am trying to complete or kick-start a few important projects:

1. Jack-Of-All-Trades - Interviews with Ken Anderson by Paul F. Anderson: The manuscript is now complete and if all goes well the book will be released by early February.

2. Walt's People - Volume 19: The book is ready and only awaiting the cover drawing so I am really hoping to see it in print in February or March.

3. I spent a large part of the last 10 days editing the first volume of the Ward Kimball Diaries (1939 to 1941). This is absolutely fascinating stuff. If all goes well this book will be release in May and maybe even a little earlier. We will see.

4. I also plan to start editing soon some of the sections of the Leo Salkin autobiography and diaries.

4. And of course I am hard at work correcting the galleys of They Drew As They Pleased - Volume 3 and writing They Drew As They Pleased - Volume 4.

I love it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I am working on the chapter about Tom Oreb for the 4th volume of They Drew As They Pleased. Some of the great drawings I stumbled upon while researching his career at the Animation Research Library were some wonderful designs for characters of Paul Bunyan. Unfortunately, what I cannot tell is whether Oreb created those in 1946 when Paul Bunyan was viewed as one of the sequences of the planned American Folklore package feature (which was later abandoned) or whether he drew them ten years later when the project was revived as a short.

In any case, I thought you would enjoy this article from July 25, 1946 (not linked to Oreb) which discusses the "research" process.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Disney Books Network was updated this weekend.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Not about Disney, but definitely a book I will pick up next year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

This just in from Theme Park Press:


Mickey's Attic

For all that Disney has built, there's so much more it hasn't built. Here's your nickel tour of the parks, lands, attractions, restaurants, and hotels that hatched from the fertile minds of the Disney Imagineers, from the 1950s to the present, but that you'll likely never see or experience.

Okay, mouse fans, time for some straight talk. This book is a pocket guide. You can't fit an encyclopedia in your pocket. If you're looking for definitive scholarship about Thunder Mesa and Beastly Kingdom and Muppet Studio and the many other well-known abandoned Disney projects, you won't find it here. Far from it!

What you will find, and what makes this book so unique, is that it's all here, every serious and every whimsical notion that Imagineering ever put in a blueprint, or on a napkin, in little digestible slices of Disney magic.

Did you know that Disney once planned:

- A "Tower of Terror" based on Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein—and then on the novels of Stephen King

- A brand-new theme park about the "history of America", with such things as a Civil War fort, a Dust Bowl farm, and a World War II airfield

- A new pavilion in Epcot all about the weather and sponsored by ... the Weather Channel

- An "Australia" section of Animal Kingdom to go along with the existing Africa and Asia sections

And I'm just getting started. The most obscure, the most truly forgotten Imagineering wishes and fancies are here in this sampler of might have been.]

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

And so, in no particular order, here is the list of the Disney history books which I consider as the "must haves" of 2016:


Ghez, Didier: They Drew As They Pleased - The Hidden Art of Disney's Musical Years published by Chronicle Books; 2016.

Kothenschulte, Daniel (editor): The Walt Disney Film Archives: The Animated Movies 1921-1968 published by Taschen; 2016.

Cline, Rebecca: The Walt Disney Studios: A Lot to Remember published by Disney Editions; 2016.

Neary, Kevin and Susan: The Disney Park Maps published by Disney Editions; 2016.


Care, Ross: Disney Legend Wilfred Jackson - A Life in Animation published by Theme Park Press; 2016.

Shaw, Mel: Animator on Horseback published by Theme Park Press; 2016.

Penfield, Bob: The Last Original Disneylander: Stories & Secrets from the Last to Retire of the First to Be Hired published by Bonaventure Press; 2016.

Levy, Lawrence: To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2016.


Pierce, Todd James: Three Years in Wonderland published by University Press of Mississippi; 2016.

Becattini, Alberto: Disney Comics: The Whole Story published by Theme Park Press; 2016.

Ghez, Didier (editor): Walt's People - Volume 18 published by Theme Park Press; 2016.

Korkis, Jim: Walt's Words: Quotations of Walt Disney with Sources published by Theme Park Press; 2016.


Kaufman, J.B.; Merritt, Russell: Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series published by Disney Editions; 2016.

West, John G.: Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio's Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s published by Theme Park Press; 2016.

If all goes well, I will post later today my selection of the best Disney history books of 2016. More soon...

Monday, December 12, 2016

After years of efforts, Ross Care's book about Wilfred Jackson is finally available on Amazon. Here is what I wrote last week for the back cover:

[Disney Legend Wilfred Jackson was universally recognized by his colleagues and by animation historians as the best and most thorough of Disney directors.

He is the man behind Academy-Award winners The Tortoise and the Hare, The Country Cousin, and The Old Mill and the director of some of the most famous sequences from Disney’s animated features.

For seven years, “Jaxon” corresponded with Disney historian Ross Care. In his letters to Care he discussed in tremendous details his career, his thought process and his work on the Disney shorts and features. These fascinating letters are a treasure trove for Disney history enthusiasts.

In addition, while preparing this volume, Ross and editor Didier Ghez discovered Jaxon’s unpublished diary as well as a series of captivating letters that the director sent to his family in 1945 during the filming of Song of the South.

All these priceless documents as well as Ross Care’s in-depth essay about Jaxon’s career are presented in this book for the very first time.]

Friday, December 09, 2016

Quick reminder about the astounding upcoming auction from Heritage Auctions (December 11). You can see the catalog at this link.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

This just in from Todd James Pierce:

[I know that Bob has been working on this book for years--about his experiences as the last member of Club 55 to retire. He was hired when Disneyland opened, worked with Walt and has a window on Main Street. (I also understand that there's a hardback version that will be available later this month.)]

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

This just in from Bob McLain from Theme Park Press. The book is available at this link.

[Who Let the Mouse Out of the Bag?

In a vault deep beneath Main Street, U.S.A., under princess lock and skeleton key, Disney keeps its big, forbidden book of secrets. This isn't that book. But it's probably the closest we'll ever get to the tales that Disney doesn't tell about your favorite theme park attractions.

For most guests at a Disney theme park, it's enough to know when the park opens, where the rides are, and how long it'll take to get on those rides.

But that's not you, is it? You're not a low-information guest.

You know that a Disney attraction doesn't just pop up in a park one day, no questions asked. There's a method to the magic, a plan for making all that pixie dust happen, a high-stakes, high-thrills narrative available—once upon a time—to insiders only. Now it's demystified for one and all.

Put down that FastPass. You won't need it. You're in the right queue for E-ticket adventures behind the scenes at the Jungle Cruise, the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, and many more. Boarding now...

Disney Demystified! When the mystery ends, the magic really begins!]

Monday, December 05, 2016

David Peake just stumbled upon this link which gives us a glimpse into various exciting books to come. Those I am most looking forward to are:

Ink & Paint - The Women of Walt Disney's Animation by Mindy Johnson (Sept. 5, 2017)

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit - The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons by David Bossert and David Gerstein (August 29, 2017)

Travels with Walt Disney - A Photographic Voyage Around the World by Jeff Kurtti (July 25, 2017)

A Kiss Goodnight by Richard Sherman, illustrated by Floyd Norman (August 22, 2017)

Shanghai Disneyland - A Celebration of Dreams by Fangxing Pitcher (June 13, 2017)

Friday, December 02, 2016

I am currently working on the chapter about Tom Oreb for the fourth volume of the They Drew As They Pleased book series, and I am learning a lot, as always. For example, I had totally forgotten that Tom Oreb had drawn the cartoons that illutrate the 1943 Disney booklet, The Ropes at Disney.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

The last two years have been the best ones in a long, long time when it comes to animated features. From mys standpoint, Zootopia, Inside Out, Kubo and the Two Strings and now Moana are not just animated masterpieces, they are movie masterpieces.

I was glad to watch John  Muster and Ron Clements' latest movie this weekend, I was happy to see that it was a triumph at the box office, and I was delighted to receive this week a review copy of The Art of Moana from Chronicle Books. The Kakamora are my favorite characters in the movie and I loved seeing how the designs evolved.

I am biased, of course, but I have to admit that I love those volumes from Chronicle Books. As always, their passion for the product shows in every single detail.  Once more: kuddos to them!