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Book Summary: The definitive portrait of one of the most important cultural figures in American history: Walt Disney. Walt Disney was a true visionary whose desire for escape, iron determination and obsessive perfectionism transformed animation from a novelty to an art form, first with Mickey Mouse and then with his feature films–most notably Snow White, Fantasia, and Bambi. In his superb biography, Neal Gabler shows us how, over the course of two decades, Disney revolutionized the entertainment industry. In a way that was unprecedented and later widely imitated, he built a synergistic empire that combined film, television, theme parks, music, book publishing, and merchandise. Walt Disney is a revelation of both the work and the man–of both the remarkable accomplishment and the hidden life. Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography USA Today Biography of the Year
Book Summary: Walt Disney always loved to entertain people. Often it got him into trouble. Once he painted pictures with tar on the side of his family's white house. His family was poor, and the happiest time of his childhood was spent living on a farm in Missouri. His affection for small-town life is reflected in Disneyland Main Streets around the world. With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this biography reveals the man behind the magic. This book is not authorized, licensed or endorsed by the Walt Disney Company or any affiliate.
Book Summary: Walt Disney is an American hero--the creator of Mickey Mouse, and a man who changed the face of American culture. After years of research, with the full cooperation of the Disney family and access to private papers and letters, Bob Thomas produced the definitive biography of the man behind the legend--the unschooled cartoonist from Kansas City who went bankrupt on his first movie venture but became the genius who produced unmatched works of animation. Complete with a rare collection of photographs, Bob Thomas' biography is a fascinating and inspirational work that captures the spirit of Walt Disney.
Book Summary: The range of Walt Disney's accomplishments is remarkable. He is considered the most successful filmmaker in history. He won 32 Academy Awards, far more than those of any other filmmaker. He revolutionized the amusement park and resort industries, and his theme parks have been praised as among the most outstanding urban designs in the United States. As Ward Kimball, one of Walt Disney's most prominent animators, once said, "At the bottom line Walt was a down-to-earth farmer's son who just happened to be a genius." Walt Disney spent his formative years in Missouri. Some of the direct influences of these years on his career are documented in this book. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," the first feature-length animated film to be produced, was inspired by a black-and-white, live-action silent film version of "Snow White" that he viewed as a teen-ager in Kansas City. A theatrical production of "Peter Pan" that he saw as a child in Marceline, Mo., led to his own animated version of the story. Born in Chicago in December 1901, he moved with his family to a farm near Marceline, where he lived from ages 4 to 9. "To tell the truth," Walt Disney once wrote, "more things of importance happened to me in Marceline than have happened since--or are likely to in the future." The town of Marceline was the inspiration for many features of future Disney theme parks, and the pastoral setting he lived in there is also reflected in many of his films. Except for a couple of years spent in Chicago and France, Disney lived in Kansas City from 1911 to 1923. During his years in Kansas City he learned the discipline that would enable him to persevere and prevail through the many hardships he experienced as a struggling filmmaker. It was in Kansas City that he trained to become a commercial artist and an animator, and Kansas City was the location of his first film production studio, Laugh-O-gram Films. Walt Disney's Missouri not only tells the story of the young Disney growing up, but it also paints a picture of the Kansas City he knew. With the bankruptcy of Laugh-O-gram Films, Disney moved to California, drawing with him many of his Kansas City colleagues, who would eventually win fame in animation themselves. This richly illustrated book describes Disney's Missouri years and chronicles his many connections and returns to the state until his death in 1966. The book also details two little-know projects in Missouri that Disney seriously considered in his later years--theme parks in his "hometown," Marceline, and in St. Louis. As his daughter Diane Disney Miller says in the foreword to the book, Walt Disney was "truly a Missourian."
Book Summary: During the final months of his life, Walt Disney was consumed with the world-wide problems of cities. His development concept at the time of his death on December 15th, 1966 would be his team’s conceptual response to the ills of the inner cities and the sprawl of the megalopolis: the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow or, as it became known, EPCOT. This beautifully written, instantly engrossing volume focuses on the original concept of EPCOT, which was conceived by Disney as an experimental community of about 20,000 people on the Disney World property in central Florida. With its radial plan, 50-acre town center enclosed by a dome, themed international shopping area, greenbelt, high-density apartments, satellite communities, monorail and underground roads, the original EPCOT plan is reminiscent of post-war Stockholm and the British New Towns, as well as today's transit-oriented development theory. Unfortunately, Disney himself did not live long enough to witness the realization of his model city. However, EPCOT's evolution into projects such as the EPCOT Center and the town of Celebration displays a remarkable commitment by the Disney organization to the original EPCOT philosophy, one which continues to have relevance in the fields of planning and development.