Walt Disney and the Golden Age
February 26, 2005 10:47 AM   Subscribe

What are the best books on Walt Disney and his Golden Age (the early 50's through mid 60's)?

I recently read Walt's People, a book collecting interviews with some of the artists that worked closely with Disney. Are there any other books that cover Walt as he built his empire (especially through the 1950's and 60's)?
posted by TetrisKid to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have The History of Animation. Not exclusively about Disney, but he's covered extensively. Good book all around, too.
posted by pieoverdone at 10:52 AM on February 26, 2005

The Art of Disney is very extensive, going back to the earliest days. My family had the original edition published in the early '70s (which I loved just poring over as a kid), but the current edition has been updated to cover the past 30+ years. The overview on Amazon says that the new edition still retains much of the info and artwork about the earlier years, especially the work surrounding Snow White and Pinnochio (which I'd say were the real pinncale of Disney's golden years, at least in terms of the sheer beauty of drawing and animation).
posted by scody at 11:03 AM on February 26, 2005

An American Original - Walt Disney by Bob Thomas.
posted by ericb at 11:30 AM on February 26, 2005

My sister, an animator, really loves The Illusion of Life--and I do too. It's beautiful, and it's by two of Disney's original animators. Expensive, but worth it.
posted by Jeanne at 2:03 PM on February 26, 2005

I second Jeanne's emotion. The Illusion of Life is frequently described as the Holy Grail of animation books, and is highly regarded as a book that reveals the splendour and genius of Disney. Another classic book about classic Disney is Nine Old Men, the story of the nine animators that were the foundation of the old studio. If you're interested in the art of Disney, Before The Animation Begins is an amazing book of the sketches done as preparation for the movies, and Paper Dreams is a positively beautiful book of old Disney storyboards. I love both these books.

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posted by NewGear at 2:56 PM on February 26, 2005

Of Mice and Magic, by Leonard Maltin is worth a look. Though it's not just about Disney or the time you're talking about, it's a good read for understanding the context of Disney in the world of animation. It's also got a section dedicated to Ub Iwerks, which is key. Also, Leonard Maltin is something like the official Disney historian, doing introductions and whatnot on DVDs.
posted by spaghetti at 9:40 AM on February 27, 2005

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