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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Walt Disney…

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler

Paperback: 912 pages
Publisher: Vintage (October 9, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0679757473

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From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Few men could be said to have as pervasive an influence on American culture as Walt Disney, and Gabler (Winchell) scours the historical record for as thorough an explanation of that influence as any biographer could muster. Every period of Disney's life is depicted in exacting detail, from the suffering endured on a childhood paper route to the making of Mary Poppins. The core of Gabler's story, though, is clearly in the early years of Disney's studio, from the creation of Mickey Mouse to the hands-on management of early hits like Fantasia and Pinocchio. "Even though Walt could neither animate, nor write, nor direct," Gabler notes, "he was the undisputed power at the studio." Yet there was significant disgruntlement within the ranks of Disney's employees, and Gabler traces the day-to-day resentments that eventually led to a bitter strike against the studio in 1941. That dispute helped harden Disney's anticommunism, which led to rumors of anti-Semitism, which are effectively debunked here. At times, Gabler lays on a bit thick the psychological interpretation of Disney as control freak, but his portrait is so engrossing that it's hard to picture the entertainment mogul playing with his toy trains and not imagine him building Disneyland in his head. 32 pages of photos.

ARGH!  I was beginning to think I would never finish this book!   And yes it says it’s 912 pages (which it is)..however.. the part you read is 633 pages.. the rest is the appendix and “names to pages”.

Anyway..I wanted to finally read about Walt Disney.  I had wanted to for some time if the truth be known.  You see, I grew up watching The Mickey Mouse Club with “Uncle Walt” and then the other Disney show “in living color”.  So when I was married and had 2 sons and we came to Florida to visit a friend we made a special trip to Disney World… something I dreamed of since I was a kid, and something I never thought would happen.  So when we got on this “Tram” and we headed towards Fantasyland and I started seeing the “hedges” cut into animal shapes from Disney movies… the tears began to flow!  A Dream come true.

Over many more years I would hear things like: working for Disney was not so nice as one would think.  Then I even met an artist who worked there during the years from sleeping beauty up to beauty and the beast.  He didn’t speak harshly about Walt himself but the business didn’t seem to be the happy loving place that was expected.

Reading this book cleared a bunch of that up.  I think I understand Walt Disney more now and although I can’t say I understand all his “mood changes”..I can say that I do believe he was a genius in kids body.  It was almost like he was born just to do the things that he did. 

But..it was not a book written in such a way that you rushed back after you set the book down. Parts were a little long in the tooth, but still I felt I was always learning to understand the mind of Walt Disney…but I am also sure NO ONE could ever really understand his genius mind.

So…bad eyes and all I am finally going to being another book!  This one was so big and I have been reading so slow that I only read 2 complete books last month!  Had I finished this one day sooner !….lol  isn’t that always the way? lol

3 Comments:

Blogger OldLady Of The Hills said...

Such a l-o-n-g book! WOW! I have always heard story's about Disney's toughness and his Anti-Semitism.

I would really need to read this section of the book to see why Gabler says that Disney was NOT Anti-Semitic. And I say this as someone who has always heard about Disney's dislike of Jews, since I was a young child.....
That he was a Genius goes without saying....An amazing man who created a world of fantasy that lives on and on, today.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Kailana said...

I have this and have to admit I have been a bit daunted for years with the size! Did you see Saving Mr. Banks, Pat?

1:07 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

I love reading about these biographies of Hollywood stars you read, Pat. This one sounds not bad but over-long? Interesting subject though.

4:08 AM  

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