Thursday, February 18, 2010

An Unexpected Walt Disney Biography Book Review

I usually leave the the book reviews to the experts like George over at Imaginerding or Didier at the Disney History Blog, but I came across a book today that I wanted to share. What makes it so great a find is the point that I almost did not even pick it up. My daughter is 9 and working on a biography report for school. She chose to write about Walt Disney bless her heart. Her school library did not have any Walt biographies so I borrowed a couple from my school library. The first was a 20 page or so book and the other was a book of pictures. As I said I had really dismissed these books. After all, I have read a number of 300-400 page biographies about Walt Disney, what could these elementary books offer. Well once again I am proven big time wrong. The picture book was "Walt Disney His Life in Pictures" edited by Russell Schroeder with an Intro by Diane Disney Miller. This book, with the help of the Disney Company archives, has over 170 pictures chronicling Walt Disney's life sprinkled with many of his life lesson quotes in chapters broken up through the decades of Walt's life. Granted, a lot of the pictures here I have seen before but there are a number that are totally new to me. I really like the sweatbox series of pictures of Walt acting out scenes in Snow White and Pinocchio and there is a really great picture of Walt, Ub Iwerks and Les Clark taken late in Walt's life. All three men are laughing and are said to be reminiscing over a short they had all worked together on in 1929. There are some other pictures which I had not seen before. The quotes also are not the common "It was all started by a Mouse" type quotes, but more specific about different items as he moved through life. One that caught my eye was about a live action movie he made called So Dear to My Heart. This is about a young boy growing up on the farm. Next to another picture I had not seen before of Walt lounging on the bed of the old farm house of Granny Kincaid was this quote, "So Dear was especially close to me. Why, that's the life my brother and I grew up with as kids out in Missouri. The great racehorse, Dan Patch, was a hero to us. We had Dan Patch's grandson on my father's farm." I had known about Walt's life on the farm but not his feeling in regards to his upbringing and this movie. I will be adding that to my must watch list of movies now. This was a nice little book that unexpectedly added a little bit to what I know of the history and story that is Walt Disney. And, you can get yours right now on Amazon for .48 cents each.

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