Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Book Break: "Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination"

Author: Neal Gabler 2006
Twelve years ago, Neal Gabler wrote a great biography of Walter Winchell, the infamous gossip columnist who was really America's first multi-media star (newspapers and radio). Gabler, a fluid writer and impressive researcher, produced a compelling book, one of the best bios I ever read.
Now he's done again, focusing on Walt Disney. Don't snicker. This is a long, fascinating look at the man who made animation an art. Particularly gripping are the early sections on Disney's hardscrabble childhood and the enormous hurdles he overcame to create Disney Studios--and what he did to mine a brilliant level of creativity from his hordes of inspired artists. An epic story alone is Disney's decision to make a feature-length cartoon in color. "Snow White" was the brilliant result. Like Winchell, a very American story, and Gabler has done another excellent job.


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