There's nothing Mickey Mouse about this terrific biography The definitive portrait of Walt Disney, the Dream-King.” —Washington Post Book World“Gabler's . Walt Disney: The Biography [Neal Gabler] on raudone.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying Ships from and sold by Book Depository US. Reviews. Add to Cart. My son asked for this for a book report on "a biography or autobiography". We claimed it for a coffee table book when he was done. It's a lovely book, very nicely .
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I really want to read a book on Walt Disney, and I'm between this one and Bob . One of the problems with writing a biography about Walt Disney is that people. It was a very interesting book about Walt Disney, and it was pretty cool to learn An in-depth biography of Walt Disney that shows all sides of Disney, his vision. If you don't want that kind of time commitment go with Walt Disney: An American Original. It is only pages. This book was published soon.
In terms of the time it has taken me to read I always wanted to read a Disney biography but I did have further motive, I picked this book up for my Disney extended project and found that it contained a lot of really interesting and useful information about Disney and his life.
It is great for information and it will put you in such a Disney mood! Take me to Disneyland please! Banks, I decided it was time to delve into the full story of the man whose work was so much a part of my childhood. I couldn't be more glad that I did! The warmth and humor that I remembered seeing in his television appearances re-aired on cable for the benefit of 80's kids like me were no persona, but a facet of the real man, and that makes me happy.
Thomas doesn't ignore his flaws, though--he gives considerable attention Being a "Disney Baby" all my life, and having recently seen Saving Mr. Thomas doesn't ignore his flaws, though--he gives considerable attention to Walt's temper, particularly in his battles with Roy, when Walt was hell-bent on tackling his next idea and his elder brother tried to get him to accept the limits of their often shaky finances.
Walt's no-repeats mantra coined after film distributors requested that he make a sequel to the 3 Little Pigs short , "You can't top pigs with pigs," kept appearing at moments like these.
The possibility of easy money to be made on the tried-and-true had no allure for him--he wanted always to find the next big challenge such a far cry from what the company has moved to these days, in acquiring pre-existing franchises and sequelling its films into direct-to-video hell!
Sort order. Mar 05, Brendon Schrodinger rated it it was amazing Shelves: Whether you believe that Walt Disney was a lovable storyteller, a great filmmaker and a bringer of joy or that he was a relentless purveyor of sentimental pap who was responsible for an empire that drained the U.
Most of this audience would be of the generations who experience Disney after his death in , but even I remember watching repeats of "The Wonderful World of Walt Disney" on Sund Whether you believe that Walt Disney was a lovable storyteller, a great filmmaker and a bringer of joy or that he was a relentless purveyor of sentimental pap who was responsible for an empire that drained the U.
Most of this audience would be of the generations who experience Disney after his death in , but even I remember watching repeats of "The Wonderful World of Walt Disney" on Sunday afternoons. And as a child I loved all of his work. But I still recognise the power that his legacy has left, which at it's heart like all businesses is to make money, and lots of it. I guess that is why his legacy is intriguing. I chose to read this biography due to it's length, the author's credentials and the fact that the author had cooperation from the current Disney corporation.
Why does the book length entice me?
Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination
Well if I want to read a biography I want it to be more in depth than the respective Wikipedia article. And sometimes I have read a page biography and thought that it was no more informative than just reading a wikipedia article. So therefore I see that there is a probability of getting more depth from a longer biography. I also liked that there was pages of notes at the end. It is extremely well-researched.
If I'm going to invest my time in a biography I want definitive and thorough. I don't want to have to read another biography on that person. Despite having the backing of the Disney clan, it does not seem biased at all. I came away with many opinions and a greater understanding of the man and his work, but also of the feeling that Walt was an asshole.
Well not completely, but you can see him becoming one over the years and you can also see what made him that way. I guess that it shows the success of the biography in that I went into it curious and with warm childhood memories and later life skepticism and came out understanding both of these aspects, but with a greater depth of understanding of what made Walt tick and how he became a messed up media mogul.
But I still have the same appreciation for his work, despite knowing how calling most films produced under his name could be argued not to be his work at all, especially in the later years. And despite knowing that he did end up treating everyone around him, apart from his direct family, with mistrust and disdain.
So not only was this book magnificent in that it illustrated the multidimensionality of Walt's personality, it also captured the times and locations very well. And despite it's density of information and people, it was intensely readable. View all 4 comments. Apr 24, Megan rated it liked it Recommends it for: I wavered between 3 and 4 stars on this book. One of the problems with writing a biography about Walt Disney is that people either see him as the lovable "Uncle Walt", or a driven and obsessive tyrant.
This book does a fine job of objectively showing you all the sides of this complex man. It also didn't hurt that the writing and research were exceptionally well done. On one hand, I loved all the details about Walt Disney, his life, family, and career. However, all that detail became weighed dow I wavered between 3 and 4 stars on this book.
However, all that detail became weighed down in the middle of the book when the author spent too much time on Walt's legal, financial, and political troubles, and not enough on the good stuff ie: Overall, a very interesting glimpse at the man who revolutionized the film industry and changed popular culture forever.
View 2 comments. Nov 12, Chris rated it really liked it Shelves: In my childhood, I was a Walt Disney nut. I loved the cartoons, I loved the movies, and I loved reading about the man himself, ever since I checked out one of those American Pioneers mini-novels from my elementary school's library.
The problem with most Walt Disney bios is that there's a hard and fast line that's drawn between them. Either they paint an absolutely rosy picture of the man fully and completely sanctioned by The Disney Corporation or they go in the absolute opposite direction, hi In my childhood, I was a Walt Disney nut.
Either they paint an absolutely rosy picture of the man fully and completely sanctioned by The Disney Corporation or they go in the absolute opposite direction, highlighting his anti-semitism and racism. This is the first biography that does an admirable job of splitting the difference, and that makes it a great read.
All the standard Walt Disney stories are included his hardscrabble childhood, "You can't top pigs with pigs" and so on but they're tempered with genuine insight. The best thing I can say about a book that was written with the full cooperation of the Disney family is that it doesn't FEEL like it was written with full cooperation.
Really stellar biography. View 1 comment. This is how a biography should be written. Gabler's treatment of Disney is thoroughly fair, engaging, engrossing, and professional. In short, a wonderful read. He leaves no relevant details out of Disney's life, yet I seldom if ever felt inundated with minutiae. The closest Gabler comes to delving too deeply into a particular area is during the long discussion about the making of Snow White.
However, it was such a seminal event in Disney's life that I fully understand why Gabler lingered over This is how a biography should be written. However, it was such a seminal event in Disney's life that I fully understand why Gabler lingered over it. It was Disney at his finest and most exacting. Gabler shows that Disney was nowhere near the genial "Uncle Walt" persona that he so carefully tried to cultivate as he grew older.
He was tyrannical towards his employees, and also towards his family at times. Disney's life was always about what mattered to him the most: His wife and his two daughters usually took a backseat to those things, although by his daughters' accounts, when Disney was home, he was an exceptionally devoted and caring father.
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It seems ironic that the person responsible for entertaining millions and millions of people around the world, was also a very lonely, isolated man who had few real friends and always seemed distant from everyone else. I think this is one of the best biographies that I have ever read. Jan 17, Andrew rated it it was amazing.
This was a really good book. As anyone who knows me and my family, we love all things Disney. So when this book was published I thought I would give it a try. But it kept me intrigued. It was written really well with a good narrative. It was interesting to read about how he was continually This was a really good book. It was interesting to read about how he was continually trying to out do himself.
And for that reason, Disneyland was his greatest accomplishment, his greatest triumph. It was something that he could continually update. His plans for Walt Disney World were also very interesting to read.
The Man Who Made Mouse Ears Famous
Jul 29, Wayland Smith rated it liked it Shelves: Whatever your feelings about the man, his legacy, his company, or his movies, you can't deny Walt Disney was an icon. It's an overused word, but it fits him. So does legend. This was a remarkably sometimes overly detailed book about the man behind the myth, and I learned a lot I didn't know about him, his movies, and his empire.
This book covers Walt's life from birth to death. One thing that I liked was Gabler dealt with the cryrogenic rumors up front. No, Walt Disney isn't frozen somewhere, Whatever your feelings about the man, his legacy, his company, or his movies, you can't deny Walt Disney was an icon.
No, Walt Disney isn't frozen somewhere, waiting to come back. As much as that might be an amazing thing. After the story of his childhood and his World War I service which I didn't know about pass, you get to his professional career.
The recurring theme for everything he did was that Walt Diseny was an idealist, a perfectionist, and a lot of his problems came from the fact that he honestly couldn't seem to see why everyone didn't see things like he did.
He rose from struggling artist to cartoonist, and spent a really alarming part of his career hurting for money. He finally formed his own company and his first big hit, the first feature cartoon ever, was Snow White. That, I knew. That so many of his movies, like Fantasia and Pinnochio and even Sleeping Beauty were box office failures, I did not.
Aside from his perfectionism, Disney's other big problems were being willfully ignorant of economic needs, and always looking for the next thing. He was obsessed with cartoons, then feature cartoons, then live action movies, and as he mastered each, he got bored and moved on.
Disneyland came about through a combination of boredom, wanting a new challenge, and a big obsession with model trains.
Not the kind on your table, the kind you can actually ride. Walt was far from perfect. He was a man of his times. He wasn't actively anti-Semitic or racist, but he made comments that sounded a bit like both. He got swept up in the Red Scare of the 50's and did some regrettable things. He had a temper, largely when people didn't live up to his nearly impossible ideas.
Disney was a visionary, and a dreamer, and a genius. The long time link between Disney and ABC comes clear. And I'll risk pissing a few people off. Disney died earlier than he had to because he got lung cancer. He got THAT from being a chain smoker. A man who helped reshape the world of popular culture died too soon because of a stupid, filthy habit.
If there's a better anti-smoking message, I don't know what it is. A good read about Disney, but if you're more a casual fan like me than a devout Disney-ite, this might be a bit much.
There's a LOT of detail. About everything. Jul 13, Louise rated it really liked it Shelves: The book has a powerful introduction. It gives the reader the expectation of an epic biography with an analysis of Disney and his place in our culture and legacy.
The book has many good points but does not deliver on this promise.
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Some of the promised insight is present, but is overwhelmed by facts and chronology. Gabler does a good job on the biographical outline of both Disney and his company. He describes the different pictures, projects, technologies.
He relates Walt's enthusiasm, level of in The book has a powerful introduction. He relates Walt's enthusiasm, level of involvement, and appraisal of each and the role of the main projects in building Disney as a company and a brand. We learn about his family life and something about his remembering people from his youth and childhood.
There is a lot of detail on dollar amounts in costs, revenues, bonds, shares, etc. Only rarely were current values stated, and stated relevance was even rarer. Was this an acceptable profit margin for the time? More seriously, is confusion about actual money in the 's. Walt's parents are in Oregon, not coping well the depression. Despite all the talk of revenues, salaries etc.
While he's heavily mortgaged, he IS maintaining polo horses at this time. In short, there is a lot of info on Disney's financials, but the dots are not all connected.
On the staffing side, I was looking for an answer that wasn't here.
Years ago I met a woman now deceased who had worked at Disney in the 40's and 50's. She said there was strict segregation of men and women. Women had their own entrance and could be fired for fraternizing with the men. This is not mentioned at all, but there are clues. There is reference to the "women's paint and ink building", the "women's cafeteria" and nude sunbathing on the roof doubt that this would be coed.
If what she said is true, this is a serious omission. Gabler gives us dots, but, again, no connections. Gabler alludes to Walt's nostalgia for the early days of what seemed to be an artist's dream studio with positive energy, creativity and devotion. This is a theme throughout the book, but there are stray sentences about long hours, pay squabbles and people freezing before Walt in these early days.
The main flow of the text suggests that the strike comes from nowhere and is life changing for Walt. After it he is difficult to impossible to work for. He fires people frequently. People clam up in his presence and develop strategies for dealing with him. Walt as a boss, and Disney as an organization needs a more cohesive treatment.
A bio of Disney is an ambitious project. Here is a man without a high school diploma who pioneered animation, sound, color, TV, and the theme park.
He had a great vision, energy and know-how. I know there are other bios, but have not read them, so I'm unaware of how this one fits in.
This is an important collection of data arranged in a readable chronology. It gives a starting point for others. Walt Disney is one of those figures that everyone knows without really knowing at all.
One of the primary themes of this biography is that even the people in his life who had daily contact with him, who lived with him, worked with him, even grew up with him, would have said the same thing.
He was an intensely private person, and one wonders how much of the carefully cultivated image of himself that was created and wrapped up with his films was a deliberate attempt to hide that private self. Disne Walt Disney is one of those figures that everyone knows without really knowing at all. Disney, as an individual, a company and a cultural influence, has had a lot of criticism over the years, but for better or worse you cannot deny that there are few people who have had the same level of influence on popular culture as Walt Disney.
And I for one like that influence! This is an exceptionally well-written book, lively and engaging, fair and balanced, and very readable. The descriptions of the creation of some of the films, most particularly 'Snow White', are incredibly detailed, and it's made me want to go back and revisit some of those films.
And go to Disneyland! Aug 10, Samuel Salzer rated it really liked it Shelves: Good biography about one of the great and most influential minds of the 20th century. Very informative, but maybe not the most captivating writing. Luckily, the life of Walt and especially his Mickey Mouse empire provides much amazement. Walt Disney changed the game and we are all sharing the benefits through our childhood memories.
It's amazing to think that Snow White was the first ever animated full-length feature film and was first introduced to the cinema screen 80 years ago. True success fo Good biography about one of the great and most influential minds of the 20th century. True success for me means creating something that provides value long after your death, and by that measure, Walt Disney must be one of the most successful people of our time.
Having been born almost 30 years after his passing, I feel fortunate to have received so much laughter and joy from his creations. Jan 28, Greg Bodwell rated it really liked it. This was a fun read on the history of film, animation, and one of the most recognizable names in the world. But it could gain from being a couple hundred pages shorter.
Overall it is a well-written, fair biography. Aug 27, Samantha rated it really liked it Shelves: Interesting read about a complicated figure of american history. As someone who loves disney, both media and the parks, it was interesting to read about the man who created it. May 08, Leandro Nogueira rated it really liked it Shelves: Really inspiring reading, even if you're sympathetic or not for Disney's projects animation, movies, theme parks, advertising, music, politics, engineering this book provides a deep journey into Walt Disney's career, his hunger for a new challenge, preferable if it comes as apparently impossible and and the ways he always found to run over the financial obstacles.
Actually his brother Roy was responsible for that part, but, anyway, What Walt did and how He did it is covered in all the negative Really inspiring reading, even if you're sympathetic or not for Disney's projects animation, movies, theme parks, advertising, music, politics, engineering this book provides a deep journey into Walt Disney's career, his hunger for a new challenge, preferable if it comes as apparently impossible and and the ways he always found to run over the financial obstacles.
Actually his brother Roy was responsible for that part, but, anyway, What Walt did and how He did it is covered in all the negative and positive aspects in this book. This book has a special flavor to me, once I'm addicted on Disney features and used to watch them before even learning how to speak.
In the first half of it I could feel like If I would be in an ancient animation studio, watching the arising technology, the imposed difficulties to produce animated movies in the early 's to 50's and understanding how much sacrifices are required in order to make a dream come true.
It sounds naive and common place, actually really Disney, but it does not mean it's deeply true. Feb 05, Bookmarks Magazine added it. Gabler uses engaging prose, numerous anecdotes, and firsthand accounts of the even Neal Gabler, who penned a well-received biography of journalist Walter Winchell and An Empire of Their Own: The book works best when he focuses on Disney's often contradictory and mercurial character This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.
May 12, Karen rated it it was amazing.
Walt Disney: An American Original
I have a list of 10 people living or dead that I would like to meet and Walt Disney is on my list. How different America would be without Walt Disney!
That term taken from the book. Lots of things in this book you didn't know about this man Did you know those shows are how Walt raised the money to build Disneyland? I'll stop now Jan 16, Elizabeth rated it it was amazing. Walt Disney was an incredible man - and after reading this book, I feel like I have a real idea of who he was, the good and the bad. The book goes beyond "The Happiest Place On Earth" to see the wonderful and not so wonderful parts of Disney's life and character.
Next time I watch one of his movies, I'll be thinking about what he was trying to accomplish and how he felt about the film in its conception and release.
I'll be honest, I didn't actually finish the book. I couldn't make myself. I was disgusted by Walt Disney. I wanted to read about a creative man who was responsible for creating some of the best loved memories from my childhood.
Instead, I read about a man who was a tyrant, who terrorized his employees, who took credit for art that he was incapable of creating. Yes, he came up with ideas and okayed everything, but he was not the end-all be-all.
I guess I couldn't handle the disillusionment. Dec 30, Jeff rated it really liked it Shelves: If you're a Disney fan, this is a must-read. His impact on culture is explained in a very tangible, powerful way. I must say I was surprised to learn how Disney treated his employees. I always thought it was a happy place to work.
His passion for excellence drove him.The story of Walt Disney is that of a true American original because one, he grew up living the small town farm life to the hustle and bustle of somewhat city life.
Despite having the backing of the Disney clan, it does not seem biased at all. Bruna rated it liked it Oct 27, This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Sadly though, I knew nothing about the man behind it all.
His previous books - one on the movie moguls, another about the ways in which the forces of entertainment have transformed reality, and a stunning biography of journalist Walter Winchell - document the lives of men who each became the linchpin in an aspect of the 20th century.