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Walt Disney Audiobook

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

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Publisher's Summary

Seven years in the making and meticulously researched - Gabler is the first writer to be given complete access to the Disney archives - this is the full story of a man whose work left an ineradicable brand on our culture but whose life has largely been enshrouded in myth.

Gabler shows us the young Walt Disney breaking free of a heartland childhood of discipline and deprivation and making his way to Hollywood. We see the visionary, whose desire for escape honed an innate sense of what people wanted to see on the screen and, when combined with iron determination and obsessive perfectionism, led him to the reinvention of animation. It was Disney, first with Mickey Mouse and then with his feature films - most notably Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi - who transformed animation from a novelty based on movement to an art form that presented an illusion of life.

The author also reveals a wounded, lonely, and often disappointed man, who, despite worldwide success, was plagued with financial problems, suffered a nervous breakdown, and at times retreated into pitiable seclusion in his workshop, making model trains. Gabler explores accusations that Disney was a red-baiter, an anti-Semite, and an embittered alcoholic. Yet whatever his personal failings, Disney appealed to millions by demonstrating the power of wish fulfillment and the triumph of the American imagination.

©2006 Neal Gabler; (P)2006 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"Thorough...[and] engrossing." (Publishers Weekly)
"A balanced treatment of the man and his achievements, realistically assessing Disney's considerable impact and offering insight into the hidden, restless soul who constantly challenged himself." (Booklist)
"We've all been waiting for the perfect book on Walt Disney; it has finally arrived and Neal Gabler's done it. Wonderful!" (Ray Bradbury)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (731 )
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4.4 (552 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ernesto San Ysidro, CA, United States 02-11-13
    Ernesto San Ysidro, CA, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great!"
    If you could sum up Walt Disney in three words, what would they be?

    Great narrative about a creative focused visionary


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was already a Walt Disney fan but to hear his story from youth to legend was very interesting.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Johnson 12-19-12
    E. Johnson 12-19-12

    just a reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Accurate facts, lots of pop psychology"
    What did you love best about Walt Disney?

    I enjoyed hearing all the stories I have heard about the early days of Disney (plus some others) put together in a coherent whole.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That it's real.


    Which character – as performed by Arthur Morey – was your favorite?

    n/a


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It makes me truly glad that I never met Walt Disney himself to let him ruin my appreciation for his work.


    Any additional comments?

    There is a tremendous amount of pop psychology in this book. There's nothing that Walt Disney ever did that Gabler can't come up with some dark psychological reason for, as opposed to just letting the reader/listener figure out motivations for themselves. Sometimes we just need to accept that people do things because it seems like the right thing at the time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 05-08-16
    Chris 05-08-16 Member Since 2015
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    8
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    "Whether things are odd or things are quaint"

    The man Walt Disney must have been something else.
    At the end of the day this book does not let you Know him. One thing is for certain. One does not know what one does not know.

    Thank you for the Life Lessons and Legacy

    One dreamer to another sincerely,

    Chris

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey 05-04-16
    Jeffrey 05-04-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Truly inspiring and thought provoking"

    I absolutely loved this book. Though it dragged on a bit because it was so detailed, those details really make you feel like you get to know the man personally. Having just finished, I'm sad. I feel like I lost a friend.

    There is a lot inspiring in this book, but what I will take away is this: that Walt was a very imperfect person with lots of faults and foibles, but he managed to change the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Leinbach 04-13-16 Member Since 2015
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    5
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    "Fantastic Book"

    This Audio Book gives great incite on the life of Walt Disney. I was surprised to find out that Walt Disney was innovative on many things outside of film and animation. This book also shows that when you get the right people around you, you can make things you imagine come true.

    This book also exposes some of Walt Disney's flaws as well. It does a great job of breaking apart the mythological status of Disney. Readers will see a man with who like all of us has fears and weaknesses. This is a fantastic book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Utah 04-08-16
    Jeff Utah 04-08-16 Member Since 2011
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    "incredible, just incredible"

    Walt Disney, artist, genius, perfectionist, and master of Dreams. More than worth the time. He was a legend and, yet, he was human. This Biography should be listened to by every dreamer who wants to follow their hopes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse Potter Missoula, MT 03-23-16
    Jesse Potter Missoula, MT 03-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    "A fairly unbiased portrait of an icon"

    First of all, this is not a book about the Disney Company. If you're looking for a behind the scenes of all your favorite movies, this will leave you wanting more.
    The book is about the man of Walt Disney, with long tales of his early days and his emotional life throughout the first half of the 20th century. It gave me a much better understanding of his background and morality. It gives a much fairer look at some of the criticism of him and unjust accusations against him.
    The book does tend to drag a bit when getting into the internal politics of the early Disney Studio, with union issues and drama about how much they get paid per Mickey Mouse cartoon.
    But the final third of the book really picks up as Walt builds Disneyland and dreams of even grander projects.
    Definitely recommend if you want to get to know this American entrepreneur.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Donofrio 03-17-16 Member Since 2015
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    2
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    "Great and most detailed book on Disney"

    loved it! best audio book for Disney that audible has. have read them all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Hawryluk 03-03-16
    N. Hawryluk 03-03-16 Member Since 2016

    SpikeDelight

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Truly Engaging Biography"

    A truly engaging biography. When Walt was going through rough patches, facing criticism or potential bankruptcy (quite often, as it turns out) I'd be hanging on every word, as if what I were reading was fiction and I was waiting for the moment where the hero pulls through. The episodic way in which the story is told not necessarily chronologically, but by project, works hugely in its favor.

    I tried following along with cartoons, features and live action projects as I whizzed through this one, and while I ultimately couldn't keep up (I got through 1946's 'Make Mine Music' by the end) I'd highly recommend doing the same while you read this.

    I love the attention to detail that's expressed in this book without, like in some historical or biographical works, making it seem dry or unfocused- everything is in the service of the narrative and emotional core of the piece. Longest audiobook I've read to date by far, yet it feels like it's been one of the fastest to go by. An absolutely incredible read.

    Audible narrator is excellent. I wouldn't change a thing about his performance.

    [AUDIBLE]

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy 02-04-16
    Jeremy 02-04-16 Member Since 2016
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    10
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    "Disney the man, not the company"

    This is all about Disney the man. It shows his highs and lows. If you're looking for a story about the company and it's cultural impact, this is not the one. If you're curious about learning what was going on with Walt Disney during different points in time, this is the book for you.

    This first half of the book leading up to World War II is excellent. The second half of the book seemed to drag on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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