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
"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)
Great narrative about a creative focused visionary
I was already a Walt Disney fan but to hear his story from youth to legend was very interesting.
I enjoyed hearing all the stories I have heard about the early days of Disney (plus some others) put together in a coherent whole.
That it's real.
It makes me truly glad that I never met Walt Disney himself to let him ruin my appreciation for his work.
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.
The most enjoyable thing about listening to this book, is gaining the insight of Mr. Walt Disney. Learning how he developed throughout his life, how he had perseverance, and the struggle that he was against.
This audio book was very detailed, and it allowed me to relate to all the small events that took place is Disney's life. This is a must read for entrepreneur and business like minded people
Absolutely! Although the book was much longer and thicker than I thought, it took me about a month and a half to get through, it was very insightful.
He "sounded" like Walt, like I am imagining Walt talking and Mr. Morey played the part perfectly! Also, he was consistent the entire time throughout the book! Which is a feat considering it was 70 hours long.
The beginning intro, relating Disney to American culture and life was written beautifully.
When Walt created his first company....and failed....and his constant "girt" throughout his life to never stop moving.
And the ending...in which it was very sad and emotional.
In my opinion...the book was very long. Not bad, but I lost interest in many spots. It tends to go on rants about different parties and issues regarding Walt, rather than just getting to the point.
Else then that, it was a perfect book
His passion for creating Snow White. The people/workers who double crossed him. How his mom died. How he knew his time was coming to an end and would often get sentimental.
Very inspiring book. Walt Disney did so much in a time when the world was at war and America was just coming into it's own. The book is very long 33 + hours but well worth it. You learn about everything from his childhood, first jobs, failures, how Mickey Mouse was created, Snow White, Bambi, Mickey Mouse club, DisneyLand etc... Recommended!
I couldnt get thru the whole book the beginning was soooo long and deatiled about his childhood it just was way too much detail.
Very Talent and unique
listening to how they made Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the book.
The Story behind Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book which were his last to films before his death in 1966.
I seen the book in my local bookstore and after hearing that American Experience on PBS was doing a documentary about him that would premiere in the Fall of 2015. It made me want to read the book before the documentary air on PBS.
There is no way around this: this is the definitive biography on Walt Disney. The only issue that I had with it was getting mired in minutia. Nevertheless, after reading this you will have a full understanding of the man. The miss will melt away, and present itself not for the façade that some plain it is, but for the single part it plays in the life of a multifaceted person.
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