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)
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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