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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 (1108 )
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4.5 (901 )
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1 star
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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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    08-09-17
    08-09-17 Member Since 2017
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    6
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    "Amazing biography of a great American Genius"

    a great bio on one of the most loved and revered businessmen and celebrities in the world. A man who built an empire by selling joy and wholesome family fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lwales 07-24-17
    lwales 07-24-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful. I enjoyed every minute. Must read!"

    I truly enjoyed getting to know this amazing man. This book was more than a review of his life. This book showed that with determination and grit, and a dash of luck - it is possible to fulfill dreams.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Socialight 07-20-17
    Socialight 07-20-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great!"

    Love it! Annoying footnotes but otherwise amazing and detailed. The detail gives you a great sense of the man.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin Alt Syracuse, NY United States 06-22-17
    Martin Alt Syracuse, NY United States 06-22-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Walt E. Disney"

    The man who gave his all and then some. A vision into the now and into the future... great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel 06-19-17
    Daniel 06-19-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Walt Disney, what a ride."
    Would you listen to Walt Disney again? Why?

    Maybe not revisit the entire book, but go back in sections. Parts that spoke about major instances in animation history were extremely fascinating, although some instances, particularly about his father, even before his birth were a bit too historical for my taste.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The in depth nature, and almost photographic telling of the story gives you the feeling that you are really there with Walt and the animators stressing about Snow White or Pinocchio.


    What does Arthur Morey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Arthur keeps a good pace, and is easy to listen to, I do not recall him breathing heavily or a change in the way the lines were read.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Sitting through this entire book in one sitting would be exhausting. Although this is a documentary of sorts, the stresses that the company went through feel very real, take time between each decade to think about everything that happened. Looking up names, places, and cartoons that I was not aware of was really fun and informational.


    Any additional comments?

    We all know Walt passes away at the end, but its insane to think that someone with that much money and influence couldn't do a thing to save himself. I'd suggest this book to any artist, engineer, architect and entrepreneur.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sarah veyna 06-08-17
    sarah veyna 06-08-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a great book!"

    This is not only an amazing book but also had
    great narration. I highly recommended it.



    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E F. Varisco 06-01-17

    Scrummaster

    ratings
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    7
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    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic and not sentimental"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Walt Disney to be better than the print version?

    Yes. I would find it hard to get through a book this big with the minutiae.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was not a sentimental view of Disney and you get the sense of how it was a long, hard slog for Disney to be successful.


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

    N/A


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Bowser 05-23-17
    Mark Bowser 05-23-17 Member Since 2008

    Mark E. Bowser

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Powerfully Written about a Powerful Man"

    Neal Gabler has written a well researched book on a man who changed a culture and the world. I highly recommend this book to every Disney fan and business leader.

    Mark Bowser
    Author of "Sales Success" and "Jesus, Take the Wheel"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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