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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 (1166 )
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4.5 (952 )
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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
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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
  •  
    Redwaters Oakland, CA United States 11-09-17
    Redwaters Oakland, CA United States 11-09-17
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    2
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    "If you want to know about all about Walt Disney"

    The narrative can be a little droning at times and sometimes the narrator miss pronounces words. However it is a good detailing of Walt Disney's life. We learn about the bad as well as the good. if you are a Disney-ofile, you'll appreciate this audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas 10-27-17
    thomas 10-27-17 Member Since 2016
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    3
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    "Excellent!!!"

    Loved every moment of the inspiring story of Walt. Thank you to the author for all hard work for compiling this excellent piece of work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mike 10-04-17
    mike 10-04-17 Member Since 2015
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    2
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    "boring"

    not much meat to this book, you won't really learn anything from it, no nuggets of information about anything in here, guess that is to be expected since it's a biography not written by the person it's about. it seems like a long boring book of here say about Walt disney. wish I could get the prospective of the man's career from the man himself. that's is probly why this isn't a good book is because Walt Disney isnt talk I g about his ideas himself in tthe book. seems kinda more of a shallow perspective of what others observed

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ifiwereaudrey 10-01-17 Member Since 2017
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    4
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    "Great Book and Amazing Narrator!"

    I loved this book. I listened to it while in the car mostly so the 33 hours went by quick. It was interesting from beginning to end. I saw some people say that they thought it was not for people who are really big Disney fans because it talks a lot about his flaws. I actually liked that part even though I am a huge fan. I thought it made him more relatable. We tend to put icons like him on pedestals, so seeing their flaws makes them feel more normal which I enjoy. I would definitely recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christian Thayer 09-27-17 Member Since 2017
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    "A Wonderful Biography That Comes Off Dry"

    The life of one of my heroes, Walt Disney, is expertly told by Neil Gabler, but at times it gets very dry. Long sections of financial troubles and other such issues become very boring. They are important parts of Disney's life, but they seem to drag on too long. However, they are punctuated with wonderful anecdotes of Disney's life, some bad (like his tumultuous relationship with his wife), some uplifting (like hearing of how a mid-50 year old Walt would challenge people to sword fights while working on Zorro). Overall a good listen if someone is willing to put the time into it. As a follow up read I highly recommend "DisneyWar" by James Stewart, an exposé on the Walt Disney Company during its time with Michael Eisner, a way of seeing how the company faired after Walt into the modern era.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 08-09-17
    08-09-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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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

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