At the moment, Paul and I are putting together a longer essay. In the past year, the rhythm of our blog has changed: instead of weekly posts of a page or two, we’ve favored more lengthy and in-depth offerings of many pages. As we work toward a new essay about a Disney park that is buried deep in to Walt’s past, I wanted to post up some of the book offerings I think will interest you this fall.
(1) Walt’s People vol. 13
This series, edited by Didier Ghez, collects together interviews with the men and women who worked with Walt. Many of these interviews–until now–have only existed in private collections, university holdings, and the studio archives. For me, highlights in this new volume include an interview with Fess Parker conducted by our own Paul F. Anderson and a lengthy key-employee interview with X Atencio conducted by Jay Horan.
(2) The Vault of Walt 2 by Jim Korkis
As I type, this book is on its way to me. Korkis is one of the most knowledgeable historians who specialize in the history of Disney film and other projects. His articles are informed by decades of research and interviews. He has been researching and writing about the Disney company since he was–honestly–in grade school. His articles represent a culmination of a life’s experience of research. The highlight, for me, in this new volume is the battle between Walt and P.L. Travers over Mary Poppins. You’ll want to read Korkis’ version before stepping into the theater for Saving Mr. Banks.
(3) The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney’s Dream by Sam Gennawey
Gennawey, who is a city planner, examines how Walt’s initial dream grew from a relatively small park in 1955 to an international resort in 2013. Now The Disneyland Story won’t be published until next month, but as I understand it, included in this volume are stories about the second park Walt wanted to build in Anaheim as well as the architectural back story of New Orleans Square: specifically, Walt needed tall buildings so that guests inside the park wouldn’t be able to see the hotel towers being build outside the berm.
(4) The Secrets of Disney’s Visual Effects – The Schultheis Notebooks by John Canemaker
Last on the list is a book that won’t come out until 2014–but one that thrills me–a hardback version of The Schultheis Notebooks. A digital version of these notebooks are displayed at the Walt Disney Family Museum. They are–I will admit–my single, favorite exhibit at the museum, a photographic document detailing the process by which early animators taught themselves how to create effects, mostly for the features. This is one for the Christmas list.