Walt in Wonderland

Walt in Wonderland : The Silent Films of Walt Disney

4.21 (41 ratings by Goodreads)
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During the Roaring Twenties - from 1921 through 1928 - Walt Disney and his friends made more than 90 silent cartoons, turning them out as often as one or two every month. Years before Mickey Mouse, the young entrepreneur recruited and nurtured an extraordinary array of talent that included Ubbe Iwerks, Rudy Ising, Carl Stalling, Hugh Harman, and Friz Freleng - men who in later years played crucial roles in creating the golden era of Disney, Warner Brothers and MGM cartoons. Drawing on interviews with Disney's co-workers, Disney's business papers, and correspondence, this text reconstructs Disney's silent film career and places his early films in critical perspective. The Disney silents reveal a director taking his first tentative steps, then gathering confidence and exploring new avenues of expression with images that are still fresh and exhilarating today. They bear out the intuition of common sense - that Mickey Mouse and the Silly Symphonies were not created in a vacuum, and that Disney was developing his gifts as a producer from the beginning.
They also reveal a director learning from the work of the best silent film-makers of the time - not only rival animators, but live-action directors and comic strip characters as well. Disney's sources ranged from Buster Keaton and Felix the Cat to Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino, Tom Mix, Barney Google, and the Big Parade. Through it all, Disney's gift for creating witty gags and charming characters become immediately apparent. So do his skills as a teacher, and his growing interest in the macabre and even the sado-masochistic.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 241.3 x 276.86 x 20.32mm | 2,948.34g
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • English
  • John Hopkins Pbk ed.
  • 156 b&w illustrations, 16 colour illustrations
  • 0801849071
  • 9780801849077

Review quote

"A scholarly and entertaining book that is a combination of film critique, studio history and oral history illustrated with wonderful original animation drawings, storyboards and rare photos."--'New York Times Book Review' "Scholarship has rarely been so engaging and charming as in Merritt and Kaufman's detailed study of the silent film animation of Walt Disney. The work is, simply, wonderful."--'Choice'
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Rating details

41 ratings
4.21 out of 5 stars
5 46% (19)
4 34% (14)
3 15% (6)
2 5% (2)
1 0% (0)
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