WALT DISNEY: AN AMERICAN ORIGINAL Paperback – May 1 1994
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Top Customer Reviews
Many of Disney's friends gave up on him. Even his family began to think he was crazy.
To read that Walt Disney went through a very similar period in his life to what I'm currently going through was like giving me a light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel. It made me hope. And when a book can do that, you know it is something special, man. Walt Disney truly was an American original; more than that, though he was a person who inspired dreams, goodness, and optimism even in the face of terrible adversity.
Author Bob Thomas nicely builds his life from his ancestral French relatives and how they came to settle in Small Town U.S.A. Giving a sturdy view of his grandparents and parents lives, we come to understand the lifestyle and times in which Walt was born under so we better appreciate his influences. I particularly found it interesting how Walt himself can recall his own childhood with such vividness from the smells, sights and events that went on around him. Seems such a curious child but always with a hopeful attitude.
Once he began working in the animation studio with Ub Iwerks, his longtime friend and extremely gifted animator as well, we can see Walt's career unfolding. The small nuances of the transitions between the Alice comedies and Oswald and Mickey always seemed vague to me, however, this book discussed those moments which became clearer. How Roy came aboard to help Walt is also better understood from this book.
When Walt finally broke ground with Steamboat Willie and Mickey Mouse became a household name, Bob Thomas began already looking towards the theme park as Disney's ultimatum in life. As Walt began preparing the actual construction for the theme park, the author leads us to believe that everything that pre-dated the idea was all for a theme park. From this he began to neglect the animation department and the films themselves.Read more ›
Tracing his life from birth to his first interests in cartooning, to Laugh-O-Grams, to Mickey Mouse and beyond, this book got inside the personality of Walt himself. It really gave me a sense of what kind of man he was: Hard working, loving, focused, motivated, and always willing to look ahead to tomorrow. You'll look at the Disney empire in a totally different way and feel like you know what Walt would and would not have done with the business had he lived on.
If you want to take a trip back to a time when the name Disney meant quality family entertainment and a vision for a better tomorrow or if you just want a well written biography of a man that helped to change the world, look no further than this book.
Bob Thomas offers a touching tribute to the man who did so much to bring joy to others and change people's way of thinking. Thomas, who over the years conducted several interviews with Walt, wrote this book from a reporter's point of view, but with respect to the legacy of Walt Disney.
Walt was known as a champion risk-taker and never stopped thinking of what the future held. From his earliest days in Marceline, Missouri, Walt possessed the ability to get what he wanted from the people around him, and the ability to continue when life hit him hard.
Most know and remember Walt Disney as the creator of Mickey Mouse and Disneyland, but few realize just how hard it was for him to reach the top. Walt overcame many battles, and Thomas illustrates that in detail by including excerpts from interviews and material from the Disney Archives. Walt had to face a rough childhood, bankruptcy, disloyal employees, stolen characters, numerous creditors and countless skeptics before he encountered success. He always found a way to make things work, though, and brought joy to millions of people in doing so.
By reading this book, you are able to share in Walt's triumphs and losses and feel as though you have lost a great friend when it goes into his battle with lung cancer and untimely death at age 65. Upon Walt's death, the world mourned, but his legacy continues to live and will continue to touch the lives of children, young and old, for generations to come.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I am a huge Disney, specifically the theme parks. Always looking for a good book to read to discover new information. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Carling Marlok
This is an excellent in depth biography, that captures the many facets that made up the man known as Walt Disney. Read morePublished on Jan. 28 2014 by Michael Vecchio
Disney might have done more to win World War 2 than any other general, president, or any otherworld leader combined. Read morePublished on May 20 2004 by Carlos
This was a thoroughly riveting and revealing insight to the great man and his dream.Published on March 4 2004
Let me first say I am pro Disney. I read this book for personal interest and chose it after reading the comments listed below. Read morePublished on Dec 21 2003 by John Gilmore