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The Art of Walt Disney: From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms and Beyond

4.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,361 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
First published in 1973, The Art of Walt Disney is one of the most successful and influential illustrated art books on American popular culture ever published. This book was the first to reveal the wealth of concept art, animation drawings, and archival material created in the course of animating films. In this newly revised edition, author Christopher Finch has thoroughly ...more
Hardcover, 504 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 1973)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,889)
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Sesana
Apr 05, 2012 Sesana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This, apparently the most recent edition of The Art of Walt Disney, dates from 2004. For context, that was the year Home on the Range and Incredibles was released. California Adventure and DisneySea were still new, and Hong Kong Disneyland was on the verge of opening.

This book tries to cover a lot. Way too much, probably. Why bother covering The Disney Afternoon if you can only give it a few paragraphs, and most of the shows only get one sentence? The individual parks get more, better, and more
...more
Tracey
Oct 14, 2008 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: disney
[NOTE: I am reading the 1973 version, so the last movie referenced is The Aristocats

A massive coffee-table format book that delves into history of the Walt Disney Studios through the artwork of its cartoon shorts, movies, live-action films and the theme parks. While the author is a bit of a Disney apologist, I found the text fairly engaging, and the artwork astounding - I especially enjoyed the two-page foldouts.

The final chapters dealing with the theme parks - Disneyland and the newly-opened
...more
Vimacone
Jun 30, 2014 Vimacone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: disney-history
There have been several updated versions over the years. The one that I have is the original 1973 version, which is what I'll be describing. There are several production sketches and drawings which I haven't seen published in any other book. In the section on the features, more attention is given to Snow White, Pinocchio, and Fantasia than any other feature which shouldn't be too surprising since those were the first 3 films which were made when the quality if Disney animation was at its pinnacl ...more
Koen Kop
Nov 03, 2014 Koen Kop rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of the most beautiful and educative books I ever read. Shows you how f.i. "Snow White" came to be not simply an astounding movie, but one of the 20th century's major works of art. (I lent this wonderful (and very expensive) book, a birthday gift from a cherished ex-loved one, to my then girlfriend's brother more than twenty years ago, under the explicit condition that I wanted it back within three months ... I'm still waiting ... the bastard!)
Rick Ludwig
This was an excellent treatment of the output of the Disney organization from the days of Walt's personal leadership to the present. When you see it all before you in one beautiful package the impact is tremendous. Even the commercial failures , which were many and were described as such in the book, always led to something new and to the development of new talent within this organization. By emphasizing the work, more than the personalities, the author painted a very interesting and valuable pi ...more
Sandra
In truth, I mostly picked up this book because of all the illustrations. There were so many, and they are beautiful. But the book itself proved fun, too, talking about Walt Disney's life and the movies he made during his lifetime. The background information was interesting, and I learned a few new things about Disney and animation that I hadn't come across before.

I'd have given the book 5 stars, but the Dutch translation was a bit stiff, and sometimes the author seemed to lack a bit of depth in
...more
Roy Gloeckl
Jan 25, 2013 Roy Gloeckl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an absolutely fascinating read. The background information on the films, animated and live-action, as well as the parks all around the world, are exactly what any Disney fan would want to read.

There were a few moments when I thought there could have been less synopsis of a movie and more background information. In fact, some movies seemed to get *just* a synopsis and the author's opinion, no background information at all. That brings me to the other thing that kind of grated on my nerve
...more
Rebecca
This huge book (500 pages, coffee table size, $85.00) is revised for 2011 to include Pixar, and would be a great gift for any Disney (or art) fan. I especially love to see attention given to the lighting, color palette, story boards, art direction, and the great work of the artists who work on concept, development, backgrounds, and everything else that gives an animated movie its mood and feel. And though I love the Pixar movies too, there is something much less compelling about a series of stil ...more
Yoshiki Omagari
Jan 04, 2013 Yoshiki Omagari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
Actually, I did not choose this book. On this site, I could not find my book I read. My book is sold recently. Moreover, this book is made in Japan. Therefore, this site does not include this book.

Title: Words of Walt Disney

-Disney Campany, Level (maybe)3
-Time 2013/1/04=120 min
-7word summary:Born-animation-brother-Disney-lost-Mickey-world
-Discussion questions
1.Walt said, "The era we are living in today is a dream coming true."
What dream do (did) you have, and will (did) the dream come true?
My dr
...more
Violetta
Apr 30, 2012 Violetta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took a while to get through this one (3 weeks for me, I think). The narrative that goes along with the photographs and other images was very informative, but felt rather unbalanced in which topics were fully explored and which were glossed over. For example, Pocahontas gets a few paragraphs of explanation (mostly discussing the novelty of the film and the character development), but Mulan gets less than one paragraph to herself (mostly expounding the plot instead of any social or technical ad ...more
Marrie *I Only Date Fictional Boys*
This book was a very informative, easy read that mainly centered upon earlier Disney films and the early days of the parks, since it was written in the 70's. I learned a lot about Disney's life and films that I never knew. I think it's a must read for any die-hard Disney fan.
Marcus Matossian
This is one of my most memorable childhood books.

Growing up I've always been interested in understanding animation and the art behind it. And in 1993 I remember going to Library Antoine and seeing this thick heavy book of around 500 pages filled with illustrations from early Disney till The little mermaid and going crazy over buying it!

I remember saving money from my allowance and begging my mom to take me back to the store to buy it!

It's an amazing book about Walter Elias Disney, his beginning
...more
Jodi
Oct 09, 2015 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love my copy of The Art of Walt Disney,

First edition has a brilliant biography of Walt and his family at the beginning, more of a coffee table book than one you will sit and read in one go but I have finished now ;)
Maria
Feb 12, 2014 Maria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading anything about Walt Disney. He was a genius! This book is very outdated though but it brings back nostalgia from when I grew up going to Disneyland and watching all of the movies and shows from the 1950s to 1970s.
Dean Anderson
Jun 21, 2012 Dean Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember getting this as a Christmas present as a kid. Well...actually it wasn't a present for me. I saw it in the store and showed it to my parents who assured me it was much to expensive. (I think it may have been $35, which I couldn't at the time imagine a book costing.)
All the presents had been opened, and there was one last gift under the tree. The tag said it was for the whole family, but my mom said I could open it. It was such a huge book, with lots of fold out pictures of the art from
...more
Machaia
Jan 18, 2015 Machaia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the 1995 version. It was quite a tome, but the information was great and the pictures absolutely made it!
Teri Temme
Oct 31, 2014 Teri Temme rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the 1999 version at just 160 pages - I want to read the 500+ page one now :)
Krystal
Aug 08, 2009 Krystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, disney, art
I'll admit, I didn't get to finish reading all of the text before returning it to the library. However, the artwork in this work is incredible. It allows you to really get a feel for the process of developing an animated feature, Disney style. The accompanying text is clear and concise, providing just the right amount of background for you to appreciate the artwork. I would definitely get this again to finish up the chapters on the live action and theme parks. I just ran out of time and someone ...more
SouthWestZippy
Jan 19, 2016 SouthWestZippy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, art, favorites
I truly enjoyed this insightful book.
Sue-Leigh
Aug 11, 2012 Sue-Leigh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting read covering a little of Walt Disney's life growing up and his feature shorts and animation movies, how they came about, and the thought of the theme park. Covering some of the animation shorts I watched as a kid and had to look up to watch again was fun, and seeing that not everything Walt did was exactly how he planned, but vision and always trying new things made him revolutionary in animation and film making.
Jeff
Jan 02, 2011 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My parents have the bigger thicker version, and I was thrilled to find this smaller version at a used bookstore for my own collection (as the thicker one should remain the family's). I pored over this book as a kid, everytime I wanted to revisit Disneyland I was thrilled as it was right there in my living room. Big huge pictures, informative text, fold-outs, just an awesome presentation. Go out and find it if you don't own it!!
Carrie
Feb 10, 2009 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have had this book for such a long time. I got one of the earlier editions for Christmas one year when I was in grade school and I've had it ever since. My copy is a little worse for wear, especially on the dust jacket, but it has been well loved and oft referenced. The list of potential names for the seven dwarfs (yes, the spelling is intentional) is probably one of my favorite bits in the whole book.
Lewis Pritchard
Mar 02, 2012 Lewis Pritchard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Loved this book!
It is suprisingly detailed on the early films but anything post 1970 is too brief and I wanted more on my favourite movies. Any of the artwork would look great framed on the walls at home.
What suprised me was that this book, authorised by Disney, covered the taboo subjects I thought would be dismissed. For example: racist 3 little pig cartoons. Devilishly, fascinating!
Christopher Jones
A great and indepth look of the man behind mickey Mouse and coultless (apperantly not) others. They got them all, with a tone that made me feel man-childish all over. With nostalgic screenshots, BTS overlays, and an understanding of Walt as well as his collaborators. This book is great!
Lily
Sep 11, 2014 Lily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was ok! It featured concept art and the inspiration for tons of Disney movies, and that part was awesome... But the part I didn't like was the part where it seemed slightly biased. The way the author talked about Alice in Wonderland, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Hercules made it sound like he hated all three of those movies. Other than that, this was a pretty good book.
BookScout
Mar 04, 2010 BookScout rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You don't have to be a Disney fan to enjoy this book, just a fan of ground breaking animation. Offers insight into the companies foundations and the growth of the Disney brand from tiny studio to theme parks. Full of interesting facts like what the seven dwarves names could have been and how characters are developed. A HUGE book to treasure.
Maren
Oct 30, 2008 Maren is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Sigh, I do love Art Books, and I do love Disney. Really the things those people do are very pretty and amazing whatever you cynics may say about 'happily ever after.' It's interesting to hear how Disney got his start as animation was a new technology and art form. Also, there are a lot of pretty pictures and concept art (I love concept art!).
Autumn
Jun 12, 2015 Autumn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-books
This is a huge heavy coffee table book intended for adults. It's well worth the $75 price tag, if Disney is your thing. It contains lots of history and photographs. For those that have little ones, be warned, there is also some topless ladies in black and white photographs in the front of the book.
Emma L
Feb 01, 2013 Emma L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This took me a while to get through, but it was worth it in the end. Every single aspect of Disney is covered in this book, in a thourogh but easy to read kind of way. I got such a nostalgic kick out of reading this book, especially seeing all the concept art. Any Disney lover should have read this!
E Moll
Jul 20, 2015 E Moll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It was very interesting and I loved the images. I would like to see an updated version with commentary on newer films as well.
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Christopher Finch was born in Guernsey in the British Channel Islands, and now lives in Los Angeles. He is an artist and a photographer who has had one person shows in New York and California, and he is the author of almost thirty non-fiction books including the best sellers Rainbow: the Stormy Life of Judy Garland, The Art of Walt Disney, Jim Henson: the Works, and Norman Rockwell's America. Rece ...more
More about Christopher Finch...

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