Ub Iwerks was the largely unacknowledged talent behind much of what Walt Disney accomplished. He first met Walt and started to work with him in KansasUb Iwerks was the largely unacknowledged talent behind much of what Walt Disney accomplished. He first met Walt and started to work with him in Kansas City; when Walt went to Hollywood, Ub soon followed him. He created Mickey Mouse (and animated his first short, "Plane Crazy", all by himself -- 700 frames -- in just two weeks) and worked on Walt's Alice shorts and the Silly Symphonies as well before deciding to leave Walt's studio and go into business for himself. However, his cartoons, though technically excellent, never became as popular as those from Disney or Warner Brothers, and eventually Ub returned to Disney.
Here, his career changed, as he left animation behind in favor of invention and technical wizardry. I knew that he had played that role after his return to Disney, but I had no idea of the extent of it: the Xerographic process for creating cels, the Circarama and Circlevision cameras, matte photography, optical printing -- the list just goes on and on. Ub worked on films from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" to "The Parent Trap" to "Mary Poppins" (for which he won an Academy Award), and even Hitchcock's "The Birds".
The Hand Behind the Mouse would likely be interesting to any fan of film, but it's an indispensable addition to any Disneyphile's library. ...more
I like these little books Walt Disney Imagineering has been doing; there are also field guides for Epcot and the Magic Kingdom. They're full of intereI like these little books Walt Disney Imagineering has been doing; there are also field guides for Epcot and the Magic Kingdom. They're full of interesting little tidbits and insights into the design, development, and building of the parks, rides, and shows, and there are a lot of good illustrations (though I often wish the books were a bit bigger so that the illustrations could be a bit bigger). ...more