Taschen’s Disney Book: “The Walt Disney Film Archives. The Animated Movies 1921–1968” – Animation Scoop

Taschen’s Disney Book: “The Walt Disney Film Archives. The Animated Movies 1921–1968”

This isn’t a review – but an unabashed plug for one of the most exciting animation book releases of the year. The Walt Disney Film Archives. The Animated Movies 1921–1968 is the first volume in Taschen’s illustrated history of Disney animation. Having some 1,500 images and essays by eminent Disney experts (including our own Charles Solomon), this oversized book traces Mr. Disney’s complete animation journey from the silent film era, through his first full-length feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and the pioneering artistic experiment Fantasia (1940), right up to his final films Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966) and The Jungle Book (1967).

With extensive research conducted via the Walt Disney Archives and Disney’s famous Animation Research Library, as well as private collections, editor Daniel Kothenschulte curates some of the most precious concept paintings and storyboards to reveal just how these animation masterpieces came to life. Masterful cel setups provide highly detailed illustrations of famous film scenes while rare pictures taken by Disney photographers and excerpts from story conferences between Walt and his staff bring a privileged insider’s view to the studio’s creative process.

Each of the major animated features that were made during Walt’s lifetime—including Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and One Hundred and One Dalmatians — are given their own focus chapter, without forgetting less familiar gems such as the experimental short films of the Silly Symphonies series and underappreciated episodic musical films such as Make Mine Music and Melody Time, all of which receive the same meticulous research and attention.

The spread on DUMBO. (click to enlarge)

The spread on DUMBO. (click to enlarge)

Many unfinished projects, among them the proposed sequels to the legendary musical Fantasia or a homage to Davy Crockett by painter Thomas Hart Benton, are also highlighted with rarely seen artworks, many of them previously unpublished. Throughout, the contributions from such leading Disney specialists as Leonard Maltin, Dave Smith, Charles Solomon, J. B. Kaufman, Russell Merritt, and Brian Sibley detail the evolution of each respective film.

Realizing the Disney style was a collective project and, as much as the master himself, The Walt Disney Film Archives acknowledges the outstanding animators and designers who influenced the style of the studio, among them Albert Hurter, Gustaf Tenggren, Kay Nielsen, Carl Barks, Mary Blair, Sylvia Holland, Tyrus Wong, Ken Anderson, Eyvind Earle, and Walt Peregoy.

Here are some images and spreads (click each to enlarge) from the book. It officially goes on sale October 15th (but you can pre-order it now).

Walt Disney took great pride in the sophisticated artistry of Bambi (1942). Copyright: Copyright © 2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Walt Disney took great pride in the sophisticated artistry of Bambi (1942). Copyright: Copyright © 2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

wolf-3-pigs

mickey-beanstalk

bambi-spread

tomorrowland-spread

jungle-book-spread

The Editor:

Daniel Kothenschulte has written books and numerous articles about film history and visual culture. Besides heading the film department of Frankfurter Rundschau since 2001 he is a devoted silent movie pianist.

The Authors:

John Lasseter maintains creative oversight of all films and associated projects from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. Lasseter made his directorial debut in 1995 with Toy Story, the world’s first feature-length computer-animated film. He subsequently went on to direct A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Cars, and Cars 2. Lasseter has executive produced all of Pixar’s films since 2001, including the 2015 release of Inside Out and Finding Dory in 2016, and has executive produced all of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ films since 2006, including its most recent releases Big Hero 6 and Zootopia. He is currently directing Toy Story 4.

Russell Merritt teaches in the Film and Media Department at the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught and lectured internationally on Disney, animation, silent film, and art house cinema. Together with J. B. Kaufman, he cowrote the award-winning Walt in Wonderland: The Silent Films of Walt Disney and Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series. Merritt was senior advisor on D. W. Griffith: Father of Film, a three-part series produced for American Masters, which was nominated for an Emmy Award, and has also produced The Great Nickelodeon Show.

Charles Solomon, an internationally respected animation critic and historian, has written for The New York Times, Newsweek (Japan), Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, Variety, Télérama, and National Public Radio and is the author of 17 books on animation, including Once Upon a Dream: From Perrault’s Sleeping Beauty to Disney’s Maleficent and Enchanted Drawings: The History of Animation, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and the first film book nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. In 2008, Solomon received the LA Press Club Award for radio feature reporting and ASIFA-Hollywood’s June Foray Award in 2015.

Mindy Johnson is an award-winning author, animation and film historian, musician, and educator. Her books include the critically acclaimed Tinker Bell: An Evolution and the upcoming Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation. Johnson has also contrib­uted to several volumes on animation, including Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man. In addition to teaching various film and animation courses in Los Angeles, Johnson writes, lectures, and consults for The Walt Disney Company, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and American Masters, among others. Johnson is also an award-winning playwright, Grammy-nominated songwriter, and a contributing artist on several internationally acclaimed recordings.

Robin Allan (1934–2014) was the author of the groundbreaking Walt Disney and Europe, the accumulation of 10 years of study on both sides of the Atlantic and the inspiration behind the seminal 2006/07 exhibition Il était une fois Walt Disney at the Grand Palais, Paris; Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal; and Kunsthalle München. Allan published two children’s books and many articles on Disney and lectured on the subject in Britain, North America, France, and Germany. He donated much of his collection and research archives to the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum at Exeter University, England.

Didier Ghez runs the Disney History blog (disneybooks.blogspot.com), the Disney Books Network website (www.didierghez.com), and serves as managing editor of the Walt’s People book series. He is the author of Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality, Disney’s Grand Tour, and They Drew As They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Golden Age and the editor of other Disney publications including Life in the Mouse House: Memoir of a Disney Story Artist.

J. B. Kaufman is an author and film historian who has published and lectured extensively on Disney animation, American silent film history, and related topics. His books include The Fairest One of All, South of the Border with Disney, and Pinocchio: The Making of the Disney Epic. He is also coauthor, with Russell Merritt, of Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series and the award-winning Walt in Wonderland: The Silent Films of Walt Disney. In addition, Kaufman has presented programs at festivals, including the TCM Classic Film Festival and San Francisco Silent Film Festival. He holds forth online at jbkaufman.com.

Katja Lüthge is a Berlin-based film journalist, writer, and curator, specializing in film, comics, and politics. Her work has appeared in the Berliner Zeitung and Die Zeit, among others, and in several exhibitions on comics. Lüthge has special expertise in animal characters in comics and animation.

Brian Sibley is a writer and broadcaster who has presented and contributed to numerous TV and radio programs about the Mouse and his maker. He has lectured on many aspects of animation, and has made appearances on the “extras” of numerous Disney DVDs. He is also the coauthor of Mary Poppins: Anything Can Happen If You Let It, The Disney Studio Story, Mickey Mouse: His Life and Times, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Making of the Classic Film.

Leonard Maltin is best known for his widely used reference work Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide and its companion volume, Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide, as well as his 30-year run on television’s Entertainment Tonight. He teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, appears regularly on Reelz Channel and Turner Classic Movies, and hosts the podcast Maltin on Movies. His books include Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons and The 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen. He holds court at leonardmaltin.com.

Jerry Beck

Jerry Beck

Writer, cartoon producer and author of more than 15 books on animation history. A former studio exec with Nickelodeon and Disney; currently on the faculty at both CalArts in Valencia and Woodbury University in Burbank.
Jerry Beck
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