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John Baxter is a freelance writer and editor with more than twenty years of publishing experience, most recently as a featured comedy writer for the Huffington Post. He has authored two novels and scores of essays and articles for both print and online publications. He lives with his wife and daughter in New York City.
Don't be misled by the cover, this is not primarily about graphics. It's really more of a history book. Informative it may be, but it's hardly "gorgeously illustrated." The emphasis is on written copy, with reproduced artwork relegated to the backseat. If that's your cup of tea, fine - you came to the right place. Stick with DISNEY DONS DOGTAGS if you're looking for a more thorough visual representation of vintage WWII-era cartoon art from the Disney Studio.
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This gorgeously illustrated and eye-opening book reveals the little-known role that the Disney Studios played in the Allied victory in World War II. Almost every single page in the book contains a fascinating photo illustrating Disney's war effort: from a poster about propaganda featuring Donald Duck, to fascinating storyboards for the controversial film, "The New Spirit", to a film short about Hitler directed by a Goofy specialist, to vivid poster art for anti-Nazi short "Chicken Little 1942". Also included is art from short films made to entertain the soldiers, such as "The Army Mascot of 1942", which featured Pluto (there's a great picture of Pluto feeling the effects of swallowing a wad of army tobacco). With fabulous titles such as "Sky Trooper", "Donald's Tire Trouble", and "Private Pluto", the material about these movies offers a fascinating peek into the psychology of the war effort. Baxter includes an amazing chapter on Disney's collaboration with Roald Dahl (the genius author behind Willy Wonka, and other children's classics). Written with a masterful grasp of his subject, this is a wonderful book for any Disney fan, as well as history and World War II buffs.
This book is great. Years ago, another book on this topic was published; "DISNEY DOND DOG TAGS". This book is not a reprint. One should consider the earlier work as an introductory volume for this, a much more detailed work on the efforts and contributions of Walt Disney and his studio staff to help the war effort. Many people have often made in complimentary comments about Mr. Disney and the vast profits he made from creating fantasy play land parks and producing movies to brainwash children and adults alike. Mr. Disney has also been derided as an anti-Semitic individual. Perhaps he was...all or some of these things, but above all he was an American, ant the efforts he put into the tasks of wartime training films as well as entertainment pieces of a pro-Allied nature are the well covered topic here. Despite being an astute judge of what the people wanted to see, he was a businessman...but for all his WWII activities, he barely broke even in recouping his costs, yet his studio was soon able to rise to fill the entertainment demands the baby boomers...much of his marketing sense was sharpened by his dealings with the agencies that utilized his studios and talented employees! This story is told in an excellent read that is well illustrated, as would be expected. The illustrations give me a gripe with this publication, and that in the use of a henna color ink for illustration captions....hard to read at times. If you're a WWII type, or a Disney junkie, this book is for you. Quality of printing process is top notch. Amazon delivery was perfect, as usual. You'll like this book. There's a lot of insider stuff too. Interesting stuff. Disney was the pioneer in the format of educational films we saw in school in the fifties...long before the age of video tape!Read more ›
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