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Inside the Whimsy Works: My Life with Walt Disney Productions Hardcover – January 21, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (January 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617039306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617039300
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,208,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Written in a friendly conversational tone, Inside the Whimsy Works offers new and surprising perspectives on the era when Walt and his brother Roy ran The Walt Disney Company, by a person who was not only there but who created Disney's successful record division. Editors Greg Ehrbar and Didier Ghez have done a magnificent job formatting and annotating Johnson's original manuscript so that it will not only delight readers today but be a valuable resource tool for future researchers."

--Jim Korkis, Disney historian and author of several popular books about Disney history including The Vault of Walt

From the Inside Flap

The extraordinary story of the rise of the Disney executive most responsible for the success of Walt Disney Records

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Really a great book, whether you love Disney or not.
Talvi
This book takes us back in time to see through the author's eyes what a truly special place Disney was for so many years.
Carol W. Levy
I love reading books about what Walt and Roy Disney created.
James M. Vaughn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James M. Vaughn on February 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love reading books about what Walt and Roy Disney created. This is a loving and personal recounting of one man's experience with them both. Here are some new (and some old) stories about the creation of some of the best known entertainment wonders the world has ever known. Disney records is the main topic, but many more are covered. One can only wish it was longer and included even more details. Many thanks to Mr. Johnson and the 2 editors, Greg Ehrbar and Didier Ghez.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Talvi TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Inside the Whimsy Works is a very personal but also a very interesting account of a man who started out at the lowest rung of Disney Pictures in the 1930s and worked his way up to President of Walt Disney Records. This story of his time at Disney was written by Johnson alone as a memoir in the 1970s, right before he died, and has been intelligently left nearly intact by the editors.

Jimmy Johnson was one of Roy's men - the employees who ran the business side of the operations. Though he wanted to be on the creative side (story), he started out on Roy's side and remained there for his career. A lot of his positions at Disney were by pure chance - avoiding being fired during changes by sheer luck and handed promotions through happenstance. It really tells a story of how family run businesses work.

What is most interesting, beyond the Disney lore and history, is that Johnson wasn't one of the creatives - and although he respected Walt, he doesn't treat either Walt or Roy as demigods nor does he fall into the Disney mythos. He's a down-to-Earth Los Angeles boy, who graduated from UCLA and needed a job in the middle of the Great Depression. That perspective allows him to see the positives and negatives in the Disney organization and appreciate what both Walt and Roy brought to the table.

The book is nearly completely about Disney - there's no padding here of the author's life and looks to be taken straight from the memoirs, hand written by Johnson himself. From the buzz around Snow White's ground breaking release, the failure of Fantasia, World War II and training/education videos, the birth of Disneyland, TV shows, to his own role of helming the records side of Disney and watching Disney World being construction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Sonntag on February 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just finished reading INSIDE THE WHIMSY WORKS. It's a quick and enjoyable read, made more so by being a first hand account from a man who was there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dot on May 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book. Beautifully written, fascinating and personal. Wonderful story. A look into the world of Walt Disney from the inside.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TR6zo on March 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Inside The Whimsy Works" documents a remarkable story and very interesting perspective of the amazing artists which propelled the early Disney years.

I like non-fiction and there are a lot of things I really enjoyed about it both from my vantage as a typical 'Disney customer' with so many Disney memories and as an admirer of great businesses. This is unique perspective of the incredible genius of Walt and Roy is compelling reading. It was wonderful to read how they created a company of immense value and benefit to the planet while retaining their own sense of humble beginnings and treating their own employees with respect and honor. Too bad you don't see that as much any more. The book does a great job of describing how this genius was evident in both the artistic and the business side. Very powerful stuff.

I like the writing style. He combines a practical matter-of-fact approach with his descriptions even though he was certainly an artistic powerhouse himself.
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