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Life in the Mouse House: Memoir of a Disney Story Artist Paperback – March 3, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Theme Park Press (March 3, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984341528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984341528
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This book gives a personal insight as to what it may have been like to work for Walt Disney.
ronald smith
One of those true "must have" books for anyone interested in Disney and/or animation history.
Joakim Gunnarsson
This is a story from the viewpoint of a man working for a very driven, single minded perfectionist.
disneykaren

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Thad Komorowski on March 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can heartily recommend a purchase of this breezy read. Brightman was a storyman at Disney’s from 1935 to 1950, where his most memorable creation was Gus-Gus the mouse in Cinderella, then a mainstay of the Walter Lantz studio.

Any firsthand memories of the medium’s Golden Age are to be highly cherished, and Brightman’s accounting (while neither as insightful as Shamus Culhane’s or acidic as Jack Kinney’s) is engaging enough that you’ll probably plow through this 100-pager in one evening. I grew a little annoyed with Brightman’s inflated self-importance, but that’s to be expected in a memoir (as if Carl Barks was as inept a storyteller as Brightman made him out to be). Brightman used pseudonyms for all of his coworkers and they are left intact as he wanted. They get in the way, but thankfully Ghez has included a key to who’s who.

Walt Disney was one of those mercurial personalities you couldn’t help observe sharply, and Brightman’s anecdotes ring true and his commentary is generally spot-on. The book has been oversold as “scathing,” as if it’s tantamount to the bile regularly exhibited in strikers’ interviews of the past or the psychopath Walt Peregoy’s taped talks of the present day. It’s revealing that despite receiving ostensibly brutal treatment, Brightman is able to write about Disney with fair admiration. The book abruptly ends when he leaves after Cinderella, with no mention of Walter Lantz (who easily valued Brightman considerably more than Disney did).

Yet another must-have for anyone interested in animation history.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. DeLucia on March 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great insight into what Disney employees were feeling from the heavy overtime of creating Snow White through the Disney Strike in 1941. I was surprised that Homer didn't strike with the way he was describing events at the time, but I imagine after having Cinderella handed over to Ted Sears, he was looking back at those years with less admiration for Walt than he had in 1941. We're also treated to new stories of practical jokes and how office politics were played at Disney. Most insightful are the times he knew when and when not to interface with Walt Disney. As someone who's read dozens of books on Walt Disney, the way Walt Disney is described by Homer Brightman rings true here. Although this may be seen as pointing out too many negatives without balancing the positive traits Walt had, this book nonetheless does show us a few sides of Walt's multifaceted personality. An excellent fast read and a must for an animation and Disney historians.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Butcher on March 24, 2014
Format: Paperback
I think for most Disney fans, or at least for me, we often idealize working for Disney and Walt Disney himself. However, as I have told colleagues in the past every work environment has problems and irritations. Homer Brightman's memoir delves into the workplace at the Disney Studios during his 15 years of service and shows it was not all laughs producing animated shorts and features.

Homer Brightman's Life in the Mouse House details his 15 years of working at Disney as a storyboard artist developing gags and stories for Disney productions. The book outlines how he came to get his position at Disney in 1935, his try out in animation and his eventual move into storyboarding. He discusses the office politics of working at Disney, including the rivalries and poor corporate treatment. Brightman includes his views of the 1941 strike and the outcomes of this labor dispute. Walt Disney features heavily in Brightman's story as he includes his first story meeting with Disney and numerous interactions over his 15 years at the studio. The story ends abruptly, with Disney breaking up Brightman's partnership with another story man working on Cinderella and Brightman's obvious frustration with the move. Editor Dider Ghez then follows the memoir with a chapter on Brightman's post Disney years and a filmography and comicography both written by Alberto Becattini.

Life in the Mouse House is a short book, around 100 pages, that is a brisk and interesting to read. The Brightman memoir was uncovered by Ghez and he was correct in thinking he had found an unpublished memoir of interest. For the hardcore Disney fan, Brightman gives a different perspective than those who have penned books giving only praise to Disney, corporate and man.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ken duncan on March 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great read from a story artist who worked at Disney Studios in the "Golden Age".
Always interesting to get another point-of-view of life at the Mouse House....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By disneykaren on July 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked this book! So much is written about Walt Disney that seems to be sanitized and portrays him as a man with no faults. This is a story from the viewpoint of a man working for a very driven, single minded perfectionist. It seems to be a much more realistic picture for a man accomplishing huge goals, often against the odds. It doesn't vilify Walt Disney but it does show him "warts and all".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joakim Gunnarsson on April 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book sure delivers everything it promises. Homer Brightmans way of telling the stories makes his co-workers come alive in a way I never have experienced in any Disney history book before. When Homer tells his stories, it's as if you are transfered back in time and experiencing them yourself. One of those true "must have" books for anyone interested in Disney and/or animation history.
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