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The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis & the Secrets of Walt Disney's Movie Magic Hardcover – May 27, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I was unprepared for the sheer magnificence of the final object when it arrived in the mail yesterday...This book is a great argument for why art books, when done right, still deserve to be printed on paper in this digital age." (Amid Amidi, Cartoon Brew)

"There can be no more important book about Disney history published this year" (Jerry Beck, Cartoon Research)

About the Author

John Canemaker is an Academy Award–, Emmy Award–, and Peabody Award–winning animation director and designer. His twenty-eight minute film, The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation, won the 2005 Oscar for Best Animated Short, and his more than twenty films (and their original art) are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He is also a tenured professor and director of the animation program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. The Lost Notebook is his eleventh book on the history of animation.

The Walt Disney Family Museum was co-founded by Walt Disney's daughter, Diane Disney Miller, and grandson, Walter Miller, in San Francisco's Presidio. The Museum is dedicated to celebrating the life, work, and legacy of Walt Disney through innovative exhibitions and programs, sharing the fascinating story of the man who raised animation to an art, transformed the film industry, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a global, distinctively American legacy.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Weldon Owen; annotated edition edition (May 27, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616286326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616286323
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 1.1 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Didier Ghez on June 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
If I had to make a list of the Disney historians I look up to, John Canemaker would be at the very top of the list, along with just a handful of others.

I never thought he could top books like Before the Animation Begins or Paper Dreams, but I was wrong: The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis & the Secrets of Walt Disney's Movie Magic is John's best book to date, a true masterpiece. The text, as always, is meticulously researched and written with absolute clarity and depth. But what stunned me is that in the first half of the book, about 80% of the illustrations used (and probably even more) have never been seen before. The book is very heavily illustrated and the second half showcases what I believe is the complete notebook.

The key message is a very simple one: If you only buy one Disney history book this year, this is the one you should get!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mooseville on June 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm still reading this. There's not much to fault about this book because its done with such care and attention to detail and history. This looks like a labor of love from John Canemaker. The visual payoff includes a rich assortment of photos from Disney studios during an era of intense expansion, invention and creative output. Herman Schultheis isn't usually a noted figure in the studio but what we have here is the reward of diligent record keeping of photographic and effects processes in his personal notebook. The art of animation is a fusion of art and technology and in those days the technology was multiple exposures, multiplane cameras, printing techniques, film dyes and amazing organic chemical processes, pre- digital After Effects and Photoshop. Some of the photos which are shown in the context of the actual notebook are so intriguing that I wish they were slightly larger. They are so unique and informative. Overall, the book reflects the goals and aspirations and pioneering efforts of its time. There's something about the early era boom/ post-Snow White, that has a real bristling excitement about it. And when you see the results in a scene from Fantasia's Nutcracker, for example, there's still, arguably, nothing as naturally organic and atmospheric. You could do it in CGI but it wouldn't connect the same on a human level, IMO. ( It would look beautiful in the usual once-removed from human hands, eye-candy but overdose of visual stimulation --like hi-fructose corn syrup for the eyes. -OK, off my soapbox).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. D. Flores on August 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The original book is such a great piece of Disney history. I've seen it at the Walt Disney Family Museum. They have done a wonderful job of displaying the book and giving the visitor the opportunity to digitally view the book. But I'v always wanted to just sit down and go through it. This book give you that opportunity to see so many of the movie making secrets.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Son of Soren on June 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This magnificent book by John Canemaker covers in captivating detail Herman Schultheis' life, including the period of time after he left Disney and worked for Librascope in Glendale, CA. It was while working at Librascope in the 1950's that Herman mysteriously disappeared in the Guatemalan jungle.

While doing his amazingly thorough research, the author discovered the Librascope Memories website, which fortunately included copies of all the Company's old newsletters (Librazettes). Over a year's time, the Librazettes reported on Herman's initial disappearance and the subsequent search. As the self-appointed Librascope historian and webmaster, I had the privilege of helping John Canemaker research Herman Schultheis' time at Librascope. However, this part of Herman's life is not described in unnecessary detail, and so it does not detract from the book's primary subject; i.e., his work at Disney.

Herman's work at Disney was fascinating, but I was also impressed with how each facet of his life reflected his intelligence, diverse interests, and overall curiosity about life. This book certainly provides the foundation for Disney to make a documentary film of Herman's life experiences.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By An interested observer on September 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is solid gold, filled with nuggets of the development of such Disney film classics as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and "Pinocchio" It contains detailed accounts never before revealed written by a man whose Disney tenure, brief as it was, enveloped perhaps the most productive period in the company's history. The Herman Schultheis notebook remained hidden from the public for more than five decades, but thankfully is now available to all. Besides the history, it also outlines Schultheis's quirky background, not the least of which was his fatal disappearance in the Guatamalan jungle. This book is a true gem.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Subtle Scrutinizer on August 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can only add my very favourable review to the others published here. It's a very detailed and massive tome of technical and other behind-the-scenes information about, arguably, the most ambitious and creative period of the Walt Disney Studio. John Canemaker, a well-known authority on Disney and animation in general, has researched his subject very thoroughly, and presents it beautifully, a sturdy volume with a wealth of fine and informative photographs by Herman Schultheis himself and other studio photographers. His Disney notebook is presented in full, even to the blank pages with their glue stains! Schultheis is certainly an intriguing and multifaceted character on his own, which adds to the sense of wonder and admiration, and goes far beyond the mere technical and tabular aspects of the book. In other words, even if some of the intricate nuts and bolts about optics and chemicals may baffle the average Disney fan, it's also a very entertaining read.

And of course, since most of the Disney movies described in the book are readily available, it's relatively easy to compare all the background paintings, character designs, special effects and set stills shown in the book with the finished product to enhance our appreciation. I did with 'Fantasia' and 'The Reluctant Dragon', and it was extremely enlightening as well as fun.

Definitely recommended if you are a Disney buff or a special effects enthusiast.
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The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis & the Secrets of Walt Disney's Movie Magic
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