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Walt Disney: An American Original (Disney Editions Deluxe) Paperback – Abridged, April 15, 1994

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Frequently Bought Together

Walt Disney: An American Original (Disney Editions Deluxe) + Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination (Vintage) + How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Series: Disney Editions Deluxe
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Editions (April 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786860278
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786860272
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 101 customer reviews
They took very long to ship the book, then it took even longer to get here.
Great read and I highly recommend this book over others if you want to know about Mr. Disney!
I have always been fascinated with Walt Disney and all of his wonderful work.
P. Huntsinger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 87 people found the following review helpful By R. Mohr on July 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this biography with considerable interest. I was not very old when Walt Disney died, but I remember watching the Wonderful World of Disney every Sunday evening. Even at that young age, I recognized that Walt Disney was something special, something unique.
This book helped to give me a sense of Walt Disney that was much deeper than what I could possibly have gotten from his Sunday night shows or even his movies and cartoon characters. This book brought a real sense of humanity to this great American icon. It helped me to see that Walt Disney was just a man, but a man with a vision and the courage to follow his dreams even in the face of seemingly overwhelming obstacles.
This book takes the reader on a journey from Walt's birth through his death and finally to the opening of Walt Disney World in Florida. This book is easy to read and seems very complete and thorough. I appreciated that the author did not seem to particularly build Walt up, nor did he tear him down. He presented the information in a factual and respectful manner. So many times biographies seem to be written to push the author's agenda and so information seems slanted. I did not get the feeling that this was true with this book.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to know Walt Disney better and to anyone that would like to read about a true American success story.
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80 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Robert James on July 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
Walt Disney was my hero as a child. I grew up a few miles from Disneyland; the re-release of a Disney animated classic was a major event in my life. I first read Bob Thomas' biography when it was released in 1976, when I was thirteen. I recently reread it, and found it just as enjoyable as the first time around. Sanctioned by the family, Thomas had full access to the Disney records, and he provides what every major historical figure needs: a book that gets the facts straight, so that other biographers and historians can then argue correctly about interpretations. And it's all here: his early life, the creation of his cartoons, the development of Disneyland, his political beliefs. While there is an adulatory, respectful tone throughout, that does not mean Bob Thomas ignores the more troublesome times of Disney's life, such as his conflicts with organized labor before WWII, or his growing conservatism. I know today there is a considerable groundswell of hostility toward's Disney's cultural dominance of our childhood. But as the product of that dominance, I can say that Disney's creations created in me a love of art, a sincere appreciation for the past, and a genuine belief in childhood's sanctity. My 3-year old daughter absolutely adores the classic cartoons, which we always watch together. Walt Disney is a classic American figure, and this biography serves him well.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Stacey Cochran on January 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
This was the most inspiring biography I have ever read. I bought it while on vacation at Disneyworld in Orlando this past November with my girlfriend and family, and I couldn't stop reading it. I found the most interesting period of his life to be the years between 20-35, when no one would give him a chance. I am a fiction writer who has written seven novels in the past decade (my 20s), and each of them has been rejected so many times I don't even want to think about it. I can not tell you how difficult it is to put everything I am as a human being into something I believe in and to face as much disinterest from agents, publishers, editors, magazines, and universities as I have.

Many of Disney's friends gave up on him. Even his family began to think he was crazy.

To read that Walt Disney went through a very similar period in his life to what I'm currently going through was like giving me a light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel. It made me hope. And when a book can do that, you know it is something special, man. Walt Disney truly was an American original; more than that, though he was a person who inspired dreams, goodness, and optimism even in the face of terrible adversity.

Stacey Cochran
Author of CLAWS available for 80 cents
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By rareoopdvds VINE VOICE on January 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Walt Disney: An American Original" professes to be the authorized biography of Walt Disney. Originally written in 1976, ten years after Walt's death, and then revised in 1994 for the Hyperion Press. The book is well written and told in almost story-like fashion tells the active life of one of the all-time greats of the 20th century: Walt Disney.
Author Bob Thomas nicely builds his life from his ancestral French relatives and how they came to settle in Small Town U.S.A. Giving a sturdy view of his grandparents and parents lives, we come to understand the lifestyle and times in which Walt was born under so we better appreciate his influences. I particularly found it interesting how Walt himself can recall his own childhood with such vividness from the smells, sights and events that went on around him. Seems such a curious child but always with a hopeful attitude.
Once he began working in the animation studio with Ub Iwerks, his longtime friend and extremely gifted animator as well, we can see Walt's career unfolding. The small nuances of the transitions between the Alice comedies and Oswald and Mickey always seemed vague to me, however, this book discussed those moments which became clearer. How Roy came aboard to help Walt is also better understood from this book.
When Walt finally broke ground with Steamboat Willie and Mickey Mouse became a household name, Bob Thomas began already looking towards the theme park as Disney's ultimatum in life. As Walt began preparing the actual construction for the theme park, the author leads us to believe that everything that pre-dated the idea was all for a theme park. From this he began to neglect the animation department and the films themselves.
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