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Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look At Making the Magic Real Paperback – October 8, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Both of these heavily illustrated books look at two less celebrated sections of the Disney empire, and the rare artwork that both contain is their strongest asset. Canemaker's book is on the people who created preliminary sketches "that explore the visual possibilities in a literary property." These possibilities for any proposed cartoon include the visual style of the film, how the characters will look, the way a major scene could be portrayed, and so on. Specific sketch artists have put their individual stamp on the entire look of the finished film in such cases as Sleeping Beauty, Bambi, and Night on Bald Mountain. In addition, they have created memorable minor characters, such as Pocahontas's raccoon pal and Beauty and the Beast's Mrs. Potts. Canemaker primarily concentrates on the feature-length cartoons, and he gives special attention to Fantasia. By chronologically examining the life and work of the significant sketch artists, he ably demonstrates their contributions. An interesting look at a neglected aspect of the Disney films. With a combination of imagination and engineering skill, the Imagineers create all elements of the Disney theme parks, from the rides, attractions, shops, and restaurants to the signs, light fixtures, trash cans, and landscaping. Starting with Disneyland and continuing up to the present day, this book attempts to show how "imagineering" created so many memorable experiences. Even with the aid of copious illustrations?never-before-seen artwork from the Imagineering Division's own files?the act of imaginative creation is difficult to re-create, and this work doesn't completely succeed in showing how the Imagineers brought their creations into being. It is further hampered by a once-over-lightly writing style. But that is a minor quibble in what for the most part is a fascinating before-the-curtain-rises look at the Disney theme parks. Both books are highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries.?Marianne Cawley, Enoch Pratt Free Lib., Baltimore
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

"Imagineering" is a coinage of the Disney corporation that denotes the combination of imagination and engineering it employs to create the attractions in its theme parks. This big, lavish artbook spans four decades of imagineering, from the relatively unsophisticated rides, such as Main Street U.S.A. and the Matterhorn, with which Disneyland opened in 1959, to the high-tech, special effects^-inspired rides at Disney-MGM Studios (many concepts that never got off the drawing board also appear). It takes readers through the entire imagineering process, from original idea, through blueprints and scale models, to actual construction--all illustrated by hundreds of concept sketches, character designs, architectural drawings, and other artwork. It goes to show: the Disney crew puts impressive effort into providing simple fun for tourists. Chock-full of the behind-the-scenes info and trivia Disney fans love, the book is a fascinating display of state-of-the-art theme park development and stimulating incitement for Disney-bound vacationers who want more than travel guides will give them. Gordon Flagg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Editions (September 30, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786883723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786883721
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.8 x 13 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #372,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a book to explain how Disney makes the magic come to life, you've found the right book! This book is filled with fantastic photographs, sketches, paintings, and other products of Disney's Imagineering. A "coffee table book" actually worth reading! The Imagineers give away a lot of their secrets, but don't expect to learn it all. Just when you think you've cracked the Imagineer's vault, they change the subject on you. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting a "behind-the-scenes" look at how the Disney parks were made into the wonderful places they are today.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "uvawahoo" on January 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the BEST book I have EVER read. I'm 14 years old and ever since I came back from Walt Disney World in 1999 after seeing the Millennium Celebration, I have wanted to be an architect for Walt Disney Imagineering. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Disney or wants to be an Imagineer. It has inspired and motivated me to be the best I can be and to look at everything as an oppritunity to see and learn new things. I have never wanted to be an Imagineer more since reading this book. It gives you a beautiful and rare collection of WDI drawings and paintings and what it's like to be an Imagineer. They explain the jobs there and tell you what it was like to work for some of their biggest projects. I was sad when I finished this book! Each page motivated me to turn to the next and keep reading until my eyes fell out! There are inspiring quotes from Walt Disney and the Imagineers themselves. The the Best and Only book on Walt Disney Imagineering.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ken A. Goldenberg on October 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is an absolutely fantastic inside look at the design process of Disney Imagineering. The book details the past, present and future projects along with great anecdotes from the Imagineers themselves. The book is also filled with rich pictures, illustrations, and sketches from projects both built and left on the "shelf". As one who wishes to pursue a thempark design career, this book acts as a great reference tool and both inspires and motivates your creative juices.
-Ken G.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mom of 1/Teacher of Many VINE VOICE on January 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
I saw this book in Downtown Disney while visiting. It is the most interesting behind-ths-scenes look into Disney's imagineers. I can go to any of the parks and be awed over and over and over again. This book lets you see how things came to be. It includes information on rides, parks and lots of other stuff. I suggest getting it from Amazon where it is much cheaper. I would have waited and ordered it from them if I knew they had carried it. A must have for any Disney fan's library.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By rareoopdvds VINE VOICE on July 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Imagineers, who have been put together by Walt Disney himself from his staff of animators, put their imagination and engineering expertise to work, making their movies in three-dimension. Anyone who visits Disney World, Florida will immediately note that not a detail gets by them where there is no cultural or graphic response to the scenery. All parts are integral, and the Imagineers recognize this. Some of the most wonderful aspects of their work is in the smallest detail, so as not to stand out, instead, it blends into the environment (like it should). The book is set up into parts of the varying departments of the Imagineers, in the stages in which they prepare a project. Like Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas' book 'The Illusion of Life' they do not fail to recognize good work from a particular artist. Even here, in the lesser known trait of architecture and engineering, the names are noted as any famous artist, which is refreshing and respectable for the artists in their own respective fields to be continually influenced by their peers. A wonderful book that is easy to read, does not burden the reader with too much technical jargon, and easy to appreciate the many pictures of their work. Certainly Disney enthusiasts will enjoy this book, as well as a prospective Imagineer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. McNair Wilson on June 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a former Disney Imagineer, I was curious to see how the old gang at Disney Imagineering would tell "our" story. Not Bad. A visual feast filled with the stories behind designing the world's grandest theme parks. They were less generous than they could have been when naming key players on several projects--especially if those Imagineers had moved on before the book was compiled. All-in-all a fun, fascinating and accurate look backstage at the Disney Dream factory. Unless you go to work there, this is the closest you'll get to seeing concept paintings, models, mock-ups and images of great ideas that never got built. As our boss, Marty Sklar, once said, "Dead projects tell no tales" Now, they do in this big, heavily illustrated book. Congrats to Bruce Gordon, Kevin Rafferty, Dave Mumford, Mel, Pam, and all the delightful "pinheads" who pulled this together. It was worth getting one more memo (inside the book) from Marty (in an in-house mail, manila envelope) with his now-famous red felt pen notes scribbled accross the page.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "michaelbattles" on December 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
I absolutely cherish this book and reviit it time and again just to look at the photos and drawings. Contains detailed information about how the Imagineers go about creating the Disney theme parks and hotels and shows all of the imagination and attention to detail that goes into that process. No wonder these are some of the most magical places on earth. Everything is engineered to the human experience.
Contains photos from WDW, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo, and sketches and models of some attractions never built. Shows the entire process from conception of an idea to developing color schemes, to building models, to actual contstruction.
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