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Walt before Mickey: Disney's Early Years, 1919-1928 Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (April 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604739606
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604739602
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The untold story of ten critical, formative years in the great producer's life

About the Author

Timothy S. Susanin is the general counsel of a Fortune 500 company. He is a former federal prosecutor, Navy JAG, and television legal commentator. He lives in Villanova, Pennsylvania, with his wife and their three children.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By George H. Taylor Jr. on May 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
About The Author
Currently, Timothy S. Susanin acts as the general counsel for a Fortune 500 Company. Previously, he served the Federal Government and the NAVY JAG as counsel. Obviously, Susanini is no stranger to laborious and meticulous research. Walt Before Mickey is proof of that.

The Review
By far, this is one of the most comprehensive books about any single period of Walt Disney's life. The author presents a detailed look at a very short time in Walt Disney's career when he was working professionally before the creation of Mickey Mouse. Walt Before Mickey starts with a short look at Walt's life and moves through his first jobs in Kansas City until the formation Kaycee Studios, his first studio, in 1921. The majority of the book recounts Walt's time in other Kansas City studios, the Laugh-O-Gram years and the formation of the Disney Bros. Studios in Los Angeles. As expected, the book does end before the creation of Mickey Mouse.

There are several themes throughout most Disney biographies: consistent and early failure paired with an unchallenged sense of destiny; bringing together the best people; and managing people with visionary leadership. Walt Before Mickey spends a indulgent amount of time describing such events. I have read the major biographies on Walt Disney and I am always shocked by the nexus of animation that occurred and grew out of Kansas City. Most biographers agree that the landscape of animation would be vastly different without Disney pulling together artists from his local Kansas City environs.

The strength of this book could be considered its weakness; we see an almost daily look at Walt's life. We meet all of the characters that worked with, influenced or helped a young Walt Disney as artist.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Didier Ghez on April 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The men and women who surrounded Walt in the '20s come to life as never before thanks to Tim Susanin. Meticulously researched and easy to read, Walt Before Mickey is bound to shape the history of Walt's early days for years to come. If you are a serious Disney historian, this is a "must-have."
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Disneyphile on September 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent background on Walt Disney's early years. I've read several biographies of Disney and this book, apart from others, does an excellent job of providing details on those very early years. Heavily annotated.
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