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Didier Ghez has conducted Disney research since he was a teenager in the mid '80s. His articles about the parks, animation, and vintage international Disneyana, as well as his many interviews with Disney artists, have appeared in such magazines as Persistence of Vision, Tomart's Disneyana Update, Animation Journal, Animation Magazine, StoryboarD, and Fantasyline. He is the co-author of the art book Disneyland Paris - From Sketch to Reality, runs The Disney History blog (disneybooks.blogspot.com), The Disney Books Network website (www.pizarro.net/didier), and serves as managing editor of the Walt's People series.
Didier Ghez has conducted Disney research since he was a teenager in the mid '80s. His articles about the parks, animation, and vintage international Disneyana, as well as his many interviews with Disney artists, have appeared in such magazines as Disney Twenty-Three, Persistence of Vision, Tomart's Disneyana Update, Animation Journal, Animation Magazine, StoryboarD, and Fantasyline. He is the author of the books They Drew As They Pleased - The Hidden Art of Disney's Golden Age, Disney's Grand Tour and Disneyland Paris - From Sketch to Reality, and editor of Life in the Mouse House: Memoir of a Disney Story Artist and Inside the Whimsy Works: My Life with Walt Disney Productions. He runs The Disney History blog (disneybooks.blogspot.com), The Disney Books Network website (www.didierghez.com), and serves as managing editor of the Walt's People book series.
I have read many books on the life of Walt Disney. This book offers a different perspective than one would find in official authorized works about Walt. It is a collection of interviews of several of the (many) people who worked for him. What I liked most, is the candor of the people being interviewed. They felt free not to "sugar-coat" any of their answers, giving very truthful responses. To think that most of the people interviewed are no longer living, makes me appreciate the work of the various interviewers, capturing all of this valuable insight, that would have otherwise been lost. I enjoyed this book very much, and will be buying the other two in the series.
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I've read many books about Walt Disney. What I loved about this one is that the stories come from the people Walt worked with every day. Some of them even go so far back as Kansas City. Some of the interviews go deeper into the production of many of the films, especially the early ones.
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Didier Ghez runs two very important sites in the Disney online community: Disney History and the Ultimate Disney Books Network. Didier has been researching Disney animation since his teens and co-authored Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Realitywith Alain Littaye.
The Walt's People seriesis five volumes with a sixth one on the way. Didier is the editor of the series and has put together some amazing interviews with Disney artists. In some cases, the interviewer is as well-known as the interviewee!
The compilation of interviews that Didier has collected makes this volume so very important to anyone researching Disney. The interviews are not just with animators, but artists that worked with Walt on Disneyland and went on to work on the Walt Disney World project. The stories, recollections and anecdotes are priceless and proffer a view of Walt that you can only get from talking to the people that worked directly with him.
The interviewees include:
* Rudolf Ising * David Hand * Bill Tytla * Ken Anderson * Jack Hannah * John Hench (two interviews) * Marc Davis (two interviews) * Milt Kahl * Harper Goff * Joyce Carlson
The interviewers are equally impressive: J.B. Kaufman, Michael Barrier, George Sherman, Paul F. Andersen, Jim Korkis, Alain Littay, Didier Ghez, John Province, Michael Lyons and Robin Allan.
In the forward, Didier puts forth some important thoughts about the interviews.