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Disney's Grand Tour: Walt and Roy's European Vacation, Summer 1935 Hardcover – December 10, 2013
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Particularly interesting is the exact notation of likely the first time that Walt publicly revealed his feature film plans beyond "Snow White" and "Pinocchio," an episode all the more meaningful when one takes into account that his first full-length animated feature was still two years away. The book also provides a look at the business side of still young Disney company as Roy O. Disney works to expand the company's licensees across Europe.
This well-crafted account also provides a vivid look at pre-World War II Europe as seen through the eyes of the mid-western Disney brothers and their wives as they expand their worldview into new horizons. The book also is commended on its excellent production values, particularly its usage of some striking rare photographs.
I suggest discounting any review that insinuates that this is an unnecessary travelogue; rather, it's a keen insight into Walt Disney as he cements his worldwide fame at a pivotal moment in his life. After a few notable setbacks early in his career, Walt is depicted on the verge of the non-stop achievements that would follow him for the remaining 30-plus years of his life.
There are two reasons I gave the book four stars rather then five. One, while this book was very informative, it was drastically too short. About 100 pages. It was too quick of a read.
Second, the introduction set up the book to be something that also included the history of how Disney traveled to Europe. This subject fascinated me but, while hinted at, the book never delved in the way I wanted the subject to be explored.
Overall, a must for Disney fans because this book does capture a unique time in Walt's life. To see Europe through the Disney family eyes was very interesting and enjoyable.
The research that went into this book is staggering, Didier has literally scoured archives all over Europe, consulted collectors, historians and Disney family members. I believe Walt's late daughter Diane may have had some input. With so much experience and research behind him, Didier has brought to life an often glossed over yet extremely important journey Walt Disney his brother Roy and their wives took in the early 30s. Out of this trip films like Snow White and even Disneyland had their genesis, one can argue the Disney Studio creative future grew out of this trip.
I cannot praise this book enough, it really is a must have for the lover of Disney.
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Based on Roy Disney's account of the trip