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The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation Hardcover – October 5, 1995
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From Library Journal
Thomas and Johnston, two of Disney's original animators, here give the inside scoop on how the studio created the works that have charmed the world. "The text is ambitious," said LJ's reviewer (LJ 12/15/81). The "authors simultaneously give a history of Disney animation and explain the processes involved in clear, nontechnical terms." Along with the splendid text are dozens of color and black-and-white photographs and illustrations. A "magnificent volume" that remains "essential for film collections and a feast for the most casual peruser."
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
I read this for the history with no intention of becoming an animator. However my doodles have improved a lot since I've been reading this.
I didn’t grow up with Disney movies. When I was a kid in the 70’s Disney was in kind of a slump with their animated films. I even remember reading something somewhere about how they would never get back the old magic. But I was still affected by Disney. I was in their “Record Club” for a short while. We also somehow had little plastic Disney character figures to play with (Kids - this was before Wal-Mart and China and the Internet) I still got to see Disney Illustrations everywhere and imagine the movies that were so famous in our culture.
Then later when Disney got it’s magic back (after this book was written) I went out on a date with a girl to see Beauty and the Beast. And then got married to that girl and we lived happily ever after. And we had kids that grew up with Disney on video. So I got to see what I missed. Thank you Disney you have made my life a dream come true! Ok it wasn’t all you.
Anyway about the book . . . It’s great history. Walt Disney doesn’t actually invent anything . . . but his workers do and he creates a whole new industry and world looking for magic . . . that “golden moment” that takes an audience to another place and leaves them feeling good. The book is extremely well written, wonderfully illustrated . . . but will cost you part of your life to read word for word.
I think the lessons learned in animating are good lessons for life. Look for what is inspirational and moving. Creative teamwork can bring results no one imagined. Keep moving, and keep people engaged. Make something beautiful that people feel a part of. The character and the story are the driving and meaningful factors.
So I feel happy and sad. Sad because maybe deep down I thought there was some real magic in Disney. Happy though, that the magic they were going for was after all, life. And life is pretty special.
This book is an amazing resource and, for me, a treasured keepsake from a foremost artist and animater.
My daughter needed this book for a class a couple years ago. We borrowed it from the library for the duration of the class (10 weeks), but she's been wanting to own it ever since. She REALLY enjoyed it - read it from cover to cover, and kept returning to certain sections.
It has some wonderful notes from various animators who have worked at Disney. Since that's what my daughter wants to do, she finds it very helpful.
This book is attractive enough to be a coffee table book. We've had friends, who aren't even animators, sit down and peruse the book. It's simply that interesting!