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Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, Revised and Updated Edition Paperback – December 1, 1987
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The Hollywood Reporter
an excellent book."
New York Times Book Review
"The most complete history of animation available."
Los Angeles Times
"Maltin is an impressive archivist and a lively chronicler."
About the Author
Leonard Maltin is a respected film critic and historian, perhaps best known for his annual paperback reference Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, which was first published in 1969. He lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles and teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Jerry Beck is the author of over fifteen books on animation history. He writes about classic cartoon characters at CartoonResearch.com and blogs about modern animation at AnimationScoop.com. A former studio executive with Nickelodeon Movies and Disney TV, Beck currently teaches animation history at Woodbury University in Burbank, CA, where he lives.
Top Customer Reviews
Moreso, it contained a chapter on the Ub Iwerks Studio. I never really knew much about old Ub until we happened to get one of his gorgeous Comicolor Classic cartoons (Jack and the Beanstalk) in place of the usual Krazy Kats. I of course went to "Of Mice and Magic" to find out more and whetted my appetite to learn more about this forgotten genius.
Decades later, my youthful interest turned into a full-time pursuit. My biography of Ub Iwerks, "The Hand Behind the Mouse" (ISBN: 0786853204) co-written with Ub's granddaughter Leslie, is now available. Ironically, (or not so) Mr. Leonard Maltin kindly wrote the introduction for our book, thus bringing my foray into animation history full circle. I have always considered Maltin to be like an Old Testament prophet in the field of animation history. "Of Mice and Magic" is still the finest animation book ever written -- which is saying alot (there are many great ones -- ours included.) For anyone who loves animation and the world of cartoons, this is THE essential book and my life has been so much richer because of it.
Maltin starts off with a chapter about the silent era, when animation was just beginning. Over time, experience would refine the process, but the big leap would occur with sound, in particular with Walt Disney's Steamboat Willie featuring Mickey Mouse. After the silent era chapter, there are chapters that serve as "biographies" of the major animation studios, starting with the biggest of them all, Disney.
The Disney characters are among the most popular in cartoon history (or film history in general). Mickey Mouse may have been the biggest name, but he didn't have much of a personality, so he started being pushed aside in favor of more developed characters, especially Donald Duck, the first major Disney character with any sort of edge. In fact, this is a constant theme in the book: that the weakest cartoons from any studio were the ones that featured characters with no distinct personalities.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a very well detailed guide to the history of animation. I just wish it were a little more up to date, however, as it only stretches out to the late 1980s; just before... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Peter Vogel
Boring as hell class and so much info to process in this book. But very little about 1960-present. And what about captian planet?Published 20 months ago by Sydni
I needed this for my history of film class, otherwise I wouldn't have purchased it. It could use more color pictures and it only goes up to the 80s which is really sad. Read morePublished on June 25, 2014 by Summer Brooker
Love this book. A little worn around bottom corner but nothing a little tape couldn't fix. It's a great read and I got this for college it came within the first week of school.Published on March 1, 2014 by Akira
It's an awesome book and I'm learning so much! I had to get it for a class but I'll probably keep it forever.Published on February 15, 2014 by kdrayer
It delivered so fast than I was expected! The book seems like it is a new book in a condition, I am so excited to have this book for history of animation class. Read morePublished on August 28, 2013 by Hyeon-I Son
Of Mice and Magic is the one that started it all for me. Along with Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life, "Magic" opened my eyes to the history and the craft of a truly great... Read morePublished on June 7, 2013 by P. Neuhaus
People have been recommending this book for me forever, but I just got around to reading it. I've read numerous animation histories, but this one is unique. Why? Read morePublished on May 1, 2013 by Gord Wilson