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Mickey's Movies: The Theatrical Films of Mickey Mouse Paperback – February 21, 2018
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Indeed, much of what one might find new in "Mickey's Movies" was "cribbed" from the research conducted by Apgar - who is an art historian, not a film historian as Grob mistakenly says. (Apgar's first name is also misspelled at least three times in the book as "Gary.") Lapses like these, including the misspelt names of two Broadway venues that loomed large in Mickey's rise to eminence, the Strand Theatre and the Colony Theatre (in both instances, rendered as "Theater"), should have been caught by the author's editor, Bob McLain.
There are flaws in "Mickey's Movies" more grievous than these. In the catalogue of individual one-reelers that forms the bulk of the book, Grob gives short shrift to the people who made them: the artists, writers, directors, voice actors, etc. For more complete listings of these individuals and roughly equivalent rundowns on the films, see the Wikipedia pages for each cartoon (in English, but also in French or Italian; "results may vary").
It is distressing, too, that Grob has nothing to say about the reception of Disney's iconic rodent in Holland, his native land. A real pity, as a matter of fact. Information of that sort, virtually impossible to come by in this country, for which Grob is well placed and qualified to ferret out, would add considerably to our understanding of Walt Disney's impact on world culture. This deficiency is in stark contrast to the multitude of new and often surprising information about Mickey's critical fortunes in Europe, before, during, and after World War II, in "A Mickey Mouse Reader" and "Mickey Mouse: Emblem of the American Spirit."
Basically, Grob's book tills previously plowed ground. Alas, the field of Disney studies these days, like the subterranean workspace in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," is awash in a vast sea of marginally useful texts, most of them, like "Mickey's Movies," churned out by Theme Park Press - and, seemingly on a weekly basis, by Big Mouse, (a.k.a., Disney Editions.
Finally, and perhaps worst of all, there is not a single illustration in "Mickey's Movies." As Alice in Disney's animated version of "Alice in Wonderland," says: "But how can one possibly pay attention to a book without pictures?" Apgar's 336-page monograph, "Mickey Mouse: Emblem of the American Spirit," on the other hand, contains 323 images, most of them in full color. Copies of the "Emblem" monograph in "very good" or "like new" condition are currently available on Amazon or eBay for less than the cost of the print-on-demand edition of this well-intentioned but underwhelming book. Caveat emptor!