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South of the Border with Disney: Walt Disney and the Good Neighbor Program, 1941-1948 Hardcover – October 1, 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Editions (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423111931
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423111931
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 8.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By WCrandall on October 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book gave me a major surprise! How did Walt Disney keep countries of South America from going over to the Nazi's in World War Two? That's the question that sets this book apart from every other Disney book I have ever read. The answer is amazingly simple.
When Walt Disney visited the countries of South America he did one thing that I wish everyone else would do. He simply treated everybody the way that he himself wanted to be treated. In other words: "The Golden Rule." (Love your neighbor as yourself) And sure enough, his visit to those countries changed history. As such, I believe this book should be required reading for every politician and all students of political science. (Not to mention every Disney fan as well. The book covers the cartoons that resulted from the visit and covers the art of Mary Blair, Frank Thomas, and the others and as such, it's a tour de force in that way as well)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"South of the Border with Disney" is a well-written, well-researched piece of work, profiling a specific era in the Studio's history that is rarely examined in any detail or depth. The book is full of fascinating details regarding the Good Neighbor program and Walt Disney's involvement with it. Many people today are dismissive of the films "Saludos Amigos" and "The Three Caballeros," as well as some of the other output from the Studio during that era. Some of it may be due to changing times and tastes, and to the fact that many modern Disney fans are not aware of the historical context of the films. This book offers valuable insights not only into the times but into the making of the films and the political tightrope that the Disney corporation had to walk in order to produce them. It's a fascinating look at an underrated period of amazing creativity, a worthy chapter in Disney history that has needed to be examined. I myself am an avid fan of Walt Disney's life, career, and output, and I learned much that I never knew before. If you are a Disney fan, or if you are interested in Latin America (or if you are a fan of both), this book is a great read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not only a handsome book filled with great photos and illustrations, but it thoroughly relates the history of Disney's involvement with the Good Neighbor Policy and details the making of each film project associated with the South of the Boarder films. This book is much more detailed than the documentary WALT AND EL GRUPO (though that film makes a nice compliment to the book).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A really great book: well documented, rich in rare photographs and great drawings. This is a "must" for any Walt Disney fan, an excellent supplement to Walt's best biographies (like Bob Thomas' "An American original", my personal favorite). I have always loved Walt Disney's Latin American films: "Saludos Amigos" and "The three caballeros" and this book offers a great deal of interesting background on their production and the creative influences from local Latin American artists. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
South of the Border with Disney: Walt Disney and the Good Neighbor Program 1941-48 tells of a journey Goofy and Donald make to South America to embrace very different cultures in Saludos Amigos. In time this revolutionary cartoon choice would be followed by another feature, then a series of short cartoons produced for entertainment and education exploring Latin American settings and issues. Few may know the story behind these creations, which is why South of the Border with Disney is a key survey, telling of the Good Neighbor program initiated by Nelson Rockefeller. Disney's influence on the program was monumental and this color drawing-packed guide is key to understanding it - and highly recommended for any general lending library.
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Format: Hardcover
Don't walk, run... to order this book!

Let's admit it: knowing JB I expected something really good text-wise, something really in-depth, something in which I would learn a lot, something that would fill half a million key gaps in Disney history. I had been looking forward to this book since 2001. Eight long years. So if I said that I could not wait to open the package that contained it, you will not be surprised. What happened next was not expected though: when I started browsing through this new book I simply could not believe my eyes. The text is more complete and more in-depth than literally anything I could have imagined. I believe that only four Disney historians are as thorough: Michael Barrier, John Canemaker, Paul F. Anderson and JB Kaufman. So there is even more to learn in the text itself than my wildest dreams built over 8 years had made me expect. How is that for a stunning start?

But there is more! The quality of the illustrations is as astounding as the text. At least half of the visual documents are "never seen before." I had goosebumps by looking at almost every single page of this book. I had started to think that aside from the Canemaker books and The Disney that Never Was by Charles Solomon, we would from now on be offered either great text-books (Working with Walt by Don Peri for example) or great art-books with no text (The Disney Archives Series for example). Unfortunately JB's Silly Symphony book had not dispelled this impression (great text with uniteresting visual documents).

South of the Border with Disney shows that I was wrong: ideal books can exist. Books about Disney history as we dream them. Books that are as close to perfection as we will ever get.

By the way: this is the first book released under the Walt Disney Family Foundation label. What an impressive way to start. Disney history is truly alive and well today.
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