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They Drew as They Pleased Vol. 3: The Hidden Art of Disney's Late Golden Age (The 1940s - Part Two) Hardcover – October 10, 2017
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From the Publisher
Don quixote lives again
The Don Quixote project continued to have a complicated and long life at the studio following Eduardo’s departure. In April 1940, it was resurrected by the head of Disney’s training program, art instructor Don Graham, who wrote in a memo to John Rose:
It seems that in order to protect the rights on Quixote the studio must show evidence that this picture is actually in work.
At the same time Tytla has been very anxious to form a group which could meet once a week and explore the possibilities of Quixote from a drawing point of view. At the present time there are about a dozen men who are vitally interested in joining such a group.
This plan laid out by Don Graham does not seem to have been approved, but a few months later Jack Miller was tasked by Joe Grant to develop the Quixote story further. With the demise of Grant’s Character Model Department in 1941, the project was shelved again, only to be revived in 1946. That year, artist Jesse Marsh created a series of story boards inspired by a rare French book version of Don Quixote illustrated by Gus Bofa, which John Rose had donated to the studio in the late 1930s. Jesse Marsh’s
interpretation of the story was based on the tone poem created by Richard Strauss in 1897. The idea of using Strauss’s tone poem had been suggested by writer Bob Carr in 1940, among other possibilities for sequences that could be integrated in a sequel to Fantasia. In 1950, Walt even considered adapting Don Quixote as a live-action movie featuring Cary Grant and the Mexican actor Cantinfl as. But all those projects were eventually abandoned. The story of Don Quixote was simply too hard to adapt to the screen.
As for Eduardo, after having left New York in July 1940, he roamed the Americas and Europe in the pursuit of new artistic ventures—paintings, of course, but also novels and a few ballets. His major achievement, however, was his illustrated diary, My Book of Pleasure, which he started painting in 1935 and completed fourteen volumes later, in 1988.
Eduardo Solá Franco passed away in Santiago, Chile, on March 24, 1996. He would have been surprised to know that in the mid-’90s, the Brizzi brothers, who were running the Parisian subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios at the time, were still trying to get an ambitious project off the ground: an animated version of Don Quixote.
Photo: Jack Miller at work on Don Quixote, c. 1940.
"As someone who revels in the ability to peek behind the creative curtain, I loved diving into They Drew As They Pleased: The Hidden Art Of Disney's Late Golden Age - The 1940s Part Two. The third volume in what I hope continues to be an ongoing series, it deep dives into the Disney archives to unearth and present the artwork drawn by studio artists that served as inspiration for Disney's iconic films and shorts."
-A Site Called Fred
"This book tells the story of each of these artists - Eduardo Sola Franco, Johnny Walbridge, Jack Miller, Campbell Grant, James Bodrero and Martin Provensen - with ample examples of their artistry. The book also contains new facts and finds, uncovered by Ghez during the course of his research, including the only known photograph of Bela Lugosi posing as "Chernabog" for Fantasia, abandoned sequences for Dumbo, and a hilarious selection of unused screwball characters, created by Walbridge, for the Tulgy Wood sequence in Alice in Wonderland. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
These books are absolutely vital, visually delightful and masterfully written. Thank you, Didier, for all you do - and for this a series of incredible books. Long may they continue! "
"Not only do we get an excellent look, thanks to Disney Historian and author: Didier Ghez, at the history of the character model and development process, but he has also gathered together a fantastic collection of excerpts and descriptions from these artists' autobiographies, journals, and diaries. These first hand accounts paired with the artwork showcased in this volume make it a fantastic look back into the Disney Studios in the 1940s."
-Journey Through the Magical Kingdom
"Author Didier Ghez...again displays formidable skill as a researcher and animation historian. His is an amazing, Sherlockian investigatory ability to sleuth out 'lost' Disneyana artworks, and info about its artists, in unexplored private collections, as well as the vast holdings of the Walt Disney Archives and Animation Research Library."
The Animated Eye, John Canemaker
About the Author
Didier Ghez has conducted Disney research since he was a teenager in the mid '80s. His articles about the parks, animation, and vintage international Disneyana, as well as his many interviews with Disney artists, have appeared in such magazines as Disney twenty-three, Persistence of Vision, Tomart's Disneyana Update, Animation Journal, Animation Magazine, StoryboarD, and Fantasyline. He is the author and editor of numerous books about the Disney Studio and its artists, including the Walt's People book series and the They Drew as They Pleased book series. He also runs The Disney History blog (disneybooks.blogspot.com) and The Disney Books Network website (www.didierghez.com). Andreas Deja has worked as a Disney animator for over 30 years on many films including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Lilo & Stitch, and The Princess and the Frog. He was recently named a Disney Legend by the Walt Disney Company.
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The concept art for "Don Quixote" and "Fantasia" alone are worth the price of the book.
Buy this book NOW to ensure the future titles in this series see the light of day...please!!!!