Walt Disney: An American Original (Disney Editions Deluxe) Info

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Average Ratings and Reviews
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Ratings and Reviews From Market


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Reviews for Walt Disney: An American Original (Disney Editions Deluxe):

5

May 16, 2012

This book was an absolute treasure to read. I first started reading this book when I lived in Walt Disney World on the Disney College program. After so many years I finally finished it and regret that I never did it when I lived there. I think this would have had more of an impact then it did now. For the number of pages that I did read, it was a true magical experience of going to work and school there knowing that this all was designed by one man who took pain in knowing that everything had to This book was an absolute treasure to read. I first started reading this book when I lived in Walt Disney World on the Disney College program. After so many years I finally finished it and regret that I never did it when I lived there. I think this would have had more of an impact then it did now. For the number of pages that I did read, it was a true magical experience of going to work and school there knowing that this all was designed by one man who took pain in knowing that everything had to be perfect.

Walt Disney was truly a genius that could move mountains and oceans. His ideas were so far ahead of everything else that it took teams of people to construct. The story of Walt Disney is that of a true American original because one, he grew up living the small town farm life to the hustle and bustle of somewhat city life. He started working as a basic artist making small cartoons and creating characters and small comics from that.

He struggled with getting established but to him, the issue of money was something he never worried about because as he said, that's what his brother is for, Roy. He would hire people and start different projects without worrying about where he was going to get the money to pay them. He would do this many times over even when he started making movies.

In Walt's mind it always came down to, if you create the best story or experience you can, people will come. This is what drove him all those years to imagine and build. His love for entertaining went beyond anything else. He entertained on so many different levels and mediums that not even Hollywood was able to compete. He created new industries and ways of thinking that no other person had thought of before.

The story of Walt is for anyone who wants to know what the true habits and understandings are of a real genius. His work ethics were always sharp and on the ball. He kept track of everything going on around him and whenever his men were having trouble with something, they could count on Walt to find the solution. He was self-taught in everything he did. With no formal college training, he received honorary degrees in various fields from all the top Ivy league schools and still felt he didn't know enough.

I plan on reading this book again, later in life to relive that amazing experience of knowing who Walt Disney was. ...more
5

Feb 07, 2019

Beautifully written. Very honest but never negative. I really loved this. Such a powerful book!
5

Jul 22, 2016

I always find it hard to create a well organised review with a biography or non-fiction book. Especially since I feel so passionately over this book and I think that will make it harder for me to create a well structured review. However, I will give it my best shot!

This is the beautiful and powerful story of Walt Disney and it was worded beautifully with such enthusiasm. The author Bob Thomas was a really good choice for a writer, he gave you enough detail about Walts life but at the same time I always find it hard to create a well organised review with a biography or non-fiction book. Especially since I feel so passionately over this book and I think that will make it harder for me to create a well structured review. However, I will give it my best shot!

This is the beautiful and powerful story of Walt Disney and it was worded beautifully with such enthusiasm. The author Bob Thomas was a really good choice for a writer, he gave you enough detail about Walt’s life but at the same time I feel like he didn’t break into Walt’s personal life which I actually thought was really great. Especially into relation to Walt as it leaves some of the magic behind. The book was structurally well written moving through Walt’s life in a good chronological order. It made it really easy to read and it was definitely not a chore to read through. Which I normally struggle with when reading non-fiction normally.

In terms of the time it has taken me to read I always wanted to read a Disney biography but I did have further motive, I picked this book up for my Disney extended project and found that it contained a lot of really interesting and useful information about Disney and his life. i was able to learn so much from it and interpret it into my essay. It is great for information and it will put you in such a Disney mood! Take me to Disneyland please! ...more
5

Jan 03, 2014

Being a "Disney Baby" all my life, and having recently seen Saving Mr. Banks, I decided it was time to delve into the full story of the man whose work was so much a part of my childhood. I couldn't be more glad that I did! The warmth and humor that I remembered seeing in his television appearances (re-aired on cable for the benefit of 80's kids like me) were no persona, but a facet of the real man, and that makes me happy. Thomas doesn't ignore his flaws, though--he gives considerable attention Being a "Disney Baby" all my life, and having recently seen Saving Mr. Banks, I decided it was time to delve into the full story of the man whose work was so much a part of my childhood. I couldn't be more glad that I did! The warmth and humor that I remembered seeing in his television appearances (re-aired on cable for the benefit of 80's kids like me) were no persona, but a facet of the real man, and that makes me happy. Thomas doesn't ignore his flaws, though--he gives considerable attention to Walt's temper, particularly in his battles with Roy, when Walt was hell-bent on tackling his next idea and his elder brother tried to get him to accept the limits of their often shaky finances.

Walt's no-repeats mantra (coined after film distributors requested that he make a sequel to the 3 Little Pigs short), "You can't top pigs with pigs," kept appearing at moments like these. The possibility of easy money to be made on the tried-and-true had no allure for him--he wanted always to find the next big challenge (such a far cry from what the company has moved to these days, in acquiring pre-existing franchises and sequelling its films into direct-to-video hell!). That pioneering spirit is what set him apart. A highly enjoyable book about a very unique individual. ...more
5

Jan 28, 2013

If youre looking for the single best (and condensed) bio of Walt, start here... If you’re looking for the single best (and condensed) bio of Walt, start here... ...more
4

Feb 24, 2016

As much as I put off reading it, I did enjoy this book. It was very interesting and I definitely learned a lot about Disney. That meaning the company and the person. I probably would have spent less time reading this if not for a book report. I may read this again in the future for fun. I also plan to read to read more biographies now...
4

Aug 16, 2019

Very enjoyable. I know it is not the primary, go to biography of Walt Disney, but I truly enjoyed reading this book. It appears very balanced and objective. I highly recommend it!
4

Jan 29, 2008

For a biography, this was a very well written story of Walt Disney's life. I thought it was a good look at the man behind the mouse, starting with this animated movies and moving into theme parks. As a big Disney World fan, I was fascinated by this read.
4

Jan 02, 2016

Fascinating life, fascinating man. Unbelievably inspiring outlook on not just his successes, but also his failures. Author Bob Thomas has quite a task in telling Disney's professional and personal story fully. At times, I wished the narrative was more chronologically organized, but overall it was a great look at the man behind the dreams--and the dreams behind the man-- and just what I'd hoped for.
4

May 14, 2015

There are two ways of looking at this book. It is either a hagiography of a man with control issues, or a respectful treatment of one of the prime shapers of American culture in the 20th century. Either way, there is no doubt that the writer admires his subject and cheerfully tells the story of an admirable man. And if only half of it were true, one would have to conclude that Walt Disney was one of the most remarkable men ever to walk the earth. His gifts and drive and moment in history There are two ways of looking at this book. It is either a hagiography of a man with control issues, or a respectful treatment of one of the prime shapers of American culture in the 20th century. Either way, there is no doubt that the writer admires his subject and cheerfully tells the story of an admirable man. And if only half of it were true, one would have to conclude that Walt Disney was one of the most remarkable men ever to walk the earth. His gifts and drive and moment in history combined to form a man who was ever-learning, ever-leading, and ever-pioneering new ways of teaching, entertaining, and serving the world around him.

I enjoyed this book in another way, too. In the same way that Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs went behind the scenes of all the technological forces that have shaped my life, Thomas's biography of Walt Disney is a backstage pass to the genesis of the arts and entertainment that have impacted me in many ways. I doubt any American has not been influenced by Disney in some way, almost certainly positively, and this book reveals the man (and men) who started it all.
...more
4

Jan 28, 2017

Thomas's book was one of the first biographies of Walt Disney, and remains a classic. Thomas's style is a nice mix of chronology, anecdotes and characterization, using memories of multiple people who knew him. Thomas had family approval, and could use their archives, which means that we not only get a portrait of Disney the business man, but also of Disney as a husband and a father. For me as a lover of animation film the book becomes less interesting when Disney moves on to live action, Thomas's book was one of the first biographies of Walt Disney, and remains a classic. Thomas's style is a nice mix of chronology, anecdotes and characterization, using memories of multiple people who knew him. Thomas had family approval, and could use their archives, which means that we not only get a portrait of Disney the business man, but also of Disney as a husband and a father. For me as a lover of animation film the book becomes less interesting when Disney moves on to live action, television and theme parks, but that's of course a problem of any book telling the complete Disney history.

Thomas's book is not without its flaws: for contemporary audiences this book is too shallow on its sources, especially on Disney's earliest history. With many an anecdote I wondered how Thomas knew. Besides, there are some clear indications of censorship. For example, the tragic story of Fred Moore is related, without revealing the animator's name. Moreover, Thomas shuns an analysis of his subject: his biography remains a pretty straightforward story from birth to death. Nevertheless, 'Walt Disney: An American Original' remains a nice introduction to who Walt Disney was and why he was so unique and important, and it's absolutely justified that it's still in print. ...more
5

Apr 21, 2017



WALT DISNEY


Two words, which everyone knows, every once in a while we hear these two words which means so many things: a legacy, many tears of joy, entertainment and lots of lots of time comes to our mind when we were happy, enjoying life to its fullest.


This is what Walter Elias Disney put down in his short life. A legacy! for entertainers to follow, to catch on, to develop for the cause of entertaining millions of people, children and adults.

I couldnt be obiective with this topic, cause like

WALT DISNEY


Two words, which everyone knows, every once in a while we hear these two words which means so many things: a legacy, many tears of joy, entertainment and lots of lots of time comes to our mind when we were happy, enjoying life to its fullest.


This is what Walter Elias Disney put down in his short life. A legacy! for entertainers to follow, to catch on, to develop for the cause of entertaining millions of people, children and adults.

I couldnt be obiective with this topic, cause like almost all of us I grew up on this genious mans fantasys, work and I recommend this book to all the people who feel the same way about this world.

It was such a great pleasure to know the man and his crew behind these all time classics and all of their work!

As a self thaught artist myself..I remember when being like 10 years old, I tried to find sketches about the disney grafics ... also documentaries about him, about his company. And this passion never stopped till now.
I even have some behind the scenes montages on my old VCR at home about Disney telling at the end of the Snow White how they made it come true. Even as a child I loved to watch it aaaaaall the time.

Magical moments. Indeed.

This book its so detailed!
I was such a shock when I first started to read it. From the origins of the family till the bitter end of two brothers who made their wishes come true! With a perfect end line in the final chapter. Heartworming experience.
All of the picture do tell their stories. Be sure to check them out!

The autor Bob Thomas used all of his sources so well! The story went cronologically and he tried to show Disneys every aspect as much as he could, being a young hard working family loving man, to the businessman who accomplished his dreams.

Disney helped others to get into his fantasy world, for which we always be truly gratefull, for all times!
...more
4

Apr 23, 2014

An in depth look at the man behind Mickey Mouse and Disneyland and how he reshaped the world of cartoon and entertainment.

My Opinion: The tale of Walt Disney through the eyes of Bob Thomas is reminiscent of a fairy tale. There are humble beginnings, failures, heartbreak, dwarves, a castle, and evil villains. But the protagonist manages to break free from the chains that tried to weigh him down and, finally, arises as a hero who makes everyone's dreams come true.

The main character, Walter Elias An in depth look at the man behind Mickey Mouse and Disneyland and how he reshaped the world of cartoon and entertainment.

My Opinion: The tale of Walt Disney through the eyes of Bob Thomas is reminiscent of a fairy tale. There are humble beginnings, failures, heartbreak, dwarves, a castle, and evil villains. But the protagonist manages to break free from the chains that tried to weigh him down and, finally, arises as a hero who makes everyone's dreams come true.

The main character, Walter Elias Disney, started off in humble circumstances in Chicago in 1901. His interest in art and cartoons started in his grammar school years and continued as he grew into an ambitious adult. Despite his talent and drive, he seemed to fall down on his luck several times before he created Mickey Mouse and, later, successful movies. Though he died before all of his dreams came to fruition, the legacy Disney left behind is one that no one will forget. Every time someone watches Mary Poppins or takes their child to Disneyland, they are participating in the dream of a man who really changed the world of entertainment.

Author Bob Thomas was able to get us into the head of Walt Disney through meeting minutes/transcripts, notes, and interviews with those closest to him. This book focused mostly on the aspects of Disney's life that influenced his profession, from his early beginnings as a cartoonist to his final days making plans for Walt Disney World. This in-depth look at Disney's life is very thorough, at times even a compelling read. It may have lacked details as to much of Disney's personal life, though I'm pretty sure Disney would have wanted it that way.

The author did a great job at following Disney's life chronologically while still keeping life events that spanned several years together so they made sense. I liked how he included small pieces in Disney's younger years that influenced his later ones. Through dialogue and letters, I was able to get to know Disney's voice and personality and feel a connection to this great man.

I have a new appreciation for cartoons and the extensive work that went into the very first ones. I also now have a deeper love and awe for Disneyland. I don't know if anyone could have come up with such a crazy idea at the time and made it a success.

My overall feel for Walt Disney could be summed up in these words taken from the book as Bob Thomas quoted Eric Sevareid from CBS Evening News after Disney passed away from lung cancer at age 65:

"He was an original. Not just an American original, but an original. Period. He was a happy accident, one of the happiest this century has experienced. And judging by the way it’s behaving, in spite of all Disney tried to tell it about laughter, love, children, puppies, and sunrises, the century hardly deserved him. He probably did more to heal - or at least soothe - troubled human spirits than all the psychiatrists in the world. There can’t be many adults in the allegedly civilized parts of the globe who did not inhabit Disney’s mind and imagination for at least for a few hours and feel better for the visitation.

"It may be true, as somebody said, that while there is no highbrow in a lowbrow, there is some lowbrow in every highbrow. But what Disney seemed to know was that while there is very little grown-up in every child, there is a lot of child in every grown-up. To a child, this weary world is brand-new, gift wrapped. Disney tried to keep it that way for adults.

"By the conventional wisdom, mighty mice, flying elephants, Snow White and Happy, Grumpy, Sneezy and Doc - all these were fantasy, escapism from reality. It’s a question of whether they are any less real, any more fantastic than intercontinental missiles, poisoned air, defoliated forests, and scrap iron on the moon. This is the age of fantasy, however you look at it, but Disney’s fantasy wasn’t lethal.

"People are saying we will never see his like again."


I'm grateful to the author, Bob Thomas (who just recently passed away). Thomas gave me a more than just a glimpse of this American original of a man. He opened my eyes to the hero that was Disney. There is something to be said about a man who has broadened my vision of the world through his amazing movies and yet still have me convinced that it is a small world after all. ...more
5

Jul 29, 2018

An in-depth biography of Walt Disney that shows all sides of Disney, his vision for the future, and his love of storytelling.

Recommended 12+ because contrary to popular belief, people in the 20s-60s swore (a lot) and Disney was no exception.
5

Mar 08, 2019

It was a very interesting book about Walt Disney, and it was pretty cool to learn about him.
4

Mar 14, 2020

This was fascinating. Took me a long time to read because I'm not a big non-fiction reader so I just picked it up between other things. I kept having to renew it at the library!

I learned so many things I didn't have a clue about. I grew up with Disney cartoons, Mickey Mouse Club, Bambi and the early princeses. I also had to check out Oswald Rabbit, one of Disney's first creations and one that doesn't have his name on it. I was surprised to learn that Walt was the voice of Mickey. The man was This was fascinating. Took me a long time to read because I'm not a big non-fiction reader so I just picked it up between other things. I kept having to renew it at the library!

I learned so many things I didn't have a clue about. I grew up with Disney cartoons, Mickey Mouse Club, Bambi and the early princeses. I also had to check out Oswald Rabbit, one of Disney's first creations and one that doesn't have his name on it. I was surprised to learn that Walt was the voice of Mickey. The man was quite brilliant and always looking out for his customers, especially the children.

I've always felt a connection to Walt Disney, certainly seeing him announcing some of the TV shows in my youth. However, I think that the the biggest connections were that I was born in Los Angeles, my Dad was raised there and he was set to study with Disney as an animator. But then World War II started and he went into the Army. My parents moved to Massachusetts when I was still very young and I never saw Disneyland. Now I live in FL and have been to Disney World!

I enjoyed the pictures of Walt through his life. He wasn't perfect and Bob Thomas portrays him honestly I think, although I believe he really did admire him. Thomas did a little time-leaping back and forth, I think to complete a theme he might be on. It wasn't too distracting but just a bit. ...more
4

Mar 23, 2020

8/10
A workmanlike biography that straddles many thin lines. While it makes Walt relatable, it doesn't always make you feel like you know him deeply (but perhaps that *is* part of knowing Walt). While it touches on Walt's creative and managerial genius, it doesn't always put his legacy in greater context. At times it felt like a catalogue of business dealings, animators hired, profits made, and sums paid rather than a biography. Nonetheless, it is an enjoyable read with many great insights and 8/10
A workmanlike biography that straddles many thin lines. While it makes Walt relatable, it doesn't always make you feel like you know him deeply (but perhaps that *is* part of knowing Walt). While it touches on Walt's creative and managerial genius, it doesn't always put his legacy in greater context. At times it felt like a catalogue of business dealings, animators hired, profits made, and sums paid rather than a biography. Nonetheless, it is an enjoyable read with many great insights and tidbits of information. ...more
4

May 10, 2019

A beautiful book that captures the full, true story of the man whose dreams and vision have brought unmeasurable joy and inspiration to countless children of all ages. My only knock on the book is its sometimes awkward phrasing or (in my opinion) its occasional unnecessary inclusion of information that only slows down the flow of the story. Still, this book is a must-read for anyone looking to learn more about the man behind Mickey Mouse and so, so much more.
4

Nov 18, 2017

While definitely more of a "fantasy" view of Walt's life, this book was still an interesting look into an extraordinary man's life. I found it inspiring and hopeful that creativity and magic still resonate with people, even in a world as grim and sad as ours now. There may never be another person like Walt Disney- but we can all do our best to be as optimistic about humankind as him.
4

Aug 01, 2018

Well written and researched book about the creative life of Walt Disney. The author traced Walts early life through his final work to build Walt Disney World and Epcot. Lots of great insights into the personality and character of Disney, although at times it seemed a bit too upbeat.
The book is a very readable and good basic work dealing with the life of Disney. Well written and researched book about the creative life of Walt Disney. The author traced Walt’s early life through his final work to build Walt Disney World and Epcot. Lots of great insights into the personality and character of Disney, although at times it seemed a bit too upbeat.
The book is a very readable and good basic work dealing with the life of Disney. ...more
5

Jul 19, 2019

Wow what an incredible and inspiring man Walt Disney was. I loved this book, I feel like I know Walt personally now. This book was filled with information about his life, but it never felt boring. It progressed through his life like a story and was easy to read. The amount that he accomplished in the time he was here was awe inspiring, especially considering he basically worked his way up from nothing. The work ethic and imagination he had was just wow. I feel like we can all really learn a lot Wow what an incredible and inspiring man Walt Disney was. I loved this book, I feel like I know Walt personally now. This book was filled with information about his life, but it never felt boring. It progressed through his life like a story and was easy to read. The amount that he accomplished in the time he was here was awe inspiring, especially considering he basically worked his way up from nothing. The work ethic and imagination he had was just wow. I feel like we can all really learn a lot from him. Definitely recommend this one! ...more
5

Sep 29, 2019

A thorough and detailed review of the life, creativity and innovation of an American Original. This story of Walts life is enlightening and inspiring. Ill definitely be sharing details of the book with friends and family and giving recommendations to read it! A thorough and detailed review of the life, creativity and innovation of an American Original. This story of Walt’s life is enlightening and inspiring. I’ll definitely be sharing details of the book with friends and family and giving recommendations to read it! ...more
4

May 17, 2019

Great behind the scenes look at a man who was intriguing and had several strange idiosyncrasies. Walt Disney also had many secrets in his life that were not known by all.
4

Jan 10, 2019

This is a fascinating biography of Walt Disney. He truly was a genius who changed the world.
4

Jan 08, 2014

I found this biography fascinating. Bob Thomas did a remarkable job of letting us see the "real" Walt and his many sides. Having grown up in the late 50's and 60's, Disney was a huge part of my childhood and held wonderful memories for me. Sadly though, I knew nothing about the man behind it all. Walt Disney was to put it simply--iconic. I use that word because it fits who he was. As defined in the dictionary it means: widely known and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence.

Walt was I found this biography fascinating. Bob Thomas did a remarkable job of letting us see the "real" Walt and his many sides. Having grown up in the late 50's and 60's, Disney was a huge part of my childhood and held wonderful memories for me. Sadly though, I knew nothing about the man behind it all. Walt Disney was to put it simply--iconic. I use that word because it fits who he was. As defined in the dictionary it means: widely known and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence.

Walt was a visionary and a master of not only pushing the limits of his art but also the people he worked with. Great men are often eccentric in their personalities. Walt demanded excellence not just of himself but of those in his employ. If they couldn't think "outside the box" or catch his vision, they were of no use to him. His life was so driven and the scope of all he had accomplished was nothing short of phenomenal. His continual financial troubles and betrayals by other competitors over the years, never dulled his tenacity to keep moving forward.

I loved the relationship he had with his older brother Roy who was 8 years his senior. Roy was the unsung hero and financial wizard of this duo as he worked behind the scenes to keep the company afloat. This allowed Walt the freedom to pursue his dreams, even though it would be many years before they would see continued financial success. When "Snow White" was finally released in 1937 after several years of production at a cost of $1,500,000, all attendance records were broken. "The film earned $8,000,000 in it's first release which was phenomenal considering the average price for admission in 1938 was only .23 cents and .10 cents for children."

As I read about all the techniques he pioneered in the animation industry, I couldn't help but think he was a model for George Lucas and his "Star Wars" films. Frustrated because his vision for the film was limited by technology that was not available during the 70's, he created his own special effects studio in May 1975 and named it "Industrial Light and Magic." Not surprisingly, it was recently acquired in 2012 by The Walt Disney Company as part of its purchase of Lucasfilm.

Walt Disney had so many dreams and ideas that were always changing. This was his gift that brought us cartoons, movies, television shows and a magic kingdom. His mind knew no bounds when a new idea came to him. Disneyland became his greatest achievement in his eyes. He described his feelings like this, "The park means a lot to me. It's something that will never be finished..." "It will be a live, breathing thing that will need changes." "The park is that. Not only can I add things, but even the trees will keep growing. The thing will get more beautiful year after year."

Along with striving for the best in all of his endeavors, Walt kept a high moral standard for the types of entertainment he produced. He would never allow the Disney name or songs to be used to promote "beer, cigarettes, or such things." He explained his view to a coworker once to help him understand the importance of the phrase, "Walt Disney Presents." "Disney (is) an image in the public mind." "...a kind of entertainment, a kind of family thing." "You see, I'm not Disney anymore. Disney is something we've built up in the public mind. They know they're going to get a certain quality, a certain kind of entertainment."

This was an insightful read about his life and a glimpse into the genius of Walt Disney. His legacy lives on through all his achievements but more importantly through the smiles and happiness of those whose lives he has enriched. Thanks Walt, for bringing a bit of magic to all of us. ...more

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