Walt’s People 11 is out. Don’t forget to add it to your Christmas list!
Fellow AM student Willie Downs has come up with a fantastic idea to chronicle and eventually publish inspirational correspondence between animators. I think this would make for some incredibly interesting reading as well as historical documentation. Especially if some of the now “vintage” examples could be dug up. Hopefully enough people can spread the word and we can all bare witness to the birth of yet another truly inspirational stop on the blogsphere for artists and animators alike. Good luck Willie!
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Recently I’ve been enjoying reading Jim Korkis’ latest book, The Vault of Walt. It’s entertaining in as much the same way as Walt’s People and Working with Walt (A new volume of which will be released soon), except it reminds me more of the stuff that doesn’t make the final edit.
Having had a bit of an insider’s look at the process of putting these kinds of books together, I can tell you ( based on the interviews that I’ve transcribed for Walt’s People) that there’s a ton of little anecdotes, and casual conversation points that don’t usually make it to print. Didier often tells me just to transcribe the really interesting stuff for Walt’s People (sometimes he’ll give more specific instructions). But the problem I have with this is that I find it all so interesting, and usually just end up transcribing everything and let him choose what the edit out. As I said, a lot of the really casual stuff gets edited out, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s often just as enjoyable to hear/read as the stuff that makes it into the final published volume.
This is why I’m enjoying The Vault of Walt so much. It’s such an easy read, and the stories are so enjoyable. Having read dozens of books on Disney history, it’s always amazing to constantly find new stories to read. I look forward to any subsequent volumes from Korkis and thoroughly recommend this to everyone interested in Disney Animation History.
Since a good Disney book review is not complete without a good Walt Disney quote, I’ll offer up this one from The Vault of Walt. This quote is one of the parts in the book I have read elsewhere, so I guess if you want to see the “new” stuff, you’ll have to get a copy.
By nature, I’m an experimenter. To this day, I don’t believe in sequels. I can’t follow popular cycles. I have to move on to new things. So with the success of Mickey I was determined to diversify. We kept fooling around with The Silly Symphonies until we came up with The Three Little Pigs. I could not possibly see how we could top pigs with pigs. But we tried, and I doubt whether one member of this audience can name the other cartoons in which the pigs appeared.
It’s no secret that I love Disney history. Here’s something that will make the like-minded happy and sad. The Disney Fan Club (D23) has started a series called Armchair Archivists. They’ll be digging deep into the Disney Archives with every episode. That was the happy, here’s the sad: The first episode features Disney’s last appearance on camera before he passed.
I’m officially a fan of this series. Thanks to Didier Ghez for pointing this out to me.
I love everything about the Walt’s People books series that Didier Ghez has put together over the last few years. Learning about the heated rivalries, the casual drinking, the extraordinary talents, the work place drama, and the famous studio strike, among many, many other things. I love Pete Emslie’s caricatures. I love the fact that I don’t have to spend so much time and money tracking down all these interviews in old copies of Funnyworld and other magazines on eBay.
After reading the first few volumes, I knew I had to be a part of this series in some way. I’m a nut for animation history. I didn’t have any interviews or stories to share with Didier, but I did volunteer some of my time to the cause. I’m just finishing up transcribing my second interview for the series about Ward Kimball’s space series, and looking forward to working on his new series entitled, “Bug’s Buddies.”
If you have a passion for animation history and can spare a few hours a week in order to help piece together animation history and, “unlock the vaults,” as Didier would say, send him an e-mail and offer to give him a hand. It’s a great experience!