The Disney That Never Was: The Stories and Art from Five Decades of Unproduced Animation

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Disney artists worked on many projects, both shorts and feature-length films, and their rich and varied work - whether in the form of concept art, animation drawings, storyboards, or gags - is a testament to the quality and innovation the studio achieved, even on unfinished projects. After a brief Introduction examining how the studio operated during Walt Disney's day, Solomon surveys the many categories of uncompleted film, illustrating each with beautiful examples of work by the staff artists: Mickey, Donald, ...
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Overview

Disney artists worked on many projects, both shorts and feature-length films, and their rich and varied work - whether in the form of concept art, animation drawings, storyboards, or gags - is a testament to the quality and innovation the studio achieved, even on unfinished projects. After a brief Introduction examining how the studio operated during Walt Disney's day, Solomon surveys the many categories of uncompleted film, illustrating each with beautiful examples of work by the staff artists: Mickey, Donald, and Goofy shorts; Fairy Tale Projects like Hans Christian Andersen tales and the ambitious feature Chanticleer and Reynard; wartime propaganda films; early versions of Fantasia, and later efforts to expand elements of the film; and projects ranging from Hiawatha to Destino, a fantastic and unlikely collaboration between Disney and Salvador Dali.

From "Steamboat Willie" to The Lion King, the Walt Disney Studio's contribution to animation has been unparalleled. This unprecendented look at the creative processes behind the scenes at the Disney studio offers a wealth of magnificent animation art from uncompleted films stored in the vast Disney Archives. Photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Art of Walt Disney was first published in 1973. This major revision (some 50 percent of the text is new, with 200 new illustrations) carries the Disney story up to such current feature films as Pocahontas and even stories in production like The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Finch (The Art of the Lion King, Hyperion, 1994) also continues his exploration of Disney's nonanimated enterprises: the live-action films, television productions, and Disney theme parks in the United States, Japan, and France. As one would expect, excellent full-color illustrations abound, although the type size has been reduced in comparison with the first edition, presumably for reasons of economy. Solomon (The History of Animation, LJ 12/95) takes a vertical approach to the Disney phenomenon, concentrating on the fascinating world of Disney-animated features that were never released for a variety of reasons. In doing so he draws on the resources of the studio's Animation Research Library, where he was able to take advantage of countless detailed drawings and notes preserved even for productions that never came to fruition-a common practice at Disney. In this volume the Disney connoisseur will learn about Disney projects like Chanticleer and Reynard, as well as a curious collaborative venture undertaken by Disney and Salvador Dali. Disney propaganda, training, and entertainment films made during World War II are detailed in one of the most fascinating chapters. Few Disney fans would associate the animation giant with such films as Four Methods of Flush Riveting or Prostitution and the War. As contributions to the history of animation, both volumes are essential for academic and American studies collections. Public libraries with limited budgets may opt for Finch's more broadly appealing book.-Janice Zlendich, California State Univ. Lib., Fullerton
Gordon Flagg
Disney has mined its film archives for a series of lavish but nonessential celebrations of past cinematic efforts and current releases. This title differs from those. Well researched by animation scholar Solomon, it documents dozens of film projects that were abandoned in various stages of completion. They range from shorts featuring Mickey, Donald, and Goofy, to wartime propaganda films, to follow-ups to "Fantasia" that were jettisoned after that feature's initial critical and box-office failure. Particularly intriguing are such ambitious undertakings as a biographical film about Hans Christian Andersen featuring both live action and animation and an unlikely collaboration with Salvador Dali. Nearly every project discussed is accompanied by concept art, animation drawings, and other illustrations. The text is padded somewhat with familiar background on Disney, with anecdotes of life at the studio--from the freewheeling early days to its recent artistic and commercial resurgence--and with descriptions of the animation process, but Solomon's informed research makes even these vivid. This is both a substantive contribution to animation scholarship and an entertaining look at what might have been.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786860371
  • Publisher: Disney Editions
  • Publication date: 12/2/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 10.41 (w) x 10.33 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Solomon is an internationally respected critic and historian of animation. He has written on the subject for The New York Times, TV Guide, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times, Modern Maturity, Film Comment, and The Hollywood Reporter. His books include Tale As Old As Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast; Disney Lost and Found, The Prince of Egypt: A New Vision in Animation, The Disney That Never Was, and Enchanted Drawings: The History of Animation, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and the first film book to be nominated for a National Book Critics' Circle Award.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2000

    Fascinating Information

    I was lucky enough to find a copy of this out-of-print book and I am really glad that I did. This book is packed with drawings created by Disney artists that were working on projects that were never put into production. Along with the drawings are the stories of the projects and in most cases, the reason why they were never completed. I was especially interested in the material that was considered for the original Fantasia. I recently saw Fantasia 2000 and during this feature they talked about some ideas that were considered and discarded for Fantasia 2000. I found it particularly interesting to see that some material originally considered for Fantasia was actually used for Fantasia 2000 and other material considered for Fantasia was also considered for Fantasia 2000, but still not used. I recommend this book to anyone (who is lucky enough to find a copy) who is interested in Disney animation and some of the material that might have come from the studio that never made the grade.

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