Walt Disney: Conversations

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The imagination of Walt Disney (1901-1966) is still seen in theme parks throughout the world bearing his name, on numerous live-action films and television specials, on toys and assorted merchandise, and on an international corporation known both for the high quality of its creative output and its ubiquity.

Walt Disney: Conversations collects interviews and profiles of the man who created Mickey Mouse, and produced such full-length animated classics as Snow White, Cinderella, Fantasia, Bambi, The Lady and the Tramp, Dumbo, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, and Pinocchio, along with countless short cartoons.

Bringing together over twenty pieces from the late 1920s to the late 1960s, this book traces Disney's career from the early classic Steamboat Willie to the construction of Disneyland, and the live-action ventures The Mickey Mouse Club and Mary Poppins. Walt Disney: Conversations shows how Disney saw his productions as shapers of popular culture and reveals how firmly he understood the issues of his time.

Featuring an interview conducted by producer Cecil B. DeMille, Disney's testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), and rarely seen pieces from the Disney corporation's archives, Walt Disney: Conversations reveals a complex visionary whose impact on animation, live-action film, television, and theme parks has never been equaled.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Jackson explores the man behind the Magic Kingdom, evoking Disney's folksy yet driven personality through interviews he gave and speeches he delivered between 1929 and 1966. From a Ladies' Home Journal celebrity profile (entitled "Mr. and Mrs. Disney") to an informative dialogue from the Disney archives, it's clear that Disney's leading quality was persistence. Though Disney was criticized for his films and underpaying employees, this work defends his taste and management style. Most interesting are the contradictory critiques of his work. Told his films are maudlin, Disney responds: "Millions of sentimentalists have taste as schmaltzy as mine." When slammed for the darker elements of his works (the witches, ogres and dragons), he claims all his films illustrate that "[l]ife is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows." Of particular note is Disney's testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, where he named suspected Communists. Aside from a brief intro, Jackson, a communications professor at Virginia Wesleyan College, doesn't put Disney's remarks in context, leaving readers to assemble a full portrait of the man on their own. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Steamboat Willie made its 1928 debut starring a little-known mouse named Mickey that no one could have imagined would become one of the most recognizable American celebrities in the world. Walt Disney (1901-66) was not only the creator of Mickey Mouse but also the voice that brought the character to life. Although his fascinating story has been the subject of numerous books, this one is different. Editor Jackson (communications, Virginia Wesleyan Coll.; Walt Disney: A Bio-Bibliography) presents more than 20 of the best interviews with Disney culled from various magazines and the Disney archives ranging from 1929 to 1966. This material, though occasionally redundant, is anecdotal, humorous, and informative; especially interesting is Disney's conversation with the great producer Cecil B. DeMille and his appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Jackson writes a brief introduction and adds a Disney chronology. Any fan of Disney-the man or the enterprise-will enjoy reading Walt's answers to some tough and unusual questions. Recommended for all libraries where there is interest.-Rosalind Dayen, Broward Cty. South Regional Lib., FL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578067121
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 12/6/2005
  • Series: Conversations with Comic Artists Series
  • Pages: 143
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathy Merlock Jackson is professor and coordinator of communications at Virginia Wesleyan College. Her works include Walt Disney: A Bio-Bibliography and Images of Children in American Film: A Socio-Cultural Analysis. She has also been published in the Journal of Popular Culture, the Journal of American Culture, and the Journal of Popular Film and Television. She lives in Virginia Beach.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
Chronology xxi
How Silly Symphonies and Mickey Mouse Hit the Up Grade 3
Snow White's Daddy 5
Interview of Walt Disney by Cecil B. DeMille 13
Talk Given by Walt to All Disney Employees 15
Mr. and Mrs. Disney 20
That Million-Dollar Mouse 27
The Testimony of Walter E. Disney Before the House Committee on Un-American Activities 34
The Amazing Secret of Walt Disney 42
Walt Disney: World's Most Successful Showman 57
Interview by Tony Thomas 62
Interview by David Griffiths 67
A Visit with Walt Disney 72
Interview with Stan Hellenk 77
The Wide World of Walt Disney 81
Interview with Fletcher Markle 89
Interview with Hooper Fowler 104
80 Million a Year from Fantasy 115
The Fantastic Walt Disney 123
The Wonderful World of Walt Disney 133
Index 139
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