For ten years before the creation of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney struggled with, failed at, and eventually mastered the art and business of animation. Most biographies of his career begin in 1928, when Steamboat Willie was released. That first Disney Studio cartoon with synchronized sound made its main character--Mickey Mouse-an icon for generations.
But Steamboat Willie was neither Disney's first cartoon nor Mickey Mouse's first appearance. Prior to this groundbreaking achievement, Walt Disney worked in a variety of venues and studios, refining what would become known as the Disney style. In Walt Before Mickey, 1919-1928, Timothy Susanin creates a portrait of the artist from age seventeen to the cusp of his international renown.
After serving in the Red Cross in France after World War I, Walt Disney worked for advertising and commercial art in Kansas City. Walt used these experiences to create four studios-Kaycee Studios, Laugh-O-gram Films, Disney Brothers Studio, and Walt Disney Studio. Using company documents, private correspondence between Walt and his brother Roy, contemporary newspaper accounts, and new interviews with Disney's associates, Susanin traces Disney's path. The author shows Disney to be a complicated, resourceful man, especially during his early career. Walt Before Mickey, a critical biography of a man at a crucial juncture, provides the "missing decade" that started Walt Disney's career and gave him the skills to become a name known worldwide.
|Publisher:||University Press of Mississippi|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||5 MB|
About the Author
Timothy S. Susanin is the general counsel of a Fortune 500 company. He is a former federal prosecutor, Navy JAG, and television legal commentator. He lives in Villanova, Pennsylvania, with his wife and their three children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Good for Disney historians. This review is of a complimentary copy provided through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. “Walt Before Mickey” by Timothy S. Susanin is one of the, if not the, most exhaustive accounts of Disney’s early years that can be found. The research is thorough, and it shows. I have mixed feeling on “Walt Before Mickey”. As a historian, and a huge Disney nerd, the facts presented are a treasure trove. Almost all of the information is rare, the sources are solid and well-documented, and it brings a feeling of closeness to Disney himself. On the other hand, there is almost too much information. Every single person he met has a painstaking account of their looks and history. Not that those things are not important, but it slows it down and takes away from what is important. More than once I found my mind wandering during these descriptions, and it really is a shame that it mars what is otherwise an exceptional account of a great man. I can highly recommend “Walt Before Mickey” to historians or those with an intense interest in Disney himself, but would recommend those with a casual interest to give this one a pass.
Should i buy it for a project?
Tgis book was amazing i got a A on my project