Monday, September 24, 2012

CGAA Recommended Reading: The Art of Walt Disney by Christopher Finch

The Art of Walt Disney: From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms and Beyond 
by Christopher Finch

The very definition of 'heavy reading' if only because the book is a 500 page juggernaut - it's absolutely huge and weighs a ton. Otherwise, it's a very digestible and easy to read history of Disney and the artists working behind the scenes, developing the ideas which ultimately make Disney cartoons as beautiful as they are. As expected for an art book about Disney, expect some absolutely glorious images. Finch's seminal book, originally published in 1973,  has seen numerous reprints and revisions and was most recently revised in 2011 to include an extensive section on Pixar. I prefer the older editions which go into more depth about slightly obscurer Disney cartoons and these copies also feature some lovely pull-out double page spreads of Disney art. Even its modern, slightly truncated form, this book is still the de facto study into Disney's style and processes. It covers just about every major full length Disney feature in some form or other, so it's a highly valuable resource.

The UCA Rochester Library has a version which although has seen much better days is the older version but all the versions are equally fascinating.

UCA Rochester Library Code: 741.58 DIS
Buy it from Amazon

Product Description of the 2011 version:

"Since it was first published in 1973, "The Art of Walt Disney" has established itself as an indispensable classic of illustrated book publishing, selling hundreds of thousands of copies. Offering a comprehensive history and tribute to the career and legacy of Walt Disney, this book was the first to reveal the wealth of concept art, animation drawings and archival material that is created in the course of animating films. And for many readers, it was the first art book that they came to own and treasure. "The Art of Walt Disney" went through two updates at the hand of its experienced author, Christopher Finch, both adding chapters to the original book. Now comes the first completely revised edition, thoroughly reworked to give a balanced view of the achievements of the Disney Company in filmmaking, theatre and theme parks from Walt's day to the present. This new edition also shows how John Lasseter and his team at Pixar have equalled and extended Disney's achievements in feature animation. In researching and writing the new chapters, Christopher Finch builds upon his unparalleled access to leading filmmakers and artists at Disney."

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