Disney Trivia from the Vault of Dave Smith

Written by George Taylor. Posted in Disney, Features, The Disney Review

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Published on July 20, 2012 at 11:07 pm with 8 Comments

Is an introduction to Dave Smith really necessary?

The recently retired Chief Archivist Emeritus of the Walt Disney Archives has been the happy, helpful and cheerful face of the Archives since its inception on June 22, 1970. Dave worked tirelessly to acquire material for the Archives and helped researchers, authors, enthusiasts and fans research the Disney Company.

Dave is also famous for his “Ask Dave” column that appears on the D23 website and, previously, on the Disney Insider website. Dave started answering trivia-related questions back in July 1983 in the Disney Channel Magazine. Back then it was called “Exploring the Archives.” When the Disney Magazine started in 1994, he began the “Ask Dave” column. According to Dave, he has answered well over 1,100 questions.

D23 has published a book collecting almost all of the questions and answers that Dave has done over the past 20 years. Titled Disney Trivia from the Vault: Secrets Revealed and Questions Answered, it is 262 pages of Disney trivia goodness.

This is a strange title to try and review. Frankly, all you really need to say is that is close to 1,100 questions and answers about Disney. If you like Disney trivia, then you are going to like this book.

Kind of simple.

The book is divided into major sections: Animated Features; Animated Shorts; Disneyland; Live-Action Films; Publications; Television; Walt Disney World; and Walt Disney. The biggest sections are the ones dedicated to the animated films and shorts, obviously, since they have been a major part of the Company since the beginning.

Celebrating Epcot’s 30th Anniversary!

There is no index to the book, which, really, would have been nearly impossible, so you are just as likely to find something by flipping through the book. In the library world, we call that serendipity. And that is how you will approach this book, serendipitously. You’ll pick it up, read a few questions and put it back. A friend mentioned that it would make a great bathroom book.

I do recommend the book; I just think it would work better if there was a way to search for specific terms so you could see all of the entries. Of course, it is available as a Kindle ebook. Should you buy it? You should, especially if you’re a fan of the “Ask Dave” columns or really like bite-sized Disney trivia. Especially trivia that comes from the master, himself.

Are you looking for one of the best books about the Disney Company for researchers, fans and enthusiasts?

Do you have a favorite book about Disney history or trivia? 

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book and received a review copy from Disney Publishing.

By George Taylor

The Disney Review is written and edited by Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor.

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About George Taylor

George has been obsessed with Disney theme parks since the first time he saw a photo of the Haunted Mansion in the early 70s. He started writing about Disney in 2007 and has amassed one of the world's largest Disney-related libraries.

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  • Algernon

    Looks interesting.

    • George Taylor

      Algernon—it is interesting. I enjoyed it and really learned a lot.

  • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

    First, I love Dave Smith and I’m sure to pick up a couple copies of this book. One for keeping and one for gifting,

    However, I don’t think in will end up on my Disney research shelf. Without an index, it’s nearly worthless for that purpose.

    Thank you for the review George.

    • George Taylor

      Dusty–Using it as a gift is a great idea! My address is…

  • Timekeeper

    Well, the first edition of Disney A to Z didn’t have an Index, so I’m sure later they will include an Index in a later edition. I liked the review and I hope to read soon.


    • George Taylor

      I wonder if they will release another book of Dave’s trivia.

  • DisWedWay

    I hope they call on Dave Smith when they start designing a permanent Disney Archives Museum for Disneyland in Anaheim. Hopefully it will include all WED Imagineering, WDI and the Studio, ABC, along with Pixar. It can lend out showings to the Mainstreet Gallery, and both can sell merchandise to make those inclined happy. I used to love the sponser shows in Tomorrowland that Walt created.

    • George Taylor

      Have you heard anything about a DL museum? I have heard a few rumors, but nothing substantiated.