The Animated Man
A Life of Walt Disney
$29.95, £18.95 hardcover
Due 4/07--pre-order now
424 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 26 b/w photographs
Due April 2007
"This book is important not just as a biography, but also as a cultural history that provides great insight to one of the best-known creative minds of the twentieth century. Barrier's engaging and highly informative writing style offers excellent perspective on how much changed in the world of animated cartoons during Disney's lifetime, and just how much the Disney studio brought about these changes. The remarkable quantity of first-person accounts, interviews, and other primary evidence is one of the book's most important attributes. This biography chronicles Disney's life while keeping in view the technological and stylistic developments in animation and filmmaking that Disney helped bring about. Barrier's deft navigation of a wide variety of historical streams gives Animated Man a uniquely comprehensive and compelling story about Walt Disney."
--Daniel Goldmark, author of Tunes for 'Toons: Music and the Hollywood Cartoon
"Michael Barrier's biography of Walt Disney is impressive, with a remarkable range of interviews. I was fascinated to see this mysterious world laid out as an industrial process--somehow, this makes what we see on the screen even more miraculous."
--Kevin Brownlow, Director, Cecil B De Mille: American Epic and Garbo
"The Animated Man is by far the best critical study to date of Walt Disney and his worlds: corporate, personal, ideological, architectural. Michael Barrier's years of discussion with Disney's collaborators and family members make for a richly textured discussion of a figure often dismissed by the scholarly community as a vulgarian of the worst sort. Barrier shows us a tireless innovator, a man of deep feeling, a true American original who has woven himself into the very fabric of modern culture."
--Karal Ann Marling, editor, Designing Disney's Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance
Walt Disney (1901-1966) was one of the most significant creative forces of the twentieth century, a man who made a lasting impact on the art of the animated film, the history of American business, and the evolution of twentieth-century American culture. He was both a creative visionary and a dynamic entrepreneur, roles whose demands he often could not reconcile. In his compelling new biography, noted animation historian Michael Barrier takes the full measure of the man in all his many aspects. In a storyteller's lively prose, Barrier describes how Disney transformed himself from Midwestern farm boy to scrambling young businessman to pioneering artist and finally to entrepreneur on a grand scale. Based on decades of painstaking research in the Disney studio's archives and dozens of public and private archives in the United States and Europe, The Animated Man offers a portrait of Walt Disney as a flawed but fascinating artist, one whose imaginative leaps allowed him to vault ahead of the competition and produce work that even today commands the attention of audiences worldwide.
Introduction: "It's All Me"
1 "The Pet in the Family"
2 "A Cute Idea"
3 "You've Got to Really Be Minnie"
4 "This Character Was a Live Person"
5 "A Drawing Factory"
6 "A *****, Quick, Delightful Gink"
7 "Caprices and Spurts of Childishness"
8 "He Was Interested in Something Else"
9 "Where I Am Happy"
10 "He Drove Himself Right Up to the End"
Afterword: "Let's Never Not Be a Silly Company"
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Barrier founded and edited Funnyworld, the first serious magazine devoted to animation and the comics. He is the author of Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age (1999).
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