New release! Working with Walt: Interviews with Disney Artists by Don Peri
Fans of Didier Ghez' Walt's People series will be interested in this similar collection of conversations with many of Disney's main artists, designers and directors.
From the LP review:
Collected together, these interviews begin to resemble a puzzle. And each conversation, as Herb Ryman states in his interview, is a little part of the puzzle, the jigsaw puzzle, that goes into the portrait of Walt Disney. Through these voices, Peri preserves views of the Disney magic from those who worked closely with him. Working with Walt provides absorbing, informed accounts of Walt Disney, as told by people who knew and worked with him closely.
New Release! Consuming Innocence by Dr Karen Brooks
From the News.com.au review:
Disney is continuing its tradition of being G-rated entertainment's biggest mother flickers. Ever since Bambi's mum hit the clover in 1942, Disney, in particular, has been giving mothers the flick from their scripts, even if they existed in the source material. The move provides an adversity in the plot for the central (young) character. Mother characters, by nature, elicit too much strength. By being there as the one to run to when things go wrong they steal the thunder. Much easier to kill them off - the earlier the better - and let the audience concentrate on the child. And it works. Over and over again. From Bambi to Snow White, Tarzan to Pixar's Finding Nemo, Herbie Fully Loaded to the current, classically formulated Hannah Montana - Miley Stewart's "mom" died when she was only a few years old (Brooke Shields played her in a dream sequence) - the mother flicking flourishes...Brooks says in her book it is the fathers who clearly benefit from Disney's matricidal tendencies. "Patriarchy replaces, oppresses and even elides matriarchy in the Disney galaxy," Brooks says. "And we have to begin to consider what this teaches our kids - particularly about family and women's roles."
Dark Horse Founder Mike Richardson, Respected Illustrator Dean Yeagle, and Legendary Film Critic Leonard Maltin are doing a signing at Disney Soda Fountain on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA on March 19th at 6pm. This signing is in honor of the releases of Richardson and Yeagle's Return of the Gremlins and Maltin's Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy.
The Gremlin characters, originally created by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), were almost to used by Disney for an animated flick in the 1940's.
(For more on that, click here.)
The Sri Lankan Sunday Times has a brief article on the money being made from the production of Disney brand books in that country. While it's an article of admittedly limited appeal to those outside of Sri Lanka or the paper industry, one paragraph illustrates the universality of the Disney brand's market power:
In Sri Lanka, Richard Stationery has become synonymous with the Disney brand with its trademark exercise books with the famous cartoon characters on their covers. Obtaining the Disney franchise in 1998 turned out to be a windfall for the business. “We achieved better figures than they (Disney-US) expected,” he says, adding that they were impressed enough to let them retain the label. Surprisingly however, according to Richard, Disney is only a relatively small segment in the business, as he admits that it is primarily a high-end good. On the other side of the coin, he also speaks about the detrimental effect of taking sole distributorship of a brand as well-known and loved as Disney. “It kills your own brand,” he says. A token effort must be made to keep your brand afloat, which is why many think twice before accepting the challenge.
Shameless plug time:
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