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The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney

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As Walt became busier with the theme parks and other diversions, his animation directors took to pretending to implement his demands, showing him the same footage twice, garnering enthusiastic approval the second time around. It was of course, not to be, as neither the technology nor the design of the experience lent itself to storytelling. Barrier doesn’t gloss over the problems with Disney, his politics especially, but you come away with a more intense than ever admiration of the man, and for me personally it’s helpful that Barrier agrees with my general feeling about Disney, that animation was what he was best at and that the 1930s were his zenith. You can picture yourself there when a young Walt is growing up as a farm kid in Marceline, Missouri, or later when he's struggling to make a living. Am I supposed to hate Disney or dismiss him as a bad person because he was every inch business man, or because he was a Republican or he no longer dined with his wife by the time he was sixty?

The later animated films are covered much less intense, with 'Lady and the Tramp' being hardly mentioned, at all. And yet, for the timelessness they enjoy now, several classic Disney films were commercial failures at the time of their releases. In the 40s, with the European market lost to World War II, the studio shifted to producing educational films for the armed forces. Barrier juxtaposes Disney's own recollections against the memories of those other players to great effect.I tried Neal Gabler's but couldn't get through it because of all the side trips and pointless detail in it. There are good lessons in this for working through problematic and occasionally haphazard conditions to achieve a desired goal.

The author skipped from one year to another; at times I felt like I was reading random notes rather than a well written biography.With a huge passion for 3D and photogrammetry scanning we work passionately to bring new ideas and products to life for all CGI professionals with a frequent need to deliver lifelike visualizations under strict time constraints. There are a lot of things that can be associated with the start of a new school year; for kids it’s the excitement (and sometimes nervousness) of new. And the other good thing is that the author is not someone who is kissing Disney's ass (past pushing aside any of the things I mentioned at the start, again if you're looking for like hardcore gossip and rumors, whether true or not, I'm sure there's like 5 other books for that).

Not just a plain-vanilla small-business owner, like today's franchisees, but someone burning with his own ideas, eager to put them into practice, and impatient with limitations of any kind (financial, governmental, familial). Like many projects he worked on, critics doubted the idea of Disneyland, and they were certainly right when it opened. He too, often would get bored with projects halfway though their completion, making it difficult for them to see the finish line, especially since he had final say on EVERYTHING! While this book isn't the fast read I normally enjoy (then again, I normally read light mysteries), I found it very interesting. Samantha Friedman Arkansas Democrat-Gazette “I have always believed, and recently increasingly believe, that Walt Disney was one of the most important entrepreneurs of our time.True, there are many things that could be included that weren't, but I still learn quite a lot and got a better sense of the man, warts and all. Given Barrier's obvious bent toward the history of animation and Disney's place in it, I didn't have the highest expectations. One could always skip the peregrinations of the Disney family even if what happened then bears on what follows.

Like many geniuses of their time and field, Walt seemed driven and singularly obsessed with perfection. and on to the Oswals and Mickey Mouses and Silly Symphonies and what Barrier kind of considers his masterwork Snow White (and, possibly, I might as well, though Dumbo is a more personal favorite, oddly enough he's dismissive a bit much of Pinocchio or whatever), we see someone who is fairly, um, 'pure' in his aims with storytelling. The author played media critic a bit too much, which bothered me, but in the end I walked away with a clearer picture of a true American success story. Although he may not have had the unfettered access to the Disney archives accorded Neal Gabler, one would hardly be aware of that particular handicap. I'm not sure I would make this my first biographical endeavor into the life of one of the most influential people of the Twentieth Century.

Download and test our free 3D People to convince yourself of the great quality and usability of our Renderpeople products. Going to try How to Be like Walt and/or Walt Disney: An American Original next time, which both appear to be much better books.

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