Monday, September 29, 2014

The Disney Films - A Book Review

Author and avid-Disney fan, Leonard Maltin, wrote The Disney Films as a comprehensive guide to all films Disney. At the time it was a novel idea. Disneyania had yet to strike households across America. Today, books with similar subjects can be found in bookstores and libraries in every city, but nevertheless Maltin's original guide remains one of the best. Two hundred illustrations highlight excellent reviews covering each feature-length Walt Disney release from Walt's first resounding success, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ( 1937 ) to the last film that he personally oversaw, The Happiest Millionaire ( 1967 ). Each review features behind-the-scenes facts, quotes from the directors, animators, and leading actors and box-office release information, making it a highly-entertaining read. Published by Crown Publishers in 1973.

The Jeer : The 200+ images are great to look at, but it would really have been nice to see them in color. The fourth edition of the book is practically just a reprint of this original. 

The Cheer : Reading in-depth reviews of some of Walt Disney's rarer films, such as Moon Pilot and Dr. Syn, is a real treat. These films are almost always overlooked by "serious" critics. 

The Skinny : Leonard Maltin has written a book that is a must-have on the bookshelf of any true Disney fan. Today, you can pick up a copy for less than $5.00, which simply means there is no excuse for not owning one yourself. 

7 comments:

  1. A staple to go see at the movie theaters come this time of year when fall leaves were blowing around and the night came early and stayed long, was Walt Disney's The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad -- guaranteed to give the heebie-jeebies when the headless horseman appeared on the screen! It was a package story blending Legend of Sleepy Hollow with The Wind In the Willows. Have not seen it in eons!

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    1. That is indeed a great film to watch before Halloween. I keep forgetting that Ichabod was released along with Wind in the Willows. One of these days I would like to watch The Reluctant Dragon the way it was originally released, with Robert Benchley giving a tour of the Disney studios prior to the cartoon beginning.

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  2. A great addition to one's film reference library (kudos for highlighting it!). Like you, I especially the reviews of the lesser-known films.

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    1. Yes, most critics avoid reviewing Walt Disney's older films ( especially the live-action ones ) unless they have something bad to say about them. Hooray for Leonard Maltin for covering ALL of them! I never really understood just what it is that some film fans have against these pictures, my whole family finds them really entertaining, and unlike most Academy Award winning classics, these are movies that I can enjoy watching several times over during the year, not just once every 5 years.

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  3. Our copy is a library discard. Anything with Walt's face on the cover is a draw for my son!

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    1. Oooh, you'll have to find a copy of Walt's Time in that case, it's a fabulous book! One time it appeared on Amazon at a price within my budget and I didn't buy it. I've felt bad about that ever since. The book sells for $85-$400 now, but it is such a great read.

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  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE Walt Disney's movies songs!!!! Grew up with them of course, but still great as a grown up!!

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