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Once Upon a Time: Walt Disney: The Sources of Inspiration for the Disney Studios [Hardcover]

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Item description for Once Upon a Time: Walt Disney: The Sources of Inspiration for the Disney Studios by Bruno Girveau...

The origins of Disney's masterpieces and the works the studio in turn inspired are the subject of this lavishly illustrated book.

While the works of Walt Disney rank among the icons of American mass culture, it is easy to forget that Disney's characters and stories were inspired by original works of art. Now the sources that motivated Disney's imagination--and the artists that his studio in turn influenced--are brought to light. From the launching of the Walt Disney Company until the founder's death in 1967, this book includes more than 300 original works selected from the Disney archives and from private collections, together with paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and film stills.

Here Disney fans will discover the fairy tales behind Sleeping Beauty and Snow White; they'll learn that Pinocchio's village was modeled on the mediaeval city of Rothenburg in Bavaria; that Bambi's forest took its inspiration from fifteenth-century Chinese painting; that Dumbo's bird's-eye views drew on the work of Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. One chapter is devoted to the mutually admiring relationship between Salvador Dali and Disney. Finally, the book looks at the myriad ways in which Disney's products became source materials for modern and contemporary artists, including Prokofiev and Leopold Stokowski as well as Christian Boltanski, Bertrand Lavier, Peter Saul, and Gary Baseman. A wonderful sourcebook for Disney enthusiasts, this colorful volume offers a unique perspective on the often-overlooked links between highbrow and popular culture.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   353
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 12.28" Width: 9.37" Height: 1.18"
Weight:   4.59 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2007
Publisher   Prestel Publishing
ISBN  379133770X  
ISBN13  9783791337708  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art Instruction & Reference > General
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Graphic Design > Animation
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Graphic Design > Cartooning
5Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Graphic Design > Commercial > Illustration

Reviews - What do customers think about Once Upon a Time: Walt Disney: The Sources of Inspiration for the Disney Studios?

The cross-cultural connections are simply outstanding   Feb 7, 2008
Any collection strong in animation history and art needs ONCE UPON A TIME: WALT DISNEY: THE SOURCES OF INSPIRATION FOR THE DISNEY STUDIOS. It packs in nearly four hundred color illustrations and essays by a number of authorities as it reveals the Paris exhibition of 'Once Upon a Time: Walt Disney' and considers the films which impacted animation and the film world. Over 300 original works by Disney artists, from paintings and drawings to film clips, backgrounds and cels blend with the Western European artworks which inspired them, offering a unique visual connection between Disney's efforts and their inspirational origins. The cross-cultural connections are simply outstanding and place this 'tops' in any collection strong on Disney, film or animation history.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
Hard to nail this one down...  Oct 18, 2007
Here at Denny Magic Studios we make a point of acquiring anything and everything Disney, it's part of our ongoing education by being in the theme park design business. This passion surrounding the Disney brothers also dictated that we attend the traveling museum show on Walt which we found mesmerizing. However, although this book delivers some wonderful color plates and some good information all rolled into a beautiful coffee table presentation, and without chastising it in any way...we found that we were not too excited about it. There are several colored plates that seem to be rather rare, and the information seems well researched, but there was something that we could not put our finger on that kept it from being an exciting acquisition. Therefore we feel that if you are a die hard fan of Disney... then yes, you are going to want this book. If you are interested in Disney but not "fanatical" then you might want to wait until this one goes on sale.
Chicken and Egg  Aug 23, 2007
Great book to see the images the Disney artists drew from for inspiration and design. Today the Disney images are considered the icons but to see their source material allows for an introduction to the original work, which is wonderful, and therefore have a deeper appreciation of each art form, both fine and animated. A worthwhile catalogue if you were unable to see the exhibit.
A cool cultural collage  May 2, 2007
Wow! Whether you're an art lover, Disney fan, or simply fascinated by Western culture, you owe it to yourself to add this remarkable book to your collection. Much thicker than a typical coffee-table tome, this big, heavy art anthology was published as a companion to an art exhibition of the same name, which collected works from both the Disney archive as well as 50 museums worldwide. The exhibit was shown in Paris last fall and is currently (spring 2007) on display at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It was compiled by Bruno Girveau, a principal curator at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris.

A delight to browse through, the book reproduces hundreds of original Disney pen-and-ink sketches, conceptual watercolors and actual production pieces for films from 1937's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" to 1967's "Jungle Book"; as well as many of the historic art pieces and other cultural material that inspired Walt Disney and his artists. For example, a section on the Evil Queen from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is brilliantly illustrated with a Gothic column statue from Naumburg, an 1898 French oil ("Woman in a Black Hat," George de Feure), a 1937 Disney production celluloid and a 1940 publicity shot of film actress Joan Crawford -- all of which appear to show the same person. (The text is good, too. This section includes a short essay pondering the effects of Walt Disney's hard-luck childhood.)

A chapter on pop art includes two interpretations of Donald Duck by Roy Lichtenstein and another by Andy Warhol -- and those are the dullest pieces! My favorite is David Mach's Matchstick Mickey, a real Mickey doll being eaten by a giant purple head made of nothing but purple matchsticks and glue. Other highlights in the book include more than a dozen gorgeous conceptual watercolors for "Alice in Wonderland" by Disney artists David Hall and Mary Blair, and a discussion that the Blue Fairy from "Pinocchio" is actually an animated homage to Hollywood's original blond bombshell, Jean Harlow.

My only gripe is the book's organization and index. The chapters are grouped not by film, but rather the exhibit's themes of "Disney's European Sources," "Walt Disney and Literature and Cinema," "Disney and Pop Art," etc.; and the index is only by artist. Still, what a find!

A nice companion book is Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation.

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