Item description for Working with Walt: Interviews With Disney Artists by Don Peri...
Walt Disney created or supervised the creation of live-action films, television specials, documentaries, toys, merchandise, comic books, and theme parks. His vision, however, manifested itself first and foremost in his animated shorts and feature-length cartoons, which are loved by millions around the world.
Working with Walt: Interviews with Disney Artists collects revealing conversations with animators, voice actors, and designers who worked extensively with Disney during the heyday of his animation studio. The book includes fifteen interviews with artists who directed segments of such classic animated features as Dumbo and Fantasia. Some interviewed were part of Disney's famed team dubbed "The Nine Old Men of Animation," and some worked closely with Disney on Steamboat Willie, his first cartoon with sound.
Among the subjects the interviewees discuss are the studio's working environment, the high-water mark of animation during Hollywood's Golden Age, and Disney's mixture of childlike charm and hard-nosed business drive. Through these voices, Don Peri preserves an account of the Disney magic from those who worked closely with him.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 6" Height: 9.25" Weight: 1.18 lbs.
Publisher University Press of Mississippi
ISBN 1934110671 ISBN13 9781934110676
Availability 0 units.
More About Don Peri
Don Peri of Davis, California, first gained the confidence of Disney insiders through his work with animator, director, and producer Ben Sharpsteen. He has written and published extensively on Walt Disney's productions.
Reviews - What do customers think about Working with Walt: Interviews With Disney Artists?
The Title Says it All! May 19, 2008
This is a quick and thoroughly enjoyable collection of interviews with 15 different artists that worked with Walt Disney at the Studios. Mr. Peri states in the Acknowledgements that he was prompted by Didier Ghez (editor of the Walt's People series) to finally collect the interviews and publish them. Thanks both to Don and Didier! Most of the interviews were conducted in the late 1970's with artists that spent most of their career working at the Disney Studios. What surprised me at first was how the artists were all enchanted with Walt Disney; after reading a multitude of Disney biographies, you do get the sense that Walt was a benevolent dictator--but a dictator nonetheless. A majority of the artists interviewed stuck with Walt during the Animator's Strike of 1941. If you study any work on Disney and animation, the Animator's Strike is often seen as a watershed in the history of the Studio, prompting the mentality that Walt lost a lot of faith in his employees. With the interviews presented by Peri, you get a sense that Walt did favor the artists that stuck by him. I finished Walt's People Volume 1 (Ed. by Ghez) shortly after this title. There are some similarities in the scope of the two books, but they are both valuable resources on their own. The interviews presented by Peri were done at a time when there was not a lot being written about the artists that worked directly with Walt Disney. After reading the interviews, you come away with a sense of what it was like to work with Walt Disney and to work at the Studios. I feel like I have a better understanding of how Walt worked during the early years of the Studios. The artists included animators, designers and voice actors:
* Ken Anderson * Les Clark * Larry Clemmons * Jack Cutting * Don Duckwall * Marcellite Garner * Harper Goff * Floyd Gottfredson * Dick Huemer * Wilfred Jackson * Eric Larson * Clarence Nash * Ken O'Connor * Herb Ryman * Ben Sharpsteen
The stories and anecdotes that each artist shares are humorous, wistful and passionate. These artists truly loved their jobs and working with Walt Disney.
"...he didn't think of himself as Walt Disney. He thought of Walt Disney as an entity, an organization, and he spoke of Walt Disney as an organization, for which everybody worked and not the personal part of the name. A lot of people put Walt down because they didn't get along with him or they got canned or they were chewed out by him, and naturally they probably make more or less severe remarks about him and understandably so. He had a great ego, and because of this ego he could overcome a lot of difficulties and obstacles because he believed in himself. He believed what other people didn't believe, and he was proven right time after time after time, even with the bankers. Snow White was called "Disney's Folly," because what--an animated cartoon to run for over an hour? It's Impossible! Nobody will sit through a cartoon that long. Well that was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves."
--Les Clark (p. 123, Working With Walt)
Bottom Line: This is a wonderful resource to have at hand. It is not for everyone--you really need to have an interest in animation, the studios or what working with Walt Disney was like in order to fully realize the necessity of a title like this. I give it a high Geek Factor rating because of its focus, even though the book is extremely accessible and easy to read. But if you are interested in learning a lot about the artists, the studio and Walt Disney, this is a great place to start or to add to your collection. This book will foster a greater appreciation for the animated films and shorts. It is also one of the few places you can read the actual words of the artists that never received a lot of acclaim outside the arena of animation fans.
Disney, in their own words May 1, 2008
As a dedicated Waltphile, I believe there can't be too many books about Walt Disney. Don Peri's excellent collection of interviews with many rarely heard from Disney Legends helps to make that case.
Working with Walt offers these artists their own day in the sun at long last and more fully rounds out the portraits of Walt painted by biographers and authors like Bob Thomas (Walt Disney: An American Original), Howard and Amy Green (Remembering Walt), and Pat Williams (How to Be Like Walt).
In the late 1970s, Don Peri was a young man who happened to be in the right place at the right time to capture so many of these voices, now gone from us forever. He has done a more than admirable job in offering us these priceless interviews. In the book, he hinted that more had been conducted than are in this volume. Hoping that means we can expect a Working with Walt, Volume 2!
Nice job, Don. I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about what made Walt's studio and career so singularly remarkable, as told by those who lived the legend.
How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life (How to Be Like) WALT DISNEY: AN AMERICAN ORIGINAL Remembering Walt
Working With Walt is a Real Treasure - an E-Ticket Mar 28, 2008
What a wonderful collection of interviews Disney historian Don Peri has assembled in his book Working With Walt: Interviews With Disney Artists. Many of the Disney artists featured in this book are relatively unknown, but highly influential in the development of the incomparable art of Disney animation and entertainment.
Through interviews with the artists who worked directly with Walt Disney, some from the very early days before Mickey Mouse even started talking, this book opens a window into what it was like to work and create with the genius Walt Disney. Fifteen animators, directors, art designers, and voice actors tell their stories of how they first started working for Disney, what it was like to meet the legendary man himself, their (usually) fond memories of Walt, and the joy of creating during the golden age of animation in the 1930s. The artists vivid details of life at the Disney studio, poignantly recalled, bring the reader back in time and place to where the magic happened - Mickey found his voice, Snow White went from a dream to life, and a magic kingdom was built. The darker times are recalled too, the constant financial strains of the early days, the strike that almost ended the studio (and did end many friendships), the strain of working 20 hours a day to create the perfect animation, and Walt's last few weeks.
The author's admiration for Walt Disney and the Disney artists shines through each interview, with his adept interviewing skills used to draw out deep memories and emotions from the Disney artists, many of whom rarely granted interviews, but all of whom spoke candidly about the complexity of Walt Disney, who could be full of praise one moment, and in the next, express disappointment like a "wounded bear" over animation that didn't meet his exacting standards of perfection.
We are granted insights worth many an "E-Ticket" from the voice of Donald Duck, the voice of Minnie Mouse, the great animators from almost the very beginning, the creative story artists, the designers of Disneyland, and even the man who drew the daily Mickey Mouse comic strip for decades. I had never heard of any of these Disney artists before reading this book, but they are all unsung heroes in the Disney phenomenon. This book is sure to be part of every Disney fan's library, and I highly recommend it.