Read The Disney Version: The Life, Times, Art and Commerce of Walt Disney by Richard Schickel Online

the-disney-version-the-life-times-art-and-commerce-of-walt-disney

Richard Schickel's classic history of Walt Disney's life and times was the first to look behind the carefully nurtured avuncular image of the man. Some howled in protest at this criticism of their hero, but they failed to see that Mr. Schickel's book acknowledged Disney's profound influence on American popular culture. The Disney Version takes us from Walt's wandering youtRichard Schickel's classic history of Walt Disney's life and times was the first to look behind the carefully nurtured avuncular image of the man. Some howled in protest at this criticism of their hero, but they failed to see that Mr. Schickel's book acknowledged Disney's profound influence on American popular culture. The Disney Version takes us from Walt's wandering youth through the desperate gamble of opening his own animation studio, his daring decision to crash Hollywood, the sudden and inspired invention of Mickey Mouse - and on to the creation of a multimillion-dollar international entertainment empire. Throughout, Mr. Schickel asks penetrating questions about Disney's achievements and shortcomings, and about the enormous popularity of the "Disney version."...

Title : The Disney Version: The Life, Times, Art and Commerce of Walt Disney
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781566631587
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 396 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Disney Version: The Life, Times, Art and Commerce of Walt Disney Reviews

  • Nora T
    2019-06-22 11:54

    Besides the fact that the book is pretty dated (written before the last 30-something years of the Disney corporation), it would have benefited from more specific examples (i.e., specific movies, or specific parts of those movies) to back up its sweeping claims. I was looking forward to a critical look at Disney and Disney-fication, and while I understand this is hardly an objective piece, I expected it to be a bit more balanced, and less condescending, towards both Disney and the reader. That being said, I did learn quite a bit about the history and business aspects of Disney.

  • Brent
    2019-06-25 09:41

    This was the first CRITICAL biography of Disney, written engagingly by the late critic for Time Magazine, Richard Schickel.When I read the book, the connections between Disney's trend-setting cartoons and American psychology, including barnyard humor, became clearer.Highly recommended, together with Michael Barrier's more recent biography of Disney, The Animated Man (University of California Press, 2007).

  • Kathy Hiester
    2019-06-29 14:49

    Being a Disneyaholic I personally try to read everything Disney. The positive reviews of this book have astonished me. This book is no more than 300 plus pages of personal attacks and insults on everything Disney has ever done. The author seems intent on personally insulting Disney and depicting him as a small-town idiot with no taste or talent. He has dug up critical reviews of every Disney feature and manages to insult everything from Donald Duck to Bambi. The posturing is laughable, and it seems as if every statement he makes ends with '... of course" to say that anyone with any intelligence obviously agrees with his every statement. I expected this book to be critical of Disney and even being the Disney fan I am, I have no problem with that. This book, however, portrays the man as an idiot with no taste and little talent and descends to such a low level of insults that it can only be considered a hack job. 1 Star

  • Tracey
    2019-06-24 08:44

    I found a book club hardback of The Disney Version: The Life, Times, Art and Commerce of Walt Disney at a book sale last year; since we're planning a trip to Walt Disney World in December, I thought I'd read this to get in the mood.Published only two years after Walt Disney's death in 1966, Schickel did not have the opportunity to reflect on the greater legacy of the man behind The Mouse, as other biographers have. It was also not an sanctioned work; Schickel writes in his afterword that late in 1966, after he had begun his research, "I was given to understand that the studio did not approve of this study...".Not only is this a biography of Walter Elias Disney; it's also a look at the changes that society went through from the turn of the century to the Space Age, and how socio-economics and popular culture helped form the man who in turn would exert his own strong influences. He explores Disney's childhood, showing how the bond between Walt and Roy formed as a reaction to their controlling (and possibly abusive) father. The uprooting of the family, from Chicago to Marceline Missouri, to California may have reinforced Walt's longing for a place of his own; typified in Main Street USA, Disneyland.Schickel neither canonizes nor demonizes Walt Disney; considering instead that his success primarily stemmed from having similar tastes for entertainment as the majority of the middle-class American public, and that having remained a child at heart gave him some insight into what children should like. Schickel agrees with the common criticism that the Disney Company simplifies and rearranges the stories that it presents, whether public domain fairy tales or other works for which it purchased development rights. The Real-Life-Nature series was also guilty of anthropomorphism and fitting the animals to a pre-arranged story.Walt was a demanding taskmaster; but also demanded at least as much from himself, always tinkering with whatever the current project was and trying to make it better. Schickel takes a rather dim view of the Audio-Animatronic characters in Disneyland, feeling that they reflect Disney's need for control; instead of having human actors playing roles with spontaneity, he prefers automatons that will give the same performance time and time again.The book seems well-researched, with a bibliography and index provided at the end; I'm looking forward to comparing it with later biographies. Recommended to fans of Disney who are able to look beyond the icon he became.

  • Peter DiCicco
    2019-07-09 11:35

    An interesting though sometimes pedantic read, this book is best viewed in context of the time it was written at the height of 60's film criticism, which was justifiably anti-Hollywood and anti-establishment. Not much, if any, substantial criticism had been written about Disney for years at this point, so the author takes pains to tear down the legend.Unfortunately, much of the criticism, particularly of Disney's early cartoons and innovations, are trivial and often pretentious, and the narrative Schickel tries to weave of Disney's life can be disjointed at times and merely and endless list of facts and numbers at others. Perhaps because of the lack of works at the time demystifying Disney, he spends a lot of effort psychoanalyzing Disney, and he goes out of his way criticize, when not outright insult, every single cartoon and film ever created by Disney, usually with no evidence other than a purely subjective opinion and an occasional unrelated quote from an art critic. I got the impression (at least at the time this was written) that Schickel had little to no respect for animation as an art form to begin with. Probably the most interesting parts of the book were the ones that covered the cartoonists strike in 1941 and Disney's creative drought in the post-War years leading up to television and Disneyland. Here the endless criticism seemed to actually fit because there were actually hard facts and documented instances that needed to be examined and criticized.As a necessary criticism of Disney's image at the time, the book is overall interesting in the historical context which it was written, but as a critical look at Disney's works, it feels dated and gets repetitive, offering only the most superficial insight.

  • Mike Walters
    2019-07-18 14:57

    Richard Shickel is a very confused man. His book "The Disney Version" is his attempt to totally slam Walt Disney and his audience while he tries to praise his artistic work. This book's primary purpose is basically to show that Walt Disney was this really confused, cynical genius who while bravely delivering artistic masterpieces in the late 1930's he eventually sold his soul to the "devil" (the mainstream American middle class - read "religious, conservative, etc.") and became a cheap purveyor of pop culture junk.This book is more than 300 pages of personal attacks and insults on everything Disney as ever produced or written. The author seems intent on personally insulting Disney and portraying him as a small-town idiot savant with no taste and no talent. He has dug up critical reviews of every Disney feature and manages to insult everything from Donald Duck to Bambi. The pretentiousness is laughable, and it seems as if every statement he makes ends with '... of course" to say that anyone with any intelligence obviously agrees with his every statement.The author has failed miserably in his attempt. In truth, Walt Disney was an genius who managed that most unique of marriages: cherishing traditions of yesteryear and upholding the good things in the past while simultaneously blazing a trail into the future with new innovations and technologies and demonstrating that they CAN GO TOGETHER. Walt Disney was not perfect, but his life is far more worthy of celebration than condemnation.

  • Erika
    2019-07-13 09:54

    Taking into account the fact that this book is almost 40 years old, I found it extremely hard to follow. The author makes many pop-culture references pertinent to the time that I cannot relate to (as if he expects the reader to be a Hollywood-insider/contemporary of Disney's). The book skips around to different time periods and is very dry. This is NOT a biography, as I thought, more of a commentary on Disney's impact on American culture and entertainment, as it quickly summarizes Disney's formative experiences as if the reader is expected to be familiar with them.

  • Roger
    2019-06-28 11:58

    Not the friendliest desciption of Mr. Disney. On balance it gives the good and the bad and describes how Walt and Roy Disney built the 'Mouse's' empire. I took my first visit to DisneyWorld in Florida in early November 2007. That is what piqued my interest in the life of Walt Disney. This book was written in 1968 after Walt Disney passed. It does not contain any of the newer changes, but really the business was set up by this time and what has happened was inevitable. The Disney Company is set to go on for as long as there are kids and adults who want to feel young again. Purely my opinion.

  • Troy Storm
    2019-06-20 13:45

    Read this book about ten years ago when I was much more acquainted with the Disney organization. Granted it's only one man's opinion, but that opinion is shared by many. Disney had an amazing and brilliant mind and the guts and drive to accomplish plenty. His accomplishments are an inspiration. But he had his dark side, as perhaps we all do. This is a peek into shadowland.

  • James
    2019-06-17 12:04

    A sometimes alarming but very fair investigation of the history of Disney. Schickel doesn't forget to praise Disney's artistic accomplishments as he points out the controversial side of Walt's legacy.

  • Rick Ludwig
    2019-06-26 09:41

    After the first one hundred pages, I was not interested enough to continue. I have enjoyed reading a number of books about Disney and his legacy, both positive and negative, but this one didn't grab me.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-06-23 08:42

    As heard on Bill's Values on Weekend America on WYPR.

  • Mike
    2019-06-25 09:35

    A good read. A little more snarky than it needs to be, but a really good "other side of the coin" look at Disney. Though facts are not always straight.

  • John Barkdoll
    2019-07-08 15:57

    I honestly thought i would enjoy this book more than i did,but it can be at tad bit bland at times. I would reccomend a different Walt Disney biography.

  • Robert Bryant
    2019-07-07 09:35

    I am neither a Disney hater nor a Disneyphile. I enjoyed this pungent "minority report" on Walt's legacy.