Walt Disney's Imagineering Legends and the Genesis of the Disney Theme ParkJeff KurttiPreview de Jimhillmedia.com
Are you familiar with the old adage that "Good things come to those who wait"?
Well, Disneyana fans have been waiting a long time for "Walt Disney's Legends of Imagineering and the Genesis of the Disney Theme Park
" . And a lot of folks are now wondering why it's taking so long for this Disney Editions book to reach store shelves. Particularly since the publication date of this 160-page paperback just got pushed back to March of 2008.
So what's the deal? According to author Jeff Kurtti, when it comes to the postponements of "Legends of Imagineering," it's been all about making a good book even better.
"Back when Bruce Gordon and I originally started on this project, it was a much less ambitious book," he explained. "But then Marty Sklar came on board and -- as he reviewed the manuscript -- Marty began offering suggestions like 'You can't mention this Imagineer without first talking about that Imagineer.' So the scope of the book began expanding."
Indeed, with Sklar nudging Kurtti and Gordon along, suggesting new topics to cover (EX: At Marty's suggestion, "Legends of Imagineering' now includes a chapter that pays tribute to the "Music Makers" at the Disney theme parks: Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, Buddy Baker, George Bruns & X. Atencio) ... The end result is a far more ambitious book. One that delves deeply into how Walt Disney went about handpicking that first set of artists & designers that would help him build Disneyland.
"I know that it's kind of a cliche to compare Walt Disney to the conductor of an orchestra," Kurtti continued. "But he really did have this amazing ability to orchestrate talented people. To pair two very different people on one project, to pit two talented artists against one another. Knowing that -- out of all that conflict -- was going to come this incredible final product. Something that neither of these artists would have been able to accomplish on their own."
As you might imagine, "Walt Disney's Legends of Imagineering" is something of a passion project for Jeff. As he sees it, Kurtti began collecting stories and info for this book the very first day that he arrived at WDI and discovered that his cubicle was right next door to Herb Ryman's.
"We were working together with Eddie Sotto on the Main Street U.S.A. area for Euro Disneyland (Which is now known as Disneyland Paris). Which -- at that time -- was supposed to be themed to the 1920s," Jeff remembered. "And as he sketched out the elevated train and the huge movie palace that was supposed to be part of this part of the park, Herbie would then tell me stories about what it was like to work on the first Disneyland, the original plans for Walt Disney World."
As he made his way around 1401 Flower Street, Kurtti noticed that many of the Imagineering pioneers -- like Disney Legends Claude Coats and Harriet Burns -- shared Mr. Ryman's sensibilities. In that (just like Herbie), they were these incredibly talented but -- at the same time -- very humble people who were perfectly willing to share their expertise with the next generation of Imagineers.
"And so many of these folks were great raconteurs, great storytellers," Jeff said. "But -- at the same time -- they seemed genuinely grateful when you showed an interest in their earlier work, if you had even a working knowledge of their Imagineering career. So you'd get to hear all of these amazing stories."
And the stories that you'll find in "Walt Disney's Legends of Imagineering" really do go all the way back. Back to when it was only a handful of people, working in secret, who were fleshing out Walt's concept for a family fun park.
"In the 'Model Shop' section of the book, Harriet Burns talks about being the first woman to work at WED," Kurtti continued. "And to hear what she had to go through -- back when there was no ladies room in that part of the studio, when Harriet had to bring a pair of pants with her every day (which she kept tucked in her purse) just in case she had to do any work on ladders that day ... You forget what it was like for women who were working back in the 1950s."
That's one of the real goals of "Legends of Imagineering." Not just that this book be ... Well, sort of a primer for all of WED's pioneers. But also to give the book's readers a real sense of what it was like to work on those first sets of rides, shows and attractions. What it felt like to have Walt Disney himself challenge you, assign you to work on a project that you had really no expertise in. Only to find yourself actually rising to meet that challenge.
"Thank goodness that Bruce, Marty, and I, and our editorial team at Disney Editions shared a vision for this book," Jeff concluded. "Sure, it's taken a lot longer than we thought to pull 'Legends of Imagineering' together. But I'm hoping that the fans -- if they can just hang in there a little while longer -- will find that the final product was really worth the wait."
As you can see by the shots that we've used to illustrate today's article, "Walt Disney's Legends of Imagineering and the Genesis of the Disney Theme Park" really is a very handsome book. And March of 2008 isn't really all that far away ... So what do you think, folks? Does it now seem like this new Disney Editions book will be worth the wait?Index du livre
Foreword: 'Growing Up With Imagineering' by Martin A Sklar / What is Walt Disney Imagineering? / The First Imagineer: Walt Disney
The Prototype Imagineers: Harper Goff, Ken Anderson, Herbert Ryman, Sam McKim
The Executive Suite: Richard F. Irvine, Bill Cottrell
The Place Makers: Marvin Davis, Bill Martin
The Story Department: Marc Davis, Claude Coats
Masters of Mixed Media: Morgan 'Bill' Evans, Roland 'Rolly' Crump, Yale Gracey, Blaine Gibson
The Model Shop: Fred Joerger, Harriet Burns, Wathel Rogers
The Machine Shop: Roger Broggie, Bob Gurr
The Music Makers: Richard M. & Robert B. Sherman, Buddy Baker, George Bruns, X Atencio
The Unofficial Imagineers: Ub Iwerks, Bill Walsh, James Algar, Ward Kimball
The Renaissance Imagineer: John Hench
Jeff Kurtti, Walt Disney's Imagineering Legends and the Genesis of the Disney Theme Park
, New York, Disney Editions, 2008, 160 p.Une question? Un avis? Une remarque? Vous aussi partagez votre opinion sur ce livre avec les autres forumeurs en laissant un commentaire dans ce topic qui vous est ouvert.
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