|About the Book|
During the Roaring Twenties Walt Disney and his friends made upwards of one hundred films, turning them out as often as one- and two-per month. Years before Mickey Mouse, the young entrepreneur recruited and nurtured an extraordinary array of talentMoreDuring the Roaring Twenties Walt Disney and his friends made upwards of one hundred films, turning them out as often as one- and two-per month. Years before Mickey Mouse, the young entrepreneur recruited and nurtured an extraordinary array of talent that included Ubbe Iwerks, Rudy Ising, Carl Stalling, Hugh Harman, and Friz Freleng: men who in later years played crucial roles in creating the golden era of Disney, Warner Brothers and MGM cartoons. What the Disney silents reveal is absorbing: a director taking his first tentative steps, then gathering confidence and exploring new avenues of expression with images that are still fresh and exhilarating today. They bear out the intuition of common sense: that Mickey Mouse and the Silly Symphonies were not created in a vacuum, and that Disney was developing his gifts as a producer from the beginning. They also reveal a director soaking up the work of the best silent filmmakers of the time - not only rival animators, but live-action directors and comic strip characters as well. Disneys sources ranged from Buster Keaton and Felix the Cat to Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino, Tom Mix, Barney Google, and The Big Parade. Through it all, Disneys gifts for creating witty gags and charming characters become immediately apparent. So do his skills as a teacher, and his growing appetite for the macabre and the sado-masochistic. Drawing on interviews with Disneys co-workers, Disneys business papers, promotional materials, scripts, drawings, and correspondence, Walt in Wonderland attempts to reconstruct Disneys silent film career and place his early films in critical perspective. It also provides a detailed filmography of Disneys silent work.