Taschen Releases Book About Disney’s Golden Age of Animation

This holiday season, what do you get the Disney fan who has everything? TASCHEN’s extensive and beautiful 620+ page book, The Walt Disney Film Archives: The Animated Movies 1921 – 1968.


The book, which features 1,500 images and essays by renowned Disney experts, covers in detail Walt Disney and The Walt Disney Company’s journey from the silent film era, through his first full-length feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) through The Jungle Book (1967). Editor Daniel Kothenschulte conducted extensive research through the historical collections of the Walt Disney Archives and Disney’s Animation Research Library, as well as from various private collections.


Just as the Blue Fairy works her magic on Pinocchio (1940) in this watercolor by famed Swedish illustrator Gustaf Tenggren, Walt’s masterpiece made a classical art form come to life.
Image: Copyright © 2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and One Hundred and One Dalmatians, animated features that were made during Disney’s lifetime, are extensively covered in their own chapters. The Silly Symphonies and anthology films such as Make Mine Music and Melody Time are included in great detail.


The book is divided into 15 chapters and includes sections on The War Years, Burbank Studios, among others, as well as a number of unfinished projects including proposed sequels to Fantasia and an homage to Davy Crockett by painter Thomas Hart Benton. There are also contributions from leading Disney experts including Leonard Maltin, Dave Smith, Charles Solomon and others.


Walt Disney during the production of Bambi
Photo: Copyright © 2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

The Walt Disney Film Archives book also features rarely seen artwork and photographs of Walt and Roy Disney, The Nine Old Men and others – many of them previously unpublished.


According to the TASCHEN website, “ … editor Daniel Kothenschulte curates some of the most precious concept paintings and storyboards to reveal just how these animation masterpieces came to life. Masterful cel setups provide highly detailed illustrations of famous film scenes while rare pictures taken by Disney photographers and excerpts from story conferences between Walt and his staff bring a privileged insider’s view to the studio’s creative process.”


Concept artist Mary Blair’s gouache conceptualization of the Fairy Godmother working her transformative magic to create Cinderella’s coach.
Cinderella (1950)
Image: Copyright © 2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

The book also acknowledges the contributions of many Disney animators and designers who, along with Walt Disney, influenced the style of the Disney Studio, they include Albert Hunter, Mary Blair, Ken Anderson, Eyvind Earle and others.

The Walt Disney Film Archives. The Animated Movies 1921–1968
Daniel Kothenschulte, John Lasseter, Russell Merritt, Charles Solomon, Robin Allan, Didier Ghez, J.B. Kaufman, Katja Luthge, Brian Sibley, Leonard Maltin
Hardcover, quarter-bound, 16.2 x 11.8 in., 620 pages
TASCHEN Publishing
ISBN 978-3-8365-5291-2
Edition: English

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