Book Review – A Disney Sketchbook

Author: Ken Shue
ISBN: 1423165691

On Sale: 10/09/2012
Price: $50.00 US / $55.00 CAN
Ages: 18-30 (Lee’s Notes: Or any Disney fan, of any age!)
Imprint: Disney Editions
Description: Imagine if one sketchbook had been passed down through the decades from one Disney animator to the next, with each one making a contribution before leaving it in the talented hands of another artist. That idea was the inspiration for A Disney Sketchbook. Films and shorts from throughout the history of the company are featured—beginning with Steamboat Willie and ending with Tangled—demonstrating the ingenuity and skill that have remained a constant at Walt Disney Animation Studios since 1928.
Review: So goes the official press release of this beautiful publication. Now I’m going to impartially gush about it for the rest of the post!
 From the Foreword we learn that this book contains unprocessed, unlinked, unpainted, and un-rendered selections of Disney drawings. They come from the various stages of film development: Animation thumbnails, rough animation drawings, layout drawings, and other pieces used for story and visual development. And although the artists never thought of these drawings as stand-alone artwork, but only the means to tell a story, one can’t help but view them as one would a painting hanging in the finest art gallery!
These works have been organized in a rough chronological order, understanding that many of the films they represent overlapped in their production schedules.
So which artists are represented herein? A list: Ub Iwerks, Joe Grant, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Marc Davis, Milt Kahl, Andreas Deja, Eric Goldberg, Glen Keane, as well as many other Studio drawings and works by some unknown artists.
In the Introduction we find quotes from many Disney artists about how they approached their drawings. The text in this book is contained on only 4 pages, but what they contain is well worth the read.
On the Pages that follow, we find only bare drawings. No captions. No explanations. No credits. No… nothing. Just artwork. And I loved it! Part of the fun for any true Disney fan will be in trying to guess the film that the drawing is from. Actually, this is quite easy. But more challenging is trying to guess the Artist responsible! You’ll need to get your Disney Geek on to succeed in this!

Speaking of the pages, they are heavy card stock, much like a real sketchbook would be. It’s a real treat to turn these pages!

This is a great book to ‘read’ together as a family, with each age group getting something different out of it. I’d give this book 4.5 stars out of 5, only because some might prefer more text, however unnecessary it would be.
I’d like to thank Disney Publishing Worldwide for sending me this preview copy.

Resort Wednesday – Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Keister Coaster at BoardWalk Inn

I know that last week I discussed Pop Century which is at the other end of the scale from the BoardWalk Inn but the BoardWalk Inn is a beautiful hotel that I truly enjoyed staying in and I would love to stay there again.

When I stayed at the BoardWalk, the trip was actually booked to stay off property but after the hotel I had checked into was disappointing (to say the least), my mom and I decided that we would stay in a Disney hotel. We narrowed it down to the Grand Floridian or the BoardWalk. I decided I didn’t want to walk through the opulent lobby of the Grand Floridian in my bathing suit so the BoardWalk was our new accommodations.

The BoardWalk Inn is themed as a 1940’s Atlantic City and they carry the theme throughout the hotel without being overly kitschy. The hotel is on the water between Epcot and Hollywood Studios (you can take a boat between the hotel and the two theme parks). There is a boardwalk area with restaurants, shopping and seaside entertainment. Interestingly, you can see Tower of Terror from the BoardWalk’s parking lot and when I listened closely, I swear I could hear screams from the riders of Tower of Terror.

The Miss America crown, cape and scepter.

The Miss America pageant originated in Atlantic City which clearly matches the theme of the hotel.

Our room had two queen-sized beds along with a small balcony which held a table and 2 chairs. The best part to me was that from our balcony, I could see the Moroccan prayer tower at Epcot which also afforded views of Illuminations nightly. As Illuminations has some of the best fireworks I have ever seen, this was an extra bonus.

The hotel’s main swimming pool includes a great water slide which is made to look like a roller coaster. In addition, there are 2 “quiet” pools which lived up to their name. I didn’t see any children at the quiet pools and found it very relaxing.

As I said before, I would stay here again in a heartbeat. Have you stayed at the BoardWalk Inn? If you did, what did you think of it?  Tell us in the comments below!