Friday, October 23, 2015

The Mouse Castle Lounge 10-23-2015 - Disney Author and Historian Jim Fanning, 'The Disney Book'

By Tim Callaway

Jim Fanning
You’d be hard pressed to find a more prolific Disney writer than Jim Fanning. For over 30 years, Jim has written countless articles for publications ranging from Disney News to Disney Magazine to Sketches to Disney twenty-three. He’s contributed stories to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney Newsreel and Persistence of Vision. His work internally at Disney has spanned nearly every division including Feature Animation, Home Video, Publishing, Interactive, Online, Educational, Character Voices, Disney Stores and Consumer Products. Not bad for a kid who started his career at Disney in the mail room.

Jim has written a number of books and his latest is a compendium of Disney history called The Disney Book: A Celebration of the World of Disney. It reads like a greatest hits package, spotlighting the many watershed moments of Disney animation, live-action film, television, theme parks and merchandising. It takes us from Walt’s humble beginnings as a cartoonist and animator in Kansas City all the way to the gargantuan construction of the Walt Disney Company’s latest resort enterprise, Shanghai Disneyland. 

The Disney Book
Pretty much everything in the book is the glossed-over “official” version of Disney history, which is unsurprising given the book was published by DK, an official licensee of Disney. Nevertheless, it’s an enchanting read with plenty of photos and artwork that serve as a perfect introduction for those new to Disney, and a nostalgic reminder to the rest of us of how Disney magic hooked us in the first place. Today, Jim talks about the creative efforts it took to bring The Disney Book to life, the many Disney Legends he’s gotten to know over the years, and why some of his projects you may never quite understand. 

Jim Fanning is my guest today in The Mouse Castle Lounge.


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