Three delightful new Disney-related titles have arrived in time for the gift-giving weeks that lie ahead, with options for adults and little readers alike. Disney devotees young and old are in for a treat this holiday season!
The Queens of Animation by Nathalia Holt
Art lovers, film-history buffs and those drawn to all things Disney will adore Nathalia Holt’s The Queens of Animation: The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History. Holt, bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls, offers an invaluable account of the studio’s overlooked female artists and writers—women who played key roles in the creation of classic films, enduring on-the-job discrimination and other obstacles along the way.
The book’s many unforgettable figures include Grace Huntington, the second woman to land a spot in Disney’s story department; Sylvia Moberly-Holland, whose ideas and artwork shaped the films Bambi and Fantasia; and Mary Blair, who created concept art for many a beloved movie and provided designs for the Disneyland ride “it’s a small world.” Holt also spotlights the work of current Disney women. Spanning nearly eight decades, her timely, well-crafted book gives an important group of artists their due.
Mary Blair’s Unique Flair by Amy Novesky
Mary Blair was indeed an animation queen, and she receives the royal treatment in Mary Blair’s Unique Flair: The Girl Who Became One of the Disney Legends. Author Amy Novesky delivers an accessible account of Blair’s life in this terrific children’s nonfiction book. An aspiring artist from the get-go, young Blair is captivated by color, but her parents lack the funds to pay for paint and other materials. Undeterred, she follows her dream, getting into art school and going on “to create colorful happily ever afters” at Walt Disney Studios, where she works on Cinderella and Peter Pan.
Mary’s story is brought to vivid life through Brittney Lee’s sensational cut-paper and gouache illustrations, which have the twinkling refinement of a Disney cartoon—small wonder, since Lee is an artist at (you guessed it!) Disney Animation Studios. This inspiring book is the perfect stocking stuffer for little illustrators-to-be.
They Drew as They Pleased Volume 5 by Didier Ghez
Animation fans and Disney aficionados alike will be wowed by They Drew as They Pleased Volume 5: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Early Renaissance: The 1970s and 1980s by Disney historian Didier Ghez. As the newest entry in Ghez’s series on the evolution of Disney, the book focuses on celebrated artists Ken Anderson and Mel Shaw, first-class draftsmen and storytellers at Disney who, after the death of Walt in 1966, breathed new life into the medium of animation at the studio.
In the 1970s and 80s, the two artists brought their creative talents to bear on cherished films such as Robin Hood and The Rescuers. They Drew as They Pleased abounds with their colorful concept drawings, character designs and sketches and includes fascinating facts about their working methods. From start to finish, the book is a Disney lover’s dream—and a stellar tribute to a pair of animation pioneers.