Inspirational fare for uncritical younger capitalists and entrepreneurs.

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FROM AN IDEA TO DISNEY

HOW IMAGINATION BUILT A WORLD OF MAGIC

From the From an Idea to series

A history of the Walt Disney Co., from Mickey to megacorporation.

Sichol folds in a highlights-reel profile of Walt Disney himself, noting that he started smoking as a teenager and died relatively young of lung cancer but avoiding any mention of racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, or other controversial topics. Her real focus is his commercial offspring—beginning with the failed Laugh-O-Grams Films and chronicling the subsequent, more-or-less continual string of spectacular successes and major acquisitions that has led to Disney’s contemporary status as the world’s largest entertainment company. Along the way she points to at least some things that make Disney products and properties distinctive, and she also introduces a basic vocabulary of business terms and concepts, including bankruptcy, mortgages, market value, branding, and (ironically, since Disney’s profound influence on current copyright law goes unmentioned) intellectual property rights. In common with the co-published From an Idea to Nike, the author also inserts a boilerplate section explaining the significance of “Going Public.” Jennings adds quickly sketched cartoon line drawings to the pull quotes, definitions, and lists of “Fun Facts” that punctuate the well-leaded lines of both sunny tales of corporate expansion.

Inspirational fare for uncritical younger capitalists and entrepreneurs. (bibliography, source notes, timeline) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-45360-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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At its best when the emphasis is on the skill and artistry of Mime’s most accomplished practitioner—alas, too much of the...

MARCEL MARCEAU

MASTER OF MIME

The legendary mime is introduced to a new generation, though not entirely successfully.

As a child, Marceau loved to silently entertain his friends, like his idol, Charlie Chaplin. During the Nazi occupation of France, Marcel and his brother took on new identities in the French Underground, where they forged documents for Jewish children and helped many to escape to Switzerland. Spielman assumes that her young audience will understand references to deportation and concentration camps; unfortunately for those that don't, her matter-of-fact tone speaks more of adventure than deadly peril. Her tone subtly changes when she lovingly describes Marceau’s training and development as a mime and his stage persona of Bip the clown, admiring his skills in the “art of silence” that won him international renown. But here too, comparisons to the Little Tramp and Pierrot may be outside readers’ frame of reference. Though the illustrations carefully complement the textual content with period details, Gauthier’s cartoon faces are all nearly identical, with only the screen image of Chaplin and Marceau’s Bip having distinctive features. A double-page spread at the conclusion provides photographs of Bip in action and is the only clear indication of Marceau’s stagecraft.

At its best when the emphasis is on the skill and artistry of Mime’s most accomplished practitioner—alas, too much of the book looks elsewhere. (Picture book/biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7613-3961-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

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WALT DISNEY

DRAWN FROM IMAGINATION

A squeaky-clean biography of the original Mouseketeer.

Scollon begins with the (to say the least) arguable claim that Disney grew up to “define and shape what would come to be known as the American Century.” Following this, he retraces Disney’s life and career, characterizing him as a visionary whose only real setbacks came from excess ambition or at the hands of unscrupulous film distributors. Disney’s brother Roy appears repeatedly to switch between roles as encourager and lead doubter, but except in chapters covering his childhood, the rest of his family only puts in occasional cameos. Unsurprisingly, there is no mention of Disney’s post–World War II redbaiting, and his most controversial film, Song of the South, gets only a single reference (and that with a positive slant). More puzzling is the absence of Mary Poppins from the tally of Disney triumphs. Still, readers will come away with a good general picture of the filmmaking and animation techniques that Disney pioneered, as well as a highlight history of his studio, television work and amusement parks. Discussion questions are appended: “What do you think were Walt Disney’s greatest accomplishments and why?” Brown’s illustrations not seen. An iconic success story that has often been told before but rarely so one-dimensionally or with such firm adherence to the company line. (bibliography) (Biography. 8-10)

 

Pub Date: July 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9647-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Disney Press

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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