If you're familiar with this series of books, you'll be glad to know that volume 3 is now available. If you are not familiar with them, you should be. Editor Didier Ghez has gone to some of the most prominent animation historians and gotten them to dig out interviews (many of them unpublished) with artists who worked for Walt Disney. Because the interviewers are knowledgeable about their subjects, the artists are comfortable talking in detail about their work and careers.
Volumes 1 and 2 featured interviews with Rudy Ising, Dave Hand, Bill Tytla, Ken Anderson, Jack Hannah, John Hench, Marc Davis, Milt Kahl, Harper Goff, Joyce Carlson, Friz Freleng, Grim Natwick, Frank Tashlin, Ward Kimball, Floyd Gottfredson, Herb Ryman, Frank Thomas, Dale Oliver, Eric Larson, Woolie Reitherman, Richard Rich and Glen Keane.
The new volume includes interviews with James Algar, Lee Blair, Jack Bradbury, Andreas Deja, Joe Grant, Ben Sharpsteen, Bill Justice, Volus Jones, Ward Kimball, Burny Mattinson, Floyd Norman, Bill Peet and Tony Strobl. A fourth volume is already in the works.
Whether you're interested in history or technique, you'll find interesting material in these books. The Rudy Ising interview in volume 1 paints a great picture of what it was like working with Disney in Kansas City, trying to pay the bills while learning how to make drawings move. One of my favorite interviews in volume 2 was with Dale Oliver, Frank Thomas's assistant animator. Assistants don't often get interviewed (and they should!) and Oliver has interesting insights as to how different animators used spacing charts.
According to Ghez, the volume 3 interviews discuss, among other things, "the infamous 1941 strike, the creation of the Donald Duck shorts, the birth of Chip ‘n Dale, the making of The True Life Adventures, and life at the Studio 'after Walt.'"
The books are available through Xlibris.com. They are printed on demand, so you're not going to find them in stores. In order to make the books affordable, the interiors contain no pictures. The only illustrations are on the covers and are caricatures of some of the interview subjects by Peter Emslie. The third volume can be purchased here, where you can also sample the interview with Bill Justice.