Friday, September 24, 2010

The Vault of Walt

Here's a Disney book I'm looking forward to reading. I've known Jim Korkis in print for several decades and have always enjoyed his writing and his passion for animation history. He's the co-author (with John Cawley) of several out-of-print books such as How To Create Animation, Cartoon Confidential and The Encyclopedia of Cartoon Superstars. He has contributed numerous articles to Mouse Planet under the pseudonym Wade Sampson, a name taken to avoid any conflict with his former employment at Walt Disney World (and bonus points to you if you know where the name came from).

The book is over 400 pages of articles concerning Walt Disney, his films, and his theme parks. Many are based on Korkis's own conversations with Disney employees over the years in addition to historical research. For instance, I'm interested to read why the FBI opened a file concerning the original Mickey Mouse Club.

Here's a list of the book's contents:

Part One: The Walt Stories

The Miniature Worlds of Walt (Walt’s fascination with making miniatures)
Santa Walt (Walt’s feelings about Christmas and a special family gift)
Horsing Around: Walt and Polo
Walt’s School Daze (Walt’s public school education)
Gospel According to Walt (Walt’s feelings about religion)
Walt and DeMolay
Extra! Extra! Read All About It! (Walt’s adventures as a newspaper boy)
Walt’s Return to Marceline 1956
Walt’s 30th Wedding Anniversary (The very first Disneyland party)

Part Two: The Disney Film Stories

Disney’s Ham Actors: The Three Little Pigs (Including the Rarely Seen Spanish cartoon)
Snow White Christmas Premiere (Description of the event at the Carthay Circle in 1937)
Destino (The true story behind Salvador Dali’s collaboration with Walt Disney)
Song of the South Premiere (Description of the event in Atlanta in 1946)
The Alice in Wonderland That Never Was (The Aldous Huxley script never filmed)
Secret Origin of The Aristocats
So Dear To My Heart (The neglected film that inspired many Disney firsts)
Toby Tyler (How Walt recreated the circus of his youth with authentic props)
Lt. Robin Crusoe U.S.N. (Only film with a story credit for Walt Disney)
Blackbeard’s Ghost (Last live action film made while Walt was alive)

Part Three: The Disney Park Stories

Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel (The complete history of a genuine antique)
Circarama 1955 (The very first 360 degree theater show at Disneyland)
Story of Storybook Land
Liberty Street 1959 (Walt’s planned addition to Disneyland that never was)
Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk Through
Zorro at Disneyland (How Guy Williams and friends entertained in Frontierland)
Tom Sawyer Island
Epcot Fountain (The true meaning behind the popular landmark)
Captain EO (The only complete story in print about Michael Jackson’s 3-D film)
Mickey Mouse Revue (How and why the beloved attraction was created)

Part Four: The Other Worlds of Disney Stories

Khrushchev and Disneyland (Russian leader denied entrance to Disneyland)
A/K/A The Gray Seal (Walt’s favorite pulp mystery hero)
Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air (The unknown radio show from the Thirties)
Golden Oak Ranch (Location where Disney classic live action films were made)
Disney Goes To Macy’s
Tinker Bell Tales (The first Disneyland Tinker Bells and much more)
Mickey Mouse Club: FBI’s Most Wanted (Why Walt got in trouble with J. Edgar Hoover)
Chuck Jones: Four Months at Disney (Pepe Le Pew’s father’s troubles at Disney)
Walt’s Women: Two Forgotten Influences (Walt’s Housekeeper and Studio nurse)

The Disney History blog has posted an interview with Korkis about the book, which is currently available from Create Space and will be available from Amazon in early October.


Daniel said...

Another one to add to my history collection :)

Steven Hartley said...

Looks like an interesting read.

Snow White Archive said...

I really enjoyed the chapter on the Carthy Circle premiere of Snow White.

Eric Noble said...

I have to get this. I'm intrigued by the Alice in Wonderland script by Aldous Huxley. I am going to have to add this to my wishlist.

Lou Scarborough said...

Hi Mark,
I don't know if you're serious. But, Wade Sampson came from the book " The
Rat Factory. " Ryan was the author, also a false name. On Raggedy Ann & Andy, Dick Williams posted the sweat
shop sequence of the book in the assistants room. I guess to scare out
of our wits, it actually worked. It had an interesting ending of the animation department being shutdown during the golden age of the studio.