/ Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Extraordinary Magic in Everyday Life

 

While researching for a recent project (alas, paper-writing research and not the Lou kind of “research”), I was in the school library. That’s the place with the books. As the hours dragged, on a whim I used the library search engine to type “Disney.” As you can tell, I was very focused one my paper. Anyway, the results astounded me, and I spent the next hour or so in fan heaven as I practically skipped my way through the Dewey Decimal System.

Titles upon titles that I never knew were there! Some were very interesting that I probably wouldn’t have found in an average bookstore, like a collection of scholarly essays analyzing the appeal of the Muppets. Others were older books that have been out of print for years, like a making-of book published when Aladdin was released to theaters in 1992. Some I’d heard of and even perused through before but never purchased because of either their price or their limited online availability.

Art of Walt DisneyThe best of these was The Art of Walt Disney, a gargantuan 500-page monster that is basically a definitive history of the entire Walt Disney Company, ranging from movies to theme parks and everything in between. Its price tag scared me away when I flipped through it on my last visit to the parks, but the past four weeks I’ve been able to read all of it free of charge! The most fascinating thing I’ve learned so far (still not finished!) is that John Lasseter offered Glen Keane to make Tangled a traditionally animated, hand-drawn film, but Gleane chose not to because of the advancements of computer technology. Mind blown! And definitely a cool, against-the-tide perspective that, for me at least, shed light on a storytelling angle I maybe didn’t consider. The same feeling can be expressed for much of what I’m learning through the book.

On that initial day of research that turned into distraction, I glanced down at my watch and decided to get back to work, only to discover the library’s DVD collection is brimming with even more Disney selections. I proudly took back to my dorm The Rescuers Down Under to watch for the first time, and look forward to diving into Swiss Family Robinson sometime soon.

I was just so blown away by how much was available to me, that was there all along, that I never knew simply because I didn’t know to look for it. I encourage you to do the same at your local library, just in time for the kickoff of WDW Radio’s newest Book Club. You may be surprised at what you discover and how much you learn.

 

(Image copyright Disney.)

Blake is a college student studying Electronic Media. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade in Frontierland and then sprint to Main Street in time to see it again. You can find him on Twitter @olddirtyblake or at BlakeOnline.com.

3 Responses to "Finding Disney at the Library"

  1. Richie says:

    This is a terrific article.
    I grew up in Jersey City, NJ in the early 80’s and went to a Catholic school with a meager library. One thing the library DID have was a set of Disney’s Wonderful World of Knowledge encyclopedia books which ranged topics from ancient civilizations to modern music; in the margins on the books’ pages were classic Disney characters best in thematic sketches as appropriate for the topic of the page. These books were honestly part of my Disney formative years… I LOVED library day so I could sit in my own world and read those books and trace a few characters. Great memories, and this article hearkens to these sentiments…

  2. Steamboat Eddie says:

    So cool to find such a Disney treasure trove at the library. I laughed when I read “that’s the place with the books” in your blog post.

    Have an awesome day!

  3. Ana Kurland says:

    I’ve been working on a virtual Disney library for a while. I have almost 5000 books. Take a peek:

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