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Finding Disney in Learning New Things

Extraordinary Magic in Everyday Life


Saving Mr Banks PosterI don’t know about you, but I immensely enjoyed Saving Mr. Banks. Not only is it an admirable film cinematically, but as a Disney fan, it’s thrilling to go back in time and vicariously live through one of the most fascinating points in Disney history. It’s one of those movies that stays with you long after you leave the theater. Its message, as told through the parallels of Travers Goff to George Banks, is resonate, but so is its prompt to learn even more behind the story.

Do you ever get those urges as a fan? Those thirstings to want to know more, to consume as much knowledge as you can about any given Disney subject? I get in those moods every so often; when I watch a film or experience an attraction, and afterward all I want to do is learn everything humanly possible about it to deepen my appreciation of the product.

Whenever you next get into one of those kicks, here are some remedies to satisfy you:

Podcasts are great because most of them are from fans’ own perspective. They offer commentary, interviews, and insight on both current news and historical moments. There are plenty out there, each with their own unique, distinct feel.  I know a pretty good one you can start with 😉

Walt Disney Treasures: Your Host Walt DisneyDVD/Blu-ray bonus features pack incredible behind-the-scenes footage, especially for the more prominent Disney films. After I saw Saving Mr. Banks in theaters, for instance, I enjoyed a good few hours of extras on the Mary Poppins disc. It took the movie even further. The best releases are, in my opinion, the line of Walt Disney Treasures DVDs (2001-2009). They are a tremendous look into Disney history with content rarely seen anywhere, including all of the vintage cartoon shorts and many episodes of Disneyland and The Wonderful World of Color. Of Blu-rays still in print today, the Diamond Edition series can always be relied on for new bonuses worthy of a purchase; they are released twice a year, February and October (the most recent volumes were The Jungle Book and The Little Mermaid, with Sleeping Beauty up next).

Books are another valuable resource, though Disney surprisingly does little to promote them, so finding the best ones is a bit of a scavenger hunt. The best way to discover one you are interested in is to search on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or a similar website for a Disney book you already know and enjoy. Then at the bottom of the page, see what other people who ordered that book also purchased. There are a lot of excellent selections out there, both official and unofficial titles. My personal favorites are anything in the Imagineering Field Guide series. A great read for those wanting to learn more about Walt after viewing Saving Mr. Banks is Neal Gabler’s biography Walt Disney: Triumph of the American Imagination.

Archived magazines are probably not something you’d initially think of, but the good thing about most Disney magazines is that they still provide just as much great, readable content years after their publishing as they did the day they hit mailboxes. Disney twenty-three is a great go-to for a mid-day Disney break, particularly pertaining to little-known stories tracing decades of Disney history. My collection of archived Celebrations issues is always the first place I go when I’m in the mood to read something particularly about the theme parks. Plus it always reminds me of tips I need to use on my next trip!

(Images copyright Disney.)

How about you? Where do you go when you’re looking to learn more about Disney?


Blake is a college student focusing on Film and Media Studies. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade on Main Street and then sprint to Frontierland in time to see it again. You can follow Blake’s random Disney ramblings on Twitter at @olddirtyblake, or at BlakeOnline.com.