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Getting to know Walt Disney

  Keep your dictionary handy.
  Anyone who admires Walt Disney will thoroughly enjoy Neal Gabler’s "Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination," a part heartfelt biography, part doctoral thesis, part encyclopedia about the man behind the business.
  However, even with a broad vocabulary, you’ll have to refer to your dictionary on more than one occasion. You’ll also need to make a major time commitment, whether you choose to read the book (880 pages in hardcover) or go the CD route like I did (26 CDs).
  Gabler shares some opinion, but generally exposes the reader to very little known facts about Disney. Who knew that so many of the animated features we enjoy today were box office bombs when they were initially released? Who knew that Mickey Mouse was a calculated business decision, not an inspiration from Disney’s childhood? Who knew that he labeled weeds with botanical names when Disneyland first opened, because he ran out of money and couldn’t finish the landscaping?
  If you were alive at the same time that Disney was growing up and building his business, you might be aware of these nuances of his life. I, however, was stunned how much I didn’t know about this passionate, creative, innovative entertainment pioneer, particularly about his business struggles and the many bad business decisions he made along the way. (We’re all only human, after all.) Fortunately, he had a vision and he accomplished most of what he set out to during his lifetime.
  Regardless of the length, I highly recommend this book. I even wish it would have lasted just a little bit longer.

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