After the light frivolity of reviewing a children’s book last time, I thought I’d go for some ‘meat’ today and have a look at the awesome Disney A to Z by Dave Smith – Chief Archivist Emeritus of the Walt Disney Archives.
When I first started purchasing all these books, this was recommended to me but I didn’t really have funds available so I knew it would be a while before I could get it. What I didn’t know at the time was that a couple of days later, I would be flicking through Amazon.co.uk and find an older version of it for the whopping price of £1.23!
I instantly fell in love with this book, and at the beginning of this year, with birthday money in my pocket, I splashed out and parted with £7.18 to get the 5th edition, and handed over the other copy to Hugh and Lucie.
Why did i get it? When my friend Paul gave me a copy of Walt Disney’s Animated Characters by John Grant, I asked him what else I should get and he gave me an extensive list. What you’ll find as we go through these reviews is that many of these books were on this list, and the A to Z was one of those books.
What did I think of it? Well I haven’t finished it yet. There are over 850 pages. but what I have read of it is great. Its one of those books you can pick up at any time and have a read of, or if you want to learn more about something, look it up. Its written in a very accessible way, which A to Zs aren’t always, and if it were smaller, it would be a great ‘bog book’. Its size, however does make it quite difficult to manage, but I guess it also makes it feel quite special when you take it out, slam it on the table and carefully open it! This edition is dated 2016 and I think is the most current one at the time of writing. Its comprehensive and totally engrossing. I’ve spent hours lost in the book after looking up something trivial and going on a journey!
How will I use it? As a reference tool. When I’m preparing for a podcast, this is one of the places I always look. This, the Animated Characters book, and the Art of Walt Disney by Christopher Finch are my go-to books, and I would recommend them to everyone.
So there it is, you can pick up copies reasonably cheaply, and it is a MUST-HAVE for any Disney nut. Incidentally, the A to Z is available to search through online on the D23 website although I’ve never found it particularly easy to navigate.