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The best book yet about Disney smart, compendious and uncynical Sunday Times Astonishingly thorough, numbly narrated Observer Wonderful, exhaustive book is as good an account of this man as we re ever likely to get Scotsman naHis classic films illuminated everyone s childhood The theme parks are on every tourist itinerary The movie empire is one of Hollywood s biggest Walt Disney is one of the few men who unquestionably changed our culture And Neal Gabler is the first author to have had complete access to the Disney Archives, enabling him to write the definitive biography of this remarkable man Gabler charts Disney s journey from running a fledgling studio with short cartoons featuring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, to the reinvention of animation with full length films like Snow White, Pinocchio, Bambi and Dumbo Chronicling Walt s profligacy and expansionism, as well as his obsessive perfectionism when working on the briefest of sequences in Fantasia, Gabler describes how it was left to Walt s brother Roy to keep the business solvent The successes speak for themselves Disney then moved beyond animation with huge hits like Mary Poppins, and mixed utopianism and merchandising to conceive the world s first modern theme park, Disneyland In addition to the towering achievements, Gabler shows the dark side of Walt Disney ruthless towards long serving staff, cavalier with contracts, neglectful of his family but also the vulnerability, born of loneliness and ill health, in an admirably balanced portrait