Review of 'A Brief History of Walt Disney'

A Brief History of Walt Disney by Brian J. Robb

a_brief_history_of_walt_disney.jpg To be clear: This is not simply a biography of Walt Disney but also Walt Disney the corporation, the brand he would become. The book starts with the early story of Disney as a jobbing cartoonist as he climbed the ranks and turned his attention more towards the business side of things founding the studio that would become the massive corporation that it is now. As Disney dies the story turns to his successors, his brother Ray's chairmanship then moving onto Michael Eisner with the corporation coming to terms with the use of computers in animation and expanding it's empire to take in more and more of the entertainment industry.

“A Brief History” focuses a great deal on the business side of Walt Disney as opposed to the personal, tracing the roots of the mega-corporation we know today and as such it is a bit on the stale side. As the great classics of Disney are introduced the focus is less on the content of these stories and more on the box office and their financial implications for the company. A great deal is made of the highs and lows of the company with their biggest successes in the 1930s and 1940s, their reinvention in 1980s then their renaissance in the 21st century taking on board Pixar, the creators of mega-hit “Toy Story”. We also learn of the corporation expanding from family entertainment into more adult offerings from Touchstone and, later, the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Lucasfilm, Marvel Entertainment and the Star Wars franchise. It is much more than the mouse now…

A bit dry but an interesting read for fans of Disney wanting to understand a bit about the business and history of Disney.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2022-03-20

Genre: Autobiography

Publisher: Robinson

Publication Date: 2014

ISBN: 9781472110565