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The Hidden Art of Disney's Golden Age: The 1930s

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As the Walt Disney Studio entered its first decade and embarked on some of the most ambitious animated films of the time, Disney hired a group of "concept artists" whose sole mission was to explore ideas and inspire their fellow animators. They Drew as They Pleased showcases four of these early pioneers and features artwork developed by them for the Disney shorts from the As the Walt Disney Studio entered its first decade and embarked on some of the most ambitious animated films of the time, Disney hired a group of "concept artists" whose sole mission was to explore ideas and inspire their fellow animators. They Drew as They Pleased showcases four of these early pioneers and features artwork developed by them for the Disney shorts from the 1930s, including many unproduced projects, as well as for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and some early work for later features such as Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Introducing new biographical material about the artists and including largely unpublished artwork from the depths of the Walt Disney Archives and the Disney Animation Research Library, this volume offers a window into the most inspiring work created by the best Disney artists during the studio's early golden age. They Drew as They Pleased is the first in what promises to be a revealing and fascinating series of books about Disney's largely unexamined concept artists, with six volumes spanning the decades between the 1930s and 1990s. Copyright ©2015 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.


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As the Walt Disney Studio entered its first decade and embarked on some of the most ambitious animated films of the time, Disney hired a group of "concept artists" whose sole mission was to explore ideas and inspire their fellow animators. They Drew as They Pleased showcases four of these early pioneers and features artwork developed by them for the Disney shorts from the As the Walt Disney Studio entered its first decade and embarked on some of the most ambitious animated films of the time, Disney hired a group of "concept artists" whose sole mission was to explore ideas and inspire their fellow animators. They Drew as They Pleased showcases four of these early pioneers and features artwork developed by them for the Disney shorts from the 1930s, including many unproduced projects, as well as for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and some early work for later features such as Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Introducing new biographical material about the artists and including largely unpublished artwork from the depths of the Walt Disney Archives and the Disney Animation Research Library, this volume offers a window into the most inspiring work created by the best Disney artists during the studio's early golden age. They Drew as They Pleased is the first in what promises to be a revealing and fascinating series of books about Disney's largely unexamined concept artists, with six volumes spanning the decades between the 1930s and 1990s. Copyright ©2015 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

30 review for The Hidden Art of Disney's Golden Age: The 1930s

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sebastien

    Great book. Recommend for those who love or are interested in any or all of the following: animation, illustration, art, Disney, art history, the creative process. Imo there is a very nice balance between informative text and nicely reproduced visual catalogue. The book covers 4 early Disney concept artists: Albert Hurter, Bianca Marjolie, Ferdinand Horvath, Gustaf Tenggren. The bios are excellent, offering solid insight into both the creative process in general and how this process manifested at Great book. Recommend for those who love or are interested in any or all of the following: animation, illustration, art, Disney, art history, the creative process. Imo there is a very nice balance between informative text and nicely reproduced visual catalogue. The book covers 4 early Disney concept artists: Albert Hurter, Bianca Marjolie, Ferdinand Horvath, Gustaf Tenggren. The bios are excellent, offering solid insight into both the creative process in general and how this process manifested at Disney in the 30s (along with humanizing stories about the individuals involved, often these artists are just ciphers to the public and it is easy to forget that real people made these films with blood, sweat, and tears). I was most interested by Albert Hurter's character work which I found scintillating, tons of power, zaniness, combo'd with great mastery. Tenggren's environmental concept pieces are also mind-blowing. He was heavily involved with both Bambi and Pinnochio, very cool to see his influence on those films. Some of the concept pieces he made for Bambi that didn't make the movie were totally unreal, but unfortunately too ornamented and detailed thus too cumbersome/expensive to animate. One pattern you see in this book with the artists, and I think this still happens pretty often in animation is the incredible burn-out rates. It's a grueling and punishing business, has been since its inception I suppose. The book also does a great job in linking late 19th-early 20th century European illustrative influence on those early Disney films (all 4 artists featured here were originally from Europe so they were key in imprinting some of that stuff onto the Disney productions). I'm looking forward to reading the other volumes in this series. I'm a bit bummed the author isn't going to focus on some of the better known figures like Mary Blair in his series, it's a bit like writing about baseball but not writing about Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron because everyone already knows about them. I get that the point is to focus on the lesser known artists but still, I'd enjoy a more comprehensive history on artists across the spectrum (including both lesser known to the better known). PS. I'm sorry I haven't been on Goodreads as much of late as I miss all my of buddies on here. I hope you've all been well! I've been pretty busy with work and things of that nature so I haven't had as much time to read or follow reviews. But in general life is good (knock on wood) and that is a blessing!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I will admit that there is somethings I wish I could do - and drawing must be pretty close to the top - which would explain my love of science fiction and fantasy artwork along with my collecting of various books published by publishers who focus on these areas However another love is that of the concept artist - the unsung hero of many a film favourite and I cannot think of any more influential and probably least known about (well by me at least) are those of the pioneers at Disney. This book i I will admit that there is somethings I wish I could do - and drawing must be pretty close to the top - which would explain my love of science fiction and fantasy artwork along with my collecting of various books published by publishers who focus on these areas However another love is that of the concept artist - the unsung hero of many a film favourite and I cannot think of any more influential and probably least known about (well by me at least) are those of the pioneers at Disney. This book in fact the whole series focuses on the various talents who worked at Walt Disney studios over the years and who were responsible for some of the most iconic and famous images in the genre. This books focuses on 4 of the through the 1930s - their time with Disney (which was not always a happy one) their greatest achievements and a small fraction of the material they created along the way (sadly sometimes through no choice of the editor - rather the material is lost). This book is beautiful and full of artwork - as you get pages on material on each of these incredibly talented (and envied) artists. I have only read a couple from the series and I have to say I have been incredibly impressed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    Honestly... this book isn't that great to me. While the book is printed on excellent pages and the color is great I found it lacking. The cover art shows Snow White so I expected more known Disney titles. I suppose the title does say "hidden" so I should've known the art would be from obscure projects that are pretty much unknown to most. This book is mainly for people who are way into Disney artist and remember this is from the Golden Age so there aren't many illustrations from canon. I think j Honestly... this book isn't that great to me. While the book is printed on excellent pages and the color is great I found it lacking. The cover art shows Snow White so I expected more known Disney titles. I suppose the title does say "hidden" so I should've known the art would be from obscure projects that are pretty much unknown to most. This book is mainly for people who are way into Disney artist and remember this is from the Golden Age so there aren't many illustrations from canon. I think just some Pinocchio and Snow White. There are some really neat dragon illustrations that I enjoyed. Otherwise.. meh.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

    A beauty of a book, featuring the hidden art from the Golden Age of Disney Animation along with condensed but concise biographies of four members of the Story Department, whose sole mission was to inspire their colleagues, and whose influence is evident from the samplings of their work found in this volume from Ghez. The four concept artists covered by Ghez are representative of a larger pool, but chosen by Ghez with purpose. These trailblazers in the then newly created position "concept artists" A beauty of a book, featuring the hidden art from the Golden Age of Disney Animation along with condensed but concise biographies of four members of the Story Department, whose sole mission was to inspire their colleagues, and whose influence is evident from the samplings of their work found in this volume from Ghez. The four concept artists covered by Ghez are representative of a larger pool, but chosen by Ghez with purpose. These trailblazers in the then newly created position "concept artists" were tasked to discover ideas, jokes, characters, and settings but whose work would most likely never been seen by the movie-going audience. Albert Hurter, Ferdinand Horvath, Gustaf Tenggren, and Bianca Majolie all brought their own individual talent, experience, and personalities to the rising company that would become the Disney of today. What I particularly love about this series are the back room stories they offer up. Disney's Nine Old Men are famous; I remember the coverage and interviews about and from them at the end of the special edition VHS tapes of the huge Disney films from when I was growing up. But it was rare to hear the names of the first layers of talent from within the depths of the studio—even rarer when those names belonged to a woman. Bianca Majolie's story was one that would lead to the other female Disney artists who joined after Bianca, and who would go even farther—but "Bianca had opened the way." And like many other animation artists from those early days, the burn out was swift. The work, the days, the pressure must've been grueling and Majolie's story is no exception. Ghez details her abrupt departure: The years at Disney had been too intense and she was clearly burned out. "I lost interest," explained Bianca to John Canemaker years later. "I went on a long vacation. When I came back my desk was occupied. It happened abruptly. No one told me. I did run into someone in the hall who said, 'You know, you're fired.' I was so happy to break away [from Disney.]" Ghez has included a wonderful portfolio for each artist both intermingled with their biography and over many pages following. The influence and inspiration is evident and to know many of those images and early design sketches is to understand the impact on the animation for which Disney would become famous.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    I’ve been following Disney historian Didier Ghez since the mid-2000s, when he first started writing about old-style Walt Disney Studio goodness on his blog, Disney History. It was delightful to find that his labors have brought forth a fancy coffee-table-style book of vintage Disney studio art – the first of a series! The handsome 2015 hardback, They Drew As They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Golden Age – The 1930s pays homage to overlooked artists who worked at the Disney studio in its pr I’ve been following Disney historian Didier Ghez since the mid-2000s, when he first started writing about old-style Walt Disney Studio goodness on his blog, Disney History. It was delightful to find that his labors have brought forth a fancy coffee-table-style book of vintage Disney studio art – the first of a series! The handsome 2015 hardback, They Drew As They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Golden Age – The 1930s pays homage to overlooked artists who worked at the Disney studio in its prime. They Drew As They Pleased gives a new spin to a familiar subject, shedding light on four particular artists with mini-biographies and a host of previously unpublished artwork. Even for those well-versed in what the Disney studio was working on in the ’30s – Mickey Mouse cartoons, Silly Symphonies shorts, the features Snow White, Pinocchio and Fantasia – there’s a lot of surprises within. Although the idea of using “concept artists” in film and TV production is pretty common today, back in the ’30s it was pretty rare. Indeed, Walt Disney was the first animation producer to realize the potential of hiring imaginative artists strictly for the purpose of inspiring the look and feel of the final product. The projects that these artists worked on included not just the classics listed above, but also films not released until much later (Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella) and shelved projects (Ballet de Fleurs, Streubel Peter, Japanese Symphony). The artists profiled in They Drew As They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Golden Age – The 1930s are pretty fascinating, especially given that I was familiar with just one (the brilliant Gustaf Tenggren). They are – • Albert Hurter (1883-1942), Disney’s first story artist. Hurter’s imaginative, spontaneous pencil drawings provided visual flair to many a Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony cartoon. Some of his stuff reproduced here pushes the limits, going in a surreal, Dr. Seuss-like direction. Hurter’s life story was as unique as his talent (Disney kept him on the payroll, even as failing health had him in a convalescent home). • Ferdinand Horvath (1891-1973) lent his wide-ranging abilities to layouts, animation, gag drawings, illustration at the studio over a period of several years. Horvath had had a tempestuous relationship with Disney, although it doesn’t show in his whimsical, kinetic and polished work. • Gustaf Tenggren (1896-1970). Like Hurter, Gustaf Tenggren was an eccentric European expat whose visual flair left its mark on a variety of Disney productions. Most significantly, his gorgeous production art brought an immersive Old World sensibility to Snow White and Pinocchio. That celebrated art is reproduced here, along with some fascinating storyboard art and production studies. Tenggren’s bio, like Hurter’s, reveals a fascinating, quirky life (will someone do a long-form bio on this guy? I’d snap it up.). • Bianca Majolie (1900-1997). Besting Mary Blair by a few years, Majolie was Disney’s first female concept artist. A classmate of Walt’s from Chicago, Majolie endeared herself to Disney by contributing a feminine touch to a handful of short subjects (a few of which went unreleased) in the late ’30s. Unfortunately, the overtly macho atmosphere in Disney’s story department prompted Majolie to resign in 1940. Too bad – based on this book, her work was delightful. They Drew As They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Golden Age – The 1930s was published in 2015 by Chronicle. A follow-up volume, the first of two covering the 1940s, just came out last month. Ghez himself told me that there will be six volumes published, in total (yeah!). (Scrubbles.net review, September 14, 2016)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael Smith

    I can’t draw a convincing stick figure, but I’ve always been interested in animation art. Ghez is probably today’s leading historian of the Disney Studios and the art it produced, and this is the latest volume in an ongoing series, this time about the first four concept artists Disney hired to come up with the basic ideas for feature film projects which the other artists then developed. Basically, they were paid to sit all day in a comfortable office and draw whatever came into their heads. Whic I can’t draw a convincing stick figure, but I’ve always been interested in animation art. Ghez is probably today’s leading historian of the Disney Studios and the art it produced, and this is the latest volume in an ongoing series, this time about the first four concept artists Disney hired to come up with the basic ideas for feature film projects which the other artists then developed. Basically, they were paid to sit all day in a comfortable office and draw whatever came into their heads. Which sounds like a dream job, but most of the people who did it burned out after a surprisingly short time. These four, though, set the style by which Disney films were known for the next two generations, and their work is still how most of us picture the fairy tales we read as kids -- the older generation, that is. European-born Albert Hurter, who was already almost fifty when he started with Disney in 1931, was known for his highly original imagination. Disney said “he had a cigar in his left hand, and a magic wand in his right hand.” Many thousands of his drawings have survived in the archives, including his canonical concepts of the Seven Dwarves, his work on “The Grasshopper and the Ant” and “Dumbo,” and the first concepts that became “Cinderella” a decade after Hurter’s death. Ferdinand Horvath, also European, was a movie junkie and much more of a realist than Hurter (if that term can be applied to Disney films at all). He’s best known for his work on the various Silly Symphonies, especially the “Ballet des Fleurs,” and also for Goldilocks and for the notion of the Three Blind Mice as musketeers. Gustaf Tenggren was already famous as a portraitist and for his Arthur Rakham-like illustrations in his native Sweden when Disney hired him 1936. His best work was for Pinocchio, a rather dark film, which features the sort if small, cobblestoned villages in which Tenggren had grown up. (That movie frankly scared the crap out of four-year-old me when I first saw it in the late ’40s.) Bianca Majolie, a native of Rome, was the first story artist ever hired at the Disney Studios when she began in 1940. She had been a high school classmate of Disney’s in Chicago in 1917, but they didn’t really know each other. She started in newspaper comic strips but eventually caught Disney’s eye because of her creativity and sheer talent. She also is noted especially for her work on the Silly Symphonies. Naturally, this is a lushly illustrated volume, in a large enough format to show off the details of the art. If you have an interest in serial art of any kind, or if you simply grew up with the early Disney films, this book is a great way to spend a rainy weekend.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Maybe more of 3.5 stars than a true 4 star rating. I love the information included here, highlighting four lesser known animators who mostly did conceptual work for Disney, and the art itself is gorgeous and printed beautifully. Unfortunately, the actual writing itself is where this book falls a little flat for me. I found the mini-biographies for each of the artists very dry and, while I appreciate the use of myriad primary sources for information, I also felt that Ghez relied much too heavily o Maybe more of 3.5 stars than a true 4 star rating. I love the information included here, highlighting four lesser known animators who mostly did conceptual work for Disney, and the art itself is gorgeous and printed beautifully. Unfortunately, the actual writing itself is where this book falls a little flat for me. I found the mini-biographies for each of the artists very dry and, while I appreciate the use of myriad primary sources for information, I also felt that Ghez relied much too heavily on block quotes from those materials. Depending on a perspective reader's main point of interest, I'm not sure that this book is worth the money. If someone just wants a beautiful coffee table book full of rough and preliminary artwork, then it probably is. However for those who prefer these types of books to also have a lot of substance to them (like I do) then it falls a little short. Luckily I found it on Amazon for $7 rather than the $40 original price and for that amount it's obviously more than worth it. Overall, I'm thrilled to have a new book added to my Disney collection, and relatively happy with the new information and art found within it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tisha (IG: Bluestocking629)

    What a fascinating look into the personal and work lives of several of Disney’s early artists. The biographies alone are terrific but coupled with the art was just beyond terrific! Anybody who enjoys history, art, animation and of course Disney should check out this book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gijs Grob

    'They Drew As They Pleased' is a beautiful coffee table book on the art of four Disney story artists of the 1930s: two well-known, Albert Hurter and Gustaf Tenggren, and two much less known, Ferdinand Horvath and Bianca Majolie. Interestingly, all four were born in Europe. Ghez provides modest biographies for the four artists, with Horvath's story being the most interesting, as Ghez could use the artist's diary. Unfortunately, the biographies are too slim to be really insightful, and the real in 'They Drew As They Pleased' is a beautiful coffee table book on the art of four Disney story artists of the 1930s: two well-known, Albert Hurter and Gustaf Tenggren, and two much less known, Ferdinand Horvath and Bianca Majolie. Interestingly, all four were born in Europe. Ghez provides modest biographies for the four artists, with Horvath's story being the most interesting, as Ghez could use the artist's diary. Unfortunately, the biographies are too slim to be really insightful, and the real influence of the artists on the stories and looks of individual films remains largely obscure. The art doesn't help either. Surely, the book is filled with beautiful sketches and paintings, ca. 99% never seen before, but most of the art is for abandoned projects, or cannot be linked clearly to any existing film. Tenggren's influence is most apparent, as the book shows a great deal of his stunning, and very recognizable artwork for 'The Old Mill' and 'Pinocchio'. In contrast, Bianca Majolie's contribution seems to be limited to the Sugar Plum Fairy section of 'The Nutcracker Suite' in 'Fantasia' (1940). Hurter's most striking contributions are for the Silly Symphonies 'The Grasshopper and the Ants', 'The Wise Little Hen' and 'The Flying Mouse'. While Horvath seemed to excel in abandoned projects, this book shows that he clearly influenced the looks of the Silly Symphonies 'Three Blind Mice' and 'The Practical Pig'. Nevertheless, in the text Ghez suggest a much greater influence by all four artists. Thus, like John Canemaker's The Art And Flair Of Mary Blair: An Appreciation the book is an enjoyable and important homage to great Disney artists, but also a slightly frustrating one.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    There is something uncomfortable about this book.  It is by no means a bad book, nor a bad way to appreciate a quartet of artists whose skill in drawing and creativity helped make Disney a successful studio during a period where work for skilled animators was very scarce.  But the book is both a testament as well as an example of the difficult struggle that exists between creativity and corporate identity that Disney and a great many other companies struggle with.  The author does as good job tr There is something uncomfortable about this book.  It is by no means a bad book, nor a bad way to appreciate a quartet of artists whose skill in drawing and creativity helped make Disney a successful studio during a period where work for skilled animators was very scarce.  But the book is both a testament as well as an example of the difficult struggle that exists between creativity and corporate identity that Disney and a great many other companies struggle with.  The author does as good job trying to finesse this tension, wondering why it is that talented illustrators would have a hard time staying at one of the few well-paying jobs in the 1930's while also managing to describe the incessant demands of Walt Disney for new ideas, some of which would be scrapped, as well as his abusive negativity towards the creativity that his illustrators had, making his head illustrator positions ones that were simultaneously treasured as well as toxic for those who held them.  The author portrays working at Disney in positions that forced one to be close to Walt Disney as a poisoned chalice, and no amount of soft-pedaling can make this sound pleasant to a reader who is sensitive to such matters. This book is about 200 pages long or so and it is focused on four main animators who worked for Disney in the 1930's and early 1940's.  The book begins with a foreword by Pete Docter as well as a preface and a look at inspiration and the author's own use of previous works, which the title itself is an homage to.  After that the author discusses the art of Albert Hurter, Ferdinand Horvath, Gustaf Tenggren, and Bianca Majolie and provides some stunning examples of that concept and film art that they worked on while they were at Disney studios.  The author explores their European origins and tells stories about Walt Disney's reluctance to hire women because of his concerns that they would marry and get pregnant and quit as well as the frustration that resulted when animators would draw for shorts and even films (most of them taken from literature in the Disney library) that would be shelved when they proved difficult or expensive to do.  The author also demonstrates the quirks of these people, who were of different personalities and a shared struggle to handle the stress of working for the demanding and perfectionistic Walt Disney. Despite the fact that the author does not present Disney as a particularly good place to work for for all of the creativity that came out of the studio during the 1930's, the book succeeds largely on the basis of its gorgeous art and the fact that the author has evidently done his homework on presenting the art as well as the lives of the people he chronicles here.  Yet it is a bit puzzling as to why Disney commissioned a work that is so painfully unpleasant in its discussion of Walt Disney as a man.  Whatever can be said about him as the creator of a successful business, he does not come off well in these pages to those who read this book and avoid looking only at the pictures.  It is mystifying as to whether the contemporary leadership at Disney is hostile to Walt Disney (especially his political conservatism) in wanting to portray him in such a negative light here.  Whether the negative portrayal is intentional or not the book is certainly an example of the tension that exists between creative people and the business world.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Avery Delany

    My partner bought me this beautiful hardback for a Christmas or birthday a few years back and, in good timely fashion, I have only just gotten around to reading it. I cannot fault the quality of this book, which is the first installment of the They Drew as They Pleased series, as it is beautiful. You can tell that so much research by the author has gone into this book and, from what I understand, the entire series, especially as one of the author's aims, is to reveal 'hidden art' which has been My partner bought me this beautiful hardback for a Christmas or birthday a few years back and, in good timely fashion, I have only just gotten around to reading it. I cannot fault the quality of this book, which is the first installment of the They Drew as They Pleased series, as it is beautiful. You can tell that so much research by the author has gone into this book and, from what I understand, the entire series, especially as one of the author's aims, is to reveal 'hidden art' which has been lost to time or otherwise has tended to be ignored in other Disney history books. Ghez focuses on 4 employees who worked for Disney during the 1930's, one of whom was the first woman to work at Disney, and includes pages of quality art and sketches alongside short biographies of each person. This isn't really the book that I expected it to be as I had thought it would be more about the art and styles of the movies and shorts as a whole rather than focusing on individual people (something that I find quite dry to read). It made for an interesting, and short, read but definitely focuses more on the artists than the art itself. One thing that did bother me a little is that there were so many pages dedicated to the first two (male) artists yet this attention wasn't equitably given to the only female artist featured in this edition, whose section was fairly short and included more general information about other women who came after. It's a lovely book to own but something which is more of a Disney collectible and coffee table book for me than a book to read. I would be interested in checking out the other editions though, mostly to complete the set, though I would particularly like to read the ones on the 60s and 90s!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    I very much enjoyed this book as a lover of Disney art! I appreciated the intentionality of the choice of artists for this volume as I was less familiar with their work. I especially enjoyed the collaboration with the Disney Archives (and other such institutions). I can only imagine how much work and research went into this! My only disappointment was the lack of focus the section on Bianca Majolie seemed to receive. Not only did she share her biography section with other women (which is fine bu I very much enjoyed this book as a lover of Disney art! I appreciated the intentionality of the choice of artists for this volume as I was less familiar with their work. I especially enjoyed the collaboration with the Disney Archives (and other such institutions). I can only imagine how much work and research went into this! My only disappointment was the lack of focus the section on Bianca Majolie seemed to receive. Not only did she share her biography section with other women (which is fine but ultimately the focus should be on Majolie and more so how she directly impacted those women, then back to her, correct?), but her section was disappointingly the shortest in both biography and art selections. She was such a huge contributor to the studio and instead her biography seemed determined to spotlight any sour notes she had with the company instead of highlighting her accomplishments and beautiful art. She had a similar story to other male artists (some even in this same volume!) but her section left me feeling like she was miserable her whole Disney career and left pouting which truly belittles the amazing work she did such as redirecting the entire story arc of “Pinocchio” making it into the glorious version of what we see today. However, I appreciate she was included and I was overall very impressed with the beauty of this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jaime Guzman

    Any fan of Disney animation know the great animators lovingly called The Nine Old Men. There have been countless books written about them along with a few documentaries. This book covers those whom we have not heard about. The unsung heroes known as concept artists that inspire animators with their drawings. This volume covers concept artists from the 1930s who are Albert Hurter, Ferdinand Hovarth, Gustaff Tengren, and Bianca Majolie. Each concept artist has a small biography which covers they're a Any fan of Disney animation know the great animators lovingly called The Nine Old Men. There have been countless books written about them along with a few documentaries. This book covers those whom we have not heard about. The unsung heroes known as concept artists that inspire animators with their drawings. This volume covers concept artists from the 1930s who are Albert Hurter, Ferdinand Hovarth, Gustaff Tengren, and Bianca Majolie. Each concept artist has a small biography which covers they're artistic background and how they were influencial in giving the Disney animation staff inspiration. Along with the brief bios there are pages loaded with wonderful pencil drawings and paintings showcasing each concept artists work. As a huge fan of animation and a collector of it's books, I greatly enjoyed a book that covered something absolutely new that was not covered in previous other Disney books. The art work is whimsical, beautiful, and expertly detailed. Although the book was a very fast read it took me a couple of hours just enjoying the art work alone. If you are a fan of animation and especially a fan of Disney animation this is a book to have in your library. I am looking forward to picking up the next volume.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    A fascinating look at concept and story art of 4 artists hired at Disney during the 1930s, with artwork from well-loved films, lesser-known short subjects, and abandoned projects. As one who reads a lot about Disney and watches the extensive bonus features on their best DVD releases, I was quite familiar with the work of 2 of the 4 featured artists, but not their lives. Wonderfully researched, not sugarcoated, and full with new learnings for me as someone with a deep interest in the subject matt A fascinating look at concept and story art of 4 artists hired at Disney during the 1930s, with artwork from well-loved films, lesser-known short subjects, and abandoned projects. As one who reads a lot about Disney and watches the extensive bonus features on their best DVD releases, I was quite familiar with the work of 2 of the 4 featured artists, but not their lives. Wonderfully researched, not sugarcoated, and full with new learnings for me as someone with a deep interest in the subject matter.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    Ghez wisely focuses on only a few individuals at a time for his series; in this case, it's three men and a trailblazing woman, all hugely talented artists whose concept art and designs are an inspiration to browse. In Albert Hurter's case, his creations were often solely for the benefit of the other artists, as a means of kickstarting their own concepts. Brief but informative biographical information starts each chapter, followed by pure (and often very rare) eye candy. Ghez wisely focuses on only a few individuals at a time for his series; in this case, it's three men and a trailblazing woman, all hugely talented artists whose concept art and designs are an inspiration to browse. In Albert Hurter's case, his creations were often solely for the benefit of the other artists, as a means of kickstarting their own concepts. Brief but informative biographical information starts each chapter, followed by pure (and often very rare) eye candy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mer

    I borrowed this book to be a companion to The Queens of Animation; about the women at Disney. This book's summary says it covers one of the women but there wasn't much there. The pages of artwork do help you get a sense of whose hand contributed what, to the tv shows and movies I watched as a kid. I borrowed this book to be a companion to The Queens of Animation; about the women at Disney. This book's summary says it covers one of the women but there wasn't much there. The pages of artwork do help you get a sense of whose hand contributed what, to the tv shows and movies I watched as a kid.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sally Epp

    A very interesting read for those interested in the history of art and animation. Lovely reproductions of sketches, character designs and concept art. The section on Bianca Majolie was noticeably shorter than the sections for the other three (male) artists, and her salary was minuscule compared to theirs. I look forward to reading the next volume.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Lambert-Maberly

    Interesting but not particularly urgent book, with a nice but not earth-shattering collection of nondescript-to-pleasant-to-inspiring images. (Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s). Interesting but not particularly urgent book, with a nice but not earth-shattering collection of nondescript-to-pleasant-to-inspiring images. (Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s).

  19. 4 out of 5

    Noora Moosa

    The book is filled with illustrations and sketches from the 1930s featuring Disney’s artists and great explanations which were very well sorted. I have literally enjoyed every bit of it. For the love of Walt Disney animation and character design.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Return2neverland

    This was a beautiful book and was quite an interesting look into some of the minds behind Disney features we know today I do wish though that there was more art in it than there was but I still really enjoyed it

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Deal

    Great book about four artists that were influencers at Disney studios in the early days. Great art and a very well written bios of these artists. Certainly, this is a series I will collect all of.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Schmitt

    This is an absolute must-have for fans of Disney animation history. Beautiful book!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mark Adams

    Being a child fan of Disney’s early animators, I’m happy this book shared details on specific artists. The WDW company is filled with individuals’ stories.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Silva

    This book is fascinating! So many amazing artists that I had never heard about before!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Reba

    This was a fun read. It was nice to see some of the original, lesser artists of early Disney featured, especially Bianca Majolie.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    An extremely interesting and informative look at the early days of animation.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Daniela Pérez Nava

    This book really achieves what it was meant to do: Inspire. More than the awesome sketches I bought the book for in the first place, all the little biographies of the 4 Concept Artists the book tells were more intriguing and fascinating: To know their personalities and how it reflected in their work, along with the overall view of their entire life as artists and secondly, Walt's employees, was more delightful and satisfying than the sketches alone. I highly recommend it for former illustrators o This book really achieves what it was meant to do: Inspire. More than the awesome sketches I bought the book for in the first place, all the little biographies of the 4 Concept Artists the book tells were more intriguing and fascinating: To know their personalities and how it reflected in their work, along with the overall view of their entire life as artists and secondly, Walt's employees, was more delightful and satisfying than the sketches alone. I highly recommend it for former illustrators or Disney fans...AND historians. You know what? Just get this book for general culture, it will be worth it. I swear. Looking at their drawings while reading the story of each artist gives a whole new experience to me as a reader. Like their souls talks to my soul if I look carefully. Ok, that was a bit creepy, but you get what I mean. I hope to find the second volume of this series soon... Hope to find it not so expensive, too.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    The text of this book is well written and interesting (which seems to be unusual for a coffee table book these days). I learned about artists I was unfamiliar with, and got a glimpse into what the early days were like at Disney. The art is beautiful, of course, but is also well selected to help tell the stories of the artists profiled.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Thia Reads A Lot

    This book contains some marvellous illustrations by four artists who worked at Disney during the 1930s, along with some biographical information about those artists. It should be mentioned that this book doesn't contain illustrations the artists made before or after their time at Disney, which is a bit disappointing, but understandable. Only a few illustrations about feature-length films, the rest are for short films, and of those, I believe a majority show sketches for cancelled projects. I hope t This book contains some marvellous illustrations by four artists who worked at Disney during the 1930s, along with some biographical information about those artists. It should be mentioned that this book doesn't contain illustrations the artists made before or after their time at Disney, which is a bit disappointing, but understandable. Only a few illustrations about feature-length films, the rest are for short films, and of those, I believe a majority show sketches for cancelled projects. I hope the rest of the series will be of the same level or better. In the preface, the author writes "In future volumes I will also mostly shy away from artists like Joe Grant and Mary Blair, who have been widely discussed, [...]" which explains the "Hidden Art" in the title. I wish they would still be included, as they were key artists for the studio. Overall an enjoyable book, but not the jewel of my collection.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alyse

    Focusing on four of Disney’s artists during the 1930s, Albert Hurter, Ferdinand Horvath, Gustaf Tenggren, and Bianca Majolie, this volume explores how each of these artists brought their own backgrounds and artistic style to the Disney Studio. Every chapter focuses on one of the four artists and includes an informative biography and never before seen concept art from Silly Symphony shorts, Pinocchio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and many more. This book reveals how these artists helped to sh Focusing on four of Disney’s artists during the 1930s, Albert Hurter, Ferdinand Horvath, Gustaf Tenggren, and Bianca Majolie, this volume explores how each of these artists brought their own backgrounds and artistic style to the Disney Studio. Every chapter focuses on one of the four artists and includes an informative biography and never before seen concept art from Silly Symphony shorts, Pinocchio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and many more. This book reveals how these artists helped to shape the Walt Disney Studio into what we see today. A great collection for Disney and art lovers alike.

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