Walt Disney: An American Original Review

The Walt Disney Company, which was founded on October 16th, 1923, is celebrating 100 Years of Wonder this year. To help commemorate this milestone anniversary, Disney Publishing is joining in on the celebration by releasing a collection of must-have Disney 100 deluxe editions.

Walt Disney: An American Original by Bob Thomas is the definitive biography on Walt Disney. It was first published back in 1976. The book got a second publishing in 1994. That is when I first had a chance to learn all about the life of Walt Disney. The cover of the book featured what could be considered the most iconic photo of Walt in a hallway staring with a serious expression while a shadow of Mickey Mouse appears on the wall. I have read many Walt Disney biographies since then, but none made me feel like I really knew the man that I had idolized like Walt Disney: An American Original.

Today we will take a look at the new Disney 100 commemorative edition of Walt Disney: An American Original.

Product Description:

The Walt Disney Company honors its 100th anniversary in 2023. As part of the festivities, this must-have biography tells the story of Walt Disney’s life―told as no other book can!

Walt Disney is an American hero. From Mickey Mouse to Disneyland, he changed the face of American culture. His is a success story like no other: a man who developed animated film into an art form and made a massive contribution to the folklore of the world.

After years of research, respected Hollywood biographer Bob Thomas produced a definitive biography of the man behind the legend of Disney: the unschooled cartoonist from Kansas City who when bankrupt on his first movie venture and developed into the genius who produced unmatched works of animation, and ultimately was the creative spirit of an international entertainment empire that has enchanted generations.

My Review

This new Disney 100 commemorative hardcover edition of Walt Disney: American Original is four hundred and thirty two pages. There is a thirty page photo gallery of Walt Disney photos in the middle section of the book. Walt Disney’s life story as told by Bob Thomas is essential reading. I have read my 1994 copy several times, and I used it for multiple school papers and projects. This book coupled with the Walt Disney Official Quote book is the ultimate history lesson of the inspirational life and times of Walt Disney.

I owned the 1994 trade paperback. This hardcover edition is even nicer. There are several additions to this masterpiece for the Disney 100 commemorative edition. At the front of the book, we get a new Foreword written by Walt Disney’s grandson, Christopher Miller. We then get an Introduction by Jeff Kurtti, and then we are treated to a Prologue by Walt Disney historian, Marcy Carriker Smothers. There is an Afterword by Rebecca Cline who is the Director of the Walt Disney Archives. That passage talks about the importance of this book, and she tells the story of the original reference copy of this most important book which resides at the Walt Disney Archives. I would have loved to see a picture of the original book. There is a new Endnotes section of curated stories from other Disney historian’s published books to further provide context for Walt Disney: An American Original. This is a worthy and perfect commemorative edition to add to your Disney library to celebrate the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company.

Buy this book for the definitive guide to the man, the myth, the legend…Walt Disney.


Walt Disney: An American Original can be ordered from Amazon at the link below:

Order: Walt Disney: An American Original (Amazon)

*By purchasing from Amazon.com through this link above, you are supporting DuckTalks at no additional cost to yourself!

Thank you Disney Publishing for sending us this copy for review.

One comment

  1. […] This book is a good keepsake for the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration, and you will especially love it if you were lucky to attend the touring exhibition by Walt Disney Archives and SC Exhibitions. The archival photos of 100 years of Disney are the best part of the book. The writing does jump around all over the place to meet the story categories of each chapter. I would have preferred a straight chronological timeline format of Walt Disney Company highlights with a chapter for each Disney decade sort of like shopDisney is doing with their Disney Decades collection. That format would have provided for a more definitive nostalgic and educational story adventure of Disney 100 Years of Wonder. If you are more interested in the history part of the Walt Disney Company which is talked about in the first chapter of this book, I would definitely recommend that you also check out the Disney 100 commemorative edition of Walt Disney: An American Original. […]


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