Monday, May 7, 2012

Between Books - The Vault of Walt

The Vault of Walt
The Vault of Walt: Unofficial, Unauthorized, Uncensored Disney Stories Never Told collects writings of popular Disney historian Jim Korkis.  The writings found within the book range from the life of Walt Disney to the lives that Walt Disney impacted.  The book is broken into four sections; “The Walt Stories,” “Disney Film Stories,” “Disney Park Stories,” and “The Other Worlds of Disney Stories.”  Each chapter is really a self contained story of around 10 pages that are combined into themes but do not build onto each other.  Stories found in this 400 plus page book range from the faith of Walt Disney, movie premieres such as Snow White and Song of the South, the development of the short "Destino" with Salvador Dali, the production of Captain EO and so many many more. 
Here at Between Disney we are always honest and I had prejudged The Vault of Walt early.  First, after reading three other Ayefour titles; Project Future, Four Decades of Magic, and Walt and the Promise of Progress City, I was convinced that the streak for fantastic books had to end someday, you know like Pixar’s winning streak which will end someday.  Second, when I read that the book consisted of repurposed blog posts I knew my judgment was confirmed.  I love Jim Korkis when he presents stories in an oral format like on podcasts like WDW Radio.  But often, for me, Korkis’ blog posts fall short.  That’s kind of ironic isn’t it!  Shame, shame on me!  The Vault of Walt is a wonderful, entertaining, educating and overall delight.  I took three weeks to read this book.  Was it because it was poorly written or difficult to work through?  No it was because these tales deserve to be savored, they should not be rushed through for the sole purpose of saying you have read another book.  No The Vault of Walt is a fine meal that should be chewed and enjoyed, not rushed.  This book is excellent and should be on the shelves of every Disney library. 
When I say a wide range of topics, I mean it.  The Vault of Walt is incredibly diverse.  Topics include obscure Disney topics that I have never read essays on in other books such as Walt Disney and his relationship with DeMolay.  Personally I love the detail in the essay on Walt and Roy O. Disney’s return to Marceline, Missouri and their reactions to their boyhood home.  And the chapter on two key women in Disney’s life gives us a new and in-depth view of Walt Disney the employer.  The chapter on "Destino" led me to seek it out, and wow all I can say is that’s the most interesting use of baseball imaginary I have ever seen.  The chapters are informative but also leave you wanting to seek out more. 
Honestly, almost every chapter in The Vault of Walt was a hit for me.  I read this book for the stories and I discovered a resource for researching somewhat obscure Disney topics.  Congratulations to Jim Korkis in helping prove that Ayefour titles are all ones that the literate Disney fan needs!            

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