Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Between Books - Holiday Magic at the Disney Parks


Book cover showing Disney Parks Holiday decorations including a Mickey Pumpkin and Christmas trees

I love the holidays!

I love Disney!

And when I have been able to celebrate a holiday in a Disney park, it’s been wonderful.  Though let’s admit it, all of us Between Disney’s are finding a way to bring the park to us.

Holiday Magic at the Disney Parks: Celebrations Around the World from Fall to Winter by Graham Allan, Rebecca Cline and Charlie Price is a wonderful book that will put in into the holiday spirit.  This massive coffee table book is just full of holiday merriment and images.  The text focuses on two distinct holidays, Halloween and the Christmas season, with Christmas/winter holidays dominating the book.  The authors sell the book on the massive number of images, which work best listening to the appropriate holiday music as one dives into the pages.  But there is still quite a bit of text that provides history and background.  Overall, this is currently the premier Disney holiday book on the market.

This book is gorgeous. The images are full color, and often big and well framed.  It really is a treat on the eyes as they gathered images from throughout time and the world of Disney celebrations.  But honestly, I was most surprised by the text.  The authors present a nice history of the Disney holidays including narratives about historical celebrations, like pumpkin carving contests and pumpkin parades, I had never been introduced to. 

Holiday Magic at the Disney Parks: Celebrations Around the World from Fall to Winter by Graham Allan, Rebecca Cline and Charlie Price is a book you want for your Between Books shelve.  No matter how Between Disney you are, this massive book will help you celebrate your holidays in a very Disney way. 


This post contains affiliate links, which means that Between Disney receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. 

Monday, November 1, 2021

Between Books - The Disney Interviews: Volume I


Book covering showing Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom


The Walt’s People series has really created a gold standard for interview/oral history volumes on our Disney bookshelves.  These books create a benchmark that even experienced authors and interviews may struggle to maintain.  So, while the idea of an experienced interviewer moving audio interviews into a text format may seem like a no-brainer, sadly it can still go wrong. 

The Disney Interviews: Volume I by Lou Mongello transcribes interviews from the popular WDW Radio podcast into book format.  Each chapter consists of a brief introduction by the author about the context of the interview and some thoughts about the event.  The bulk of the chapter is a transcription of the interview.  Those included are a wide range of Disney celebrities including the well-known Julie Andrews, Alice Davis, Marty Sklar, and Richard Sherman.  But it also includes figures like Al Konetzni and Ralph Kent that may not be on every Disney fan’s radar.

This volume shows how difficult it can be to create a book, even when you have strong material.  In short, this book needs an editor desperately.  There are numerous text errors that create both reading discomfort and factual errors.  It makes one wonder if a simple transcription program was used to move the words into text, and then perhaps not carefully reviewed.  There are numerous grammatical errors.  But factual errors also frequent the book.  I was wondering who Dick Nunez was as he seemed to have had an impact on Tom Nabbe’s career.  I eventually figured out it was Dick Nunis.  But I was taken out of my experience as I pieced this puzzle together.  There are even factual errors in the introductions.  For example, in the Al Konetzni interview readers are directed to the full podcast episode 511, which is the Bill Sullivan interview. 

The Mongello interviews are comforting to hear.  They may be fancentric, but they really are like sitting down with an old friend when you hear them.  I really was looking forward to revisiting these interviews in a new way.  Sadly, instead I found The Disney Interviews: Volume I to be distracting and periodically frustrating to read.  I borrowed a Kindle edition and would really like to see this material edited and updated to provide what should be a fine reading experience. 



This post contains affiliate links, which means that Between Disney receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Between Books - The Making of Disney's The Jungle Cruise


In the movie Elf, James Caan’s Walter Hobbs is a publisher who makes a mistake.  He approves a book for printing that is missing pages.  And now children around the world will never know how the adventures of a puppy and pigeon will end.  I mean it is fiction, right?  A publisher would never put out an embarrassing product when they could have stopped it from hitting the shelves.

Looking at you Disney!

I apologize author Michael Goldman.  I am not going to blame you!

Disney Edition’s The Making of Disney's The Jungle Cruise is truly one of the worst Disney books ever offered to the public.  Author Michael Goldman does the job he was contracted for.  He gives his readers the background of the Jungle Cruise ride.  He goes through the production of the movie, with text that is on par with what we would expect from D23 Magazine.  And there is are some interesting tidbits like the filming of Prima a completely CGI character.  And I love the references to Tales from the Jungle Crews, which shows me Goldman went past the Disney archives for material.  But the book is a major failure and Goldman can luckily blame Walter Hobbs, I mean Disney Editions, for this failure.

The Making of Disney's The Jungle Cruise was not sold as a physical book to support the movie.  And I can understand with the pandemic and changing schedules how this decision was made.  However, in producing this as an eBook only Disney has failed us.  The pages are full of colorful pictures and concept art.  And the book was laid out in an artistic presentation that if printed would honestly look great.  But instead in the Kindle app on an iPad, an enjoyable experience is a nightmare.  The text is too small.  The solution is clearly just expand the view and blow up the page.  Too bad the minute you do that the text and images become blurry.  Navigating the blown-up pages led to page skips and jittery page movements where at times I lost entire pages of text.  Sometimes, I would turn the page just to get a big white box until I again resized the page.  It is very hard to keep to the flow of the text when one is just worried they lost a page or had the page skip to a new location. The book was clearly prepared as basically a series of images not formatted for Ereading.  And none of the benefits of reading an electronic book are available like bookmarking or highlighting.  In short, Disney took a book they were maybe planning to print and turned it into a series of images which is mis sized and unreadable.

I love the Jungle Cruise.  I love the movie.  Too bad this book is a true disaster.  If Disney Editions had just put some effort into the user acceptance testing they would have found how horrible of an experience they were providing to their audience.  Maybe then they could have fixed the formatting issues and let readers enjoy the images and text.  This book is a disaster and the only reason I have not returned it is I got it on sale.  Honestly charging full price for this book is a greater price gouging ploy than a family of four staying at the Galactic Starcruiser.  This is a book you can skip over and avoid the frustration that reading it brings.


This post contains affiliate links, which means that Between Disney receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site.