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.


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