Short Version - They Drew as They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney's Mid-Century Era The 1950s and 1960s by Didier Ghez, as expected is really good. And with the inclusion of the Blairs, Disney readers will likely be familiar with two of his five subjects.
Long Version - They Drew as They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney's Mid-Century Era The 1950s and 1960s by Didier Ghez continues an exploration of the contributions of Disney story artists to animated shorts and features. Ghez provides a short biography followed by numerous pages of concept art for Lee Blair, Mary Blair, Tom Oreh, John Dunn, and Walt Peregoy. Readers can explore the images created for films such as Alice in Wonderland and 101 Dalmatians. These images show an evolution from paper to cell for the movies which gave many of us joy during our childhoods.
The book follows the same format as the other volumes in the series. The biographies introduce readers to the artist, their Disney journey, and their post-Disney careers. This is followed by numerous color images which are visually pleasing. Mary Blair may likely be the most prominent featured artist to date. Sadly, this is the biography that I found the most lacking. Disney fans know a lot of her time after leaving animation between her fine art and Imagineering contributions. I found the Blair entry to be shorter in the post-animation days than other narratives. For me, I found the entry of Tom Oreb to be more interesting due to the combination of an introverted personality, interesting art, and concepts that appeared to be delivered straight to the movie theater with an artist that we generally know less about.
If you are deep into Disney animation history, you likely already have They Drew as They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney's Mid-Century Era The 1950s and 1960s. If you are that person and you don’t have a copy yet, you likely will in the future. This series is just so visually pleasing, it really is a must-read and collect.
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