Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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Walt Disney / by Jane Sutcliffe


Title: Walt Disney
Author:  Jane Sutcliffe
Publisher: Lerner Publishing
ISBN: 978-1580137041
Year: 2009

  innovation, entrepreneur, risk, poverty, scarcity

  In this fascinating biography of the famous cartoonist, film producer, and entrepreneur who brought to life so many memorable characters and revolutionized the entertainment industry, the reader discovers not only countless facts about the genius of Walt Disney, but also learns a great deal about his financial circumstances, work ethic, and determination to succeed in spite of the doubts of others.  Disney knew he wanted to be a professional artist from a young age; in fact, he sold his first artwork when a child for a nickel.  Ever an innovator and risk taker, he conducted animation experiments in his garage and owned his own company at the age of 20.

Disney encountered significant obstacles on his path to ultimate success, and these difficulties are described well throughout the book.  At one point in his career, he was so poor that he resorted to sleeping in his office and washing in a train station.  Disney found himself faced with unscrupulous businessmen, copyright issues, unsuccessful films, enormous stress, and problems balancing his professional and personal lives.

Despite these struggles Disney and his creations eventually achieved remarkable popularity, and this work discusses his extensive efforts in marketing, promotion, and commercialization.  In addition to relaying numerous pieces of interesting trivia, such as that live deer were kept in the Disney studio for a year during the making of Bambi, Walt Disney contains a timeline, bibliographical references and websites for further reading, and a large number of illustrations and photographs.

Review by:
  Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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