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Here Are Our Favorite Disney Books That We're Reading Right Now!

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If you're like us, you're starting to get a little bored with being indoors all day waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic to blow over. Here at Lost Bros, we've been stocking up on our Disney books and wanted to share some of our favorites with you! We've arranged our list into best books by category, including best books by Disney influential people, all about Walt, Disney art books, all about the Disney Parks, for kids, and fiction! We have a ton of books to cover, so let's get started!

Best Disney Books by Influential Disney People

A memoir of leadership and success: The executive chairman of Disney, Time's 2019 businessperson of the year, shares the ideas and values he embraced during his 15 years as CEO while reinventing one of the world's most beloved companies and inspiring the people who bring the magic to life.

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, number-on New York Times best seller

Buy Here

Dream It! Do It!: My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms - Marty Sklar

Marty Sklar was hired by The Walt Disney Company after his junior year at UCLA, and began his Disney career at Disneyland in July 1955, the month before the park opened. He spent his first decade at Disney as "the kid," the very youngest of the creative team Walt had assembled at WED Enterprises. But despite his youth, his talents propelled him forward into substantial responsibility: he became Walt's speech writer, penned Walt's and Roy's messages in the company's annual report, composed most of the publicity and marketing materials for Disneyland, conceived presentations for the U.S. government, devised initiatives to obtain sponsors to enable new Disneyland developments, and wrote a twenty-four-minute film expressing Walt's philosophy for the Walt Disney World project and Epcot. He was Walt's literary right-hand man. Over the next forty years, Marty Sklar rose to become president and principal creative executive of Walt Disney Imagineering, and he devoted his entire career to creating, enhancing, and expanding Walt's magical empire. This beautifully written and enlightening book is Marty's own retelling of his epic Disney journey, a grand adventure that lasted over half a century.

Buy here.

It's Kind of a Cute Story - Rolly Crump

The Imagineers, those men and women who helped Walt Disney bring his creations to life, have achieved legendary status among theme park enthusiasts. It's Kind of a Cute Story is the life story of one of the most beloved Imagineers, Rolly Crump. Covering his long and varied career, including designing some of Disney's most famous attractions and working directly with Walt himself, Rolly's stories weave into a lighthearted yet riveting narrative of his life and accomplishments.Packed with over 200 photos, many of which have never been seen before, It's Kind of a Cute Story is a tribute to the life and work of a true original.

Buy here.

Marc Davis in His Own Words: Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks - Pete Doctor and Christopher Merritt

Award-winning filmmaker Pete Docter and veteran Walt Disney Imagineer Christopher Merritt share a deluxe two-book slip-cased set celebrating Disney Legend Marc Davis. The hefty volumes showcase Marc's mostly unseen Disney theme park concept art and offer a unique behind-the-scenes view as told through Marc's own words.

Featuring work from the sixties through the eighties, this two-volume set includes more than 1,500 pieces from the Imagineering archives, the vast majority of which have never been published. In addition, for the first time Marc's design theories as well as many of his stories of working with Walt are featured in his own words as recorded during hours upon hours of interviews by author Chris Merritt. Marc Davis in His Own Words is a treasure trove for artists, students, and Disney collectors around the world.

Buy here.

Best Books About Walt

Seven years in the making and meticulously researched - Gabler is the first writer to be given complete access to the Disney archives - this is the full story of a man whose work left an ineradicable brand on our culture but whose life has largely been enshrouded in myth. Gabler shows us the young Walt Disney breaking free of a heartland childhood of discipline and deprivation and making his way to Hollywood. We see the visionary, whose desire for escape honed an innate sense of what people wanted to see on the screen and, when combined with iron determination and obsessive perfectionism, led him to the reinvention of animation. It was Disney, first with Mickey Mouse and then with his feature films - most notably Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi - who transformed animation from a novelty based on movement to an art form that presented an illusion of life. The author also reveals a wounded, lonely, and often disappointed man, who, despite worldwide success, was plagued with financial problems, suffered a nervous breakdown, and at times retreated into pitiable seclusion in his workshop, making model trains. Gabler explores accusations that Disney was a red-baiter, an anti-Semite, and an embittered alcoholic. Yet whatever his personal failings, Disney appealed to millions by demonstrating the power of wish fulfillment and the triumph of the American imagination.

Buy here.

Walt Disney: An American Original - Bob Thomas

Walt Disney is an American hero--the creator of Mickey Mouse, and a man who changed the face of American culture. After years of research, with the full cooperation of the Disney family and access to private papers and letters, Bob Thomas produced the definitive biography of the man behind the legend--the unschooled cartoonist from Kansas City who went bankrupt on his first movie venture but became the genius who produced unmatched works of animation. Complete with a rare collection of photographs, Bob Thomas' biography is a fascinating and inspirational work that captures the spirit of Walt Disney.

Buy here.

How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life - Pat Williams and Jim Denney

An inspiring biography of one of the most influential and beloved figures of the 21st century, based on more than 1,000 interviews.

How to Be Like is a "character biography" series: biographies that also draw out important lessons from the life of their subjects. In this new book - by far the most exhaustive in the series - Pat Williams tackles one of the most influential people in recent history. While many recent biographies of Walt Disney have reveled in the negative, this audiobook takes an honest but positive look at the man behind the myth. For the first time, the book pulls together all the various strands of Disney's life into one straightforward, easy-to-listen-to tale of imagination, perseverance, and optimism. Far from a preachy or oppressive tome, this audiobook scrapes away the minutiae to capture the true magic of a brilliant maverick.

Buy here.

Best Books for Kids

This imaginative Little Golden Book, originally published in 1955, tells the story of the creation of Disneyland and the little man who lives there. Boys and girls ages 2 to 5 will love joining Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck as they meet little Patrick Begorra. Great for Disney fans, theme park enthusiasts, and Little Golden Book collectors of all ages!

Buy here.

Who Was Walt Disney?: Who Was...? - Whitney Stewart

Walt Disney always loved to entertain people. Often it got him into trouble. Once he painted pictures with tar on the side of his family's white house. His family was poor, and the happiest time of his childhood was spent living on a farm in Missouri. His affection for small-town life is reflected in Disneyland Main Streets around the world. This biography reveals the man behind the magic.

Buy here.

Disney*Pixar Storybook Collection - Disney Press

Adventure awaits! Take a trip inside Riley's head with Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust; travel to infinity and beyond with Buzz Lightyear and Woody; swim the oceans with Marlin and Dory; and more. Featuring retellings of all 17 Disney-Pixar feature films, this collection is sure to be a hit with any Pixar fan!

Buy here.

12 Beloved Disney Classic Little Golden Books - Various Authours

This collector's edition boxed set contains 12 classic Walt Disney Little Golden Books originally published in the 1950s and 1960s. Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland, Bambi, Cinderella, Dumbo, The Lucky Puppy, Mother Goose, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Scamp, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Three Little Pigs, and The Ugly Duckling are beloved tales that belong in every reader's library. This gorgeous boxed set is perfect for children ages 2 to 5 as well as collectors of all ages.

Buy here.

Best Books About Disney Parks

This deluxe Disney atlas is bursting with gorgeous park maps from around the work and across the six decades!
 
It all started with a map. . . . Maps of the Disney Parks are more than just atlases used by guests to find their way to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. They are snapshots of a place and time, relics treasured by collectors, and gorgeous pieces of artwork. In fact, it was a map (imagined by Walt Disney and drawn by Herbert Ryman) that was used to sell the idea of Disneyland to investors. Unfold this book of beautiful maps from when the very first Disney Park opened in 1955 right up to today. Discover details on how and why the domestic and international parks have changed over time, and enjoy sixty years worth of skillful creativity.
 
 

This bountiful visual history draws on Disney’s vast historical collections, private archives, and the golden age of photojournalism to provide unique access to the concept, development, launch, and enjoyment of this sun-drenched oasis of fun and fantasy. Disneyland documents Walt’s earliest inspirations and ideas; the park’s extraordinary feats of design and engineering; its grand opening; each of its immersive “lands” from Main Street, U.S.A., to Tomorrowland; and the park’s evolution through the six decades since it opened. It is a treasure trove of original Disney documentation and expertise, with award-winning writer Chris Nichols drawing on his extensive knowledge of both Disneyland and Southern California history to reveal the fascinating tale of “the happiest place on Earth.”

Buy here.

Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making More Magic Real - The Imagineers (Author, Illustrator)

How can you make dreams come true? Or transform a fantasy into a colorful, exciting world that visitors can move through, touch, and enjoy? Such fabulous work is the daily business of Walt Disney's Imagineers, a core group of creative and highly skilled professional wizards who combine imagination with engineering to create the reality of behind the dreams that comprise the Disney theme parks. In this sequel to the best-selling Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind-the-Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real, the Imagineers serve up another dose of magic with an even closer look at who they are, what they do, and how they do it, illuminating their theories and explaining the tools they use, and where and how they use them. Contained within this deluxe tome are rough drawings, conceptual models, and behind-the-scenes stories showcasing Disney's newest attractions and innovations from the inside out. There's also an exclusive peek inside the Research and Development Lab to see what new magic will soon be appearing. The Imagineers tell their own stories, as well as how they got there, what they do on a daily basis, what they show their friends in the parks, and how you can learn what it takes to become an Imagineer.

Buy here.

Walt Disney's Epcot Center: Creating the New World of Tomorrow - Richard R. Beard

Offers a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of EPCOT, a showcase of urban planning, technological developments, and world cultures

Buy here.

The Progress City Primer: Stories, Secrets, and Silliness from the Many Worlds of Walt Disney - Michael Crawford

From the Progress City Archives comes this collection of tall tales and true from the annals of the Walt Disney Company. From Walt's on-set antics to the creations of modern-day Imagineers, we've put together a sampling of stories from throughout Disney history. SEE how Walt Disney befriended presidents and saved the Winter Olympics! HEAR how Imagineers created the technological wonderland of Epcot Center! READ the true-life tales of never-built Disney theme parks Port Disney and Disney's America! Join us as we explore the obscure and amusing corners of the Disney universe. From Fantasia to Horizons, there's something here for every fan.

Buy here.

One Day at Disney: Meet the People Who Make the Magic Across the Globe - Bruce Steele

Bruce C. Steele is a journalist and Disney fan with a long career of profiling the famous and unheralded, from the pastry chef at the Biltmore Estate to the stars of Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns. Discover what it's like to report to work every day for The Walt Disney Company. Step behind the scenes to immerse yourself in one "ordinary" day at Disney. On a Thursday in 2019, a small army of photographers and videographers scattered across the globe to capture what goes on beyond those tantalizing "Cast Members Only" doors - whether eavesdropping on historic endeavors or typical tasks. All the photos in this book were taken on that single Thursday, beginning early in Tokyo and following the sun around the world through Shanghai, Hong Kong, Paris, Madrid, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and dozens of places throughout the United States. More than 40 hours after it began, the day ended as the sunset on the Aulani resort in Hawaii. On that day, some 80 Cast Members agreed to open up their workshops, dressing rooms, kitchens, cubicles, TV studios, labs, locomotive engines - and some even more surprising and diverse workspaces. They also shared their stories: childhood dreams and chapters, career pivots and triumphs, workaday hurdles and joys. It was just a day in the life, as extraordinary as any other day at Disney. As any Cast Member can tell you, a Disney job is less a destination than a limitless journey. And for just One Day at Disney, we can all tag along for the ride.

Buy here.

PRE ORDER -The Disney Monorail: Imagineering a Highway in the Sky

Deluxe jacketed hardcover book offers a lavish visual celebration of one of Disney's most impactful and beloved creations: the Disney Monorail.
 
Walt Disney is renowned as a cartoonist, filmmaker, showman, and entertainment icon. But he was also a farsighted futurist, a transportation buff with practical roots in the past, and visionary sights set on the future. In imagining Disneyland, Walt saw it not only as a destination for diversion and entertainment, but also as a means of presenting practical demonstrations of new ideas and new technology with real-world applications.

In The Disney Monorail: Imagineering a Highway in the Sky, readers will discover the parallel stories of the development of a new form of transportation and the evolution of Walt's prophetic creative mind, which together resulted in the first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere. Since June 1959, this mid-century modern marvel has captured the hearts and imaginations of theme park and Disney fans everywhere; it has inspired, as Walt hoped, the creation of working monorails in practical transit applications in varied locations all around the world.
 
Through a lively and succinct narrative and a stunning collection of unique historical photographs and rare concept and development art (much of it never before published) readers will be transported into a future where yesterday's dreams are tomorrow's realities!
 

Best Books About Disney Art

For more than a dozen years, a soft spoken, unassuming woman dominated design at The Walt Disney Studios with a joyful creativity and exuberant color palette that stamped the look of many classic Disney animated features, including Cinderella and Peter Pan. Favorite theme park attractions, most notably the "It's A Small World" boat ride, originally created for the 1964 New York World's Fair, were also among her designs. Now the story behind one of Walt's favorite artists is celebrated in this delightful volume of whimsical art and insightful commentary. In her prime, Mary Blair was an amazingly prolific American artist who enlivened and influenced the not-so-small worlds of film, print, theme parks, architectural decor, and advertising. Her art represented and communicated pure pleasure to the viewer. Mary Blair's personal flair was at one with the imagery that flowed effortlessly and continually from her brush for more than half a century. Walt Disney loved her art and championed it at the Studio. The two shared many sensibilities, including a childlike fondness for playfulness in imagery.

Buy here.

They Drew as They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney's Golden Age - Didier Ghez

As the Walt Disney Studio entered its first decade and embarked on some of the most ambitious animated films of the time, Disney hired a group of "concept artists" whose sole mission was to explore ideas and inspire their fellow animators. They Drew as They Pleased showcases four of these early pioneers and features artwork developed by them for the Disney shorts from the 1930s, including many unproduced projects, as well as for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and some early work for later features such as Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Introducing new biographical material about the artists and including largely unpublished artwork from the depths of the Walt Disney Archives and the Disney Animation Research Library, this volume offers a window into the most inspiring work created by the best Disney artists during the studio's early golden age.
They Drew as They Pleased is the first in what promises to be a revealing and fascinating series of books about Disney's largely unexamined concept artists, with six volumes spanning the decades between the 1930s and 1990s.

Buy here.

Poster Art of the Disney Parks - Daniel Handke, Vanessa Hunt

A lush compendium of posters from Disney theme parks around the globe, along with concept art and lively narrative about the development of the stunning posters!
Anyone who has ever walked through the gates at a Disney Park knows that there is a magical experience waiting to be had on the other side. All of the telltale signs are there: the sound of joyful music pipes across the promenade; the smells of popcorn and cookies waft through the air; and the colorful attraction posters depict all the wonderful rides and shows created for Guests by the Imagineers. Poster Art of the Disney Parks is a tribute to those posters, which begin telling the story of each attraction even before Guests have entered the queue area.
Disney attraction posters have been an important means of communication since Disneyland began displaying them in 1956. Not only are they eye-catching pieces of artwork that adorn the Parks with flair and style, they are also displayed to build excitement and disseminate information about the newest additions to the Disney landscape. When the first attraction posters made their debut at Disneyland, one such piece of art proclaimed that Guests could have a "true-life adventure" on the Jungle Cruise. And in 2012 at Disney California Adventure, a poster announced the grand opening of Cars Land-the newest thrill-filled destination at the Disneyland Resort. Both of those posters are reproduced within this book, along with posters from every decade in between.
As evidenced by the evolution of the attraction posters, art styles and design techniques have certainly changed over the years. These characteristics also differ from continent to continent. Posters from Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland exhibit the nuances in presentation that give each Park's pantheon of posters its signature look. But while artistic interpretations and color palettes may vary from Park to Park and from year to year, the spirit of Disney storytelling is a constant that ties them all together.
 

Best Disney Fiction Books

In book one, five young teens tapped as models for theme park "guides" find themselves pitted against Disney villains and witches that threaten both the future of Walt Disney World and the stability of the world outside its walls. Using a cutting-edge technology called DHI--which stands for both Disney Host Interactive and Daylight Hologram Imaging--Finn Whitman, an Orlando teen, and four other kids are transformed into hologram projections that guide guests through the park. The new technology turns out, however, to have unexpected effects that are both thrilling and scary. Soon Finn finds himself transported in his DHI form into the Magic Kingdom at night. Is it real? Is he dreaming?

Buy here.

Serena Valentino's Villains Box Set: Books 1-3

Books 1-3 of Serena Valentino's Villains series is now available in a hardcover boxed set, with a sneak peak at Book 4 in the series, Mistress of All Evil!

Buy here.

Those are all of our must-read Disney books! We're stocked up and ready to ride out this quarantine. let us know which books you picked up and will be reading this week by messaging us on Instagram @TheLostBros!

If you liked this article make sure to check out our store here, and use LOSTBROSBLOG for 10% off your first order!

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