Book Review: Paper Dreams: The Art And Artists Of Disney Storyboards

Paper Dreams: The Art And Artists Of Disney Storyboards

Paper Dreams is an oversize book about the storyboards and artists working for Walt Disney Studios. The author John Canemaker has provided great depth through his research and writing compared to the other book on storyboard that I have, Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series: Story.

Published in 1999, the book takes a close look at the storytelling department of Disney, from where storyboards were created — sketches on the floor of Webb Smith's office were pinned to the board for the first time. John Canemaker has loaded the book with lots of quotes from Walt Disney, the animators and story artists, providing insights into the storytelling process. The evolution of storyboards and their relevance are laid out to us, as each animated short gets progressively longer until full length movies were created.

There are chapters on profiles of story artists and their work. The more famous ones include Bill Peet, Joe Ranft, Joe Grant, Chris Sanders, among many others. We're introduced to their personal style of storytelling, their characteristics and interaction with other artists. There are many interesting stories like how Walt would criticise storyboards so as to improve them, a process which was called "plussing", or how different artists would defend their boards against critiques from others.

In addition to the commentary, the book's also filled with original storyboard scans from the library, photographs and paintings, all selected from their impressive archive from 1930s to the late 1990s.

There's a lot to be learned from the book, highly recommended to animation fans, art students, Disney collectors and pop culture enthusiasts.

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Paper Dreams: The Art And Artists Of Disney Storyboards is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | JP) and Book Depository

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Places to get Paper Dreams: The Art And Artists Of Disney Storyboards
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4 Comments

Thanks for the tip about

Thanks for the tip about bargain books! I am really tempted to get Paper Dreams; can't resist a bargain and Disney sketches!!!! But with shipping to Switzerland, Paper Dreams will cost me 34USD (Still kinda worth it though... I have to decide coz I just spent 50USD on books last week!)

I use The Book Depository for my purchases now because they have free shipping and their prices are not far from Amazon's (disclaimer: affiliate link, but in no way a dishonest one!). It's cheaper in the end since shipping is free, and I don't have to bulk order to save on shipping which puts me at risk for Swiss custom taxes! (This has been really random for me, once got charged almost 40USD for duties, taxes and their "we-spent-time-to-check-this" fee). Paper Dreams costs $54 on the Book Depository (free shipping, but no extra bargain price).

Anyway hope the bookstore option helps! They have very few reviews at the moment so if you add yours there I think people would appreciate it!

Heh... just noticed that you

Heh... just noticed that you already have the book depository listed in your sidebar :p Have you started buying from them or promoting it over Amazon? My only complaint is that their processing times can be quite long. I had 4 books (ordered at the same time, but came in separate envelopes thus saving me from the Customs dude) delivered within a week. And I had my 5th book (ordered separately, later) come only 2 weeks after the order! (Today actually, :D -- Creative License by Danny Gregory). Now waiting for my 6th which I just bought 2 days ago....

One other plus with

One other plus with bookdepository is that they have discount coupons available now and then (a 10% off coupon ended just last week); usually mentioned in their newsletter, but with a bit of googling you can usually find them posted on coupon sites.
Some of their prices are a bit high, but there are good deals to be had for sure.

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