Walt’s Imagination: The Life of Walt Disney – Doreen Rappaport & John Pomeroy (Disney / Hyperion)

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Some people, the elusive few who always seek to further their vision and dreams, manage to cram hundred lifetimes’ worth of experience and achievement into their brief time on Earth. Walt Disney was one of that rare breed. Never content to sit or rest on his laurels, the blue collar farmer and businessman’s son from the American Mid-Western knew that, much like Doctor Frank-n-Furter, if you dreamed it, you could be it and he did just that. He dared to dream big and set to make sure that his dreams came true. And in his all too brief sixty five years, he brought, and continues to bring, joy to millions of people and in doing so, ensured that his legacy would live on long after he passed away.

Walt’s Imagination, Doreen Rappaport’s brief story of his life, sums up Walt perfectly, and while it skips over a chapter here and an achievement there, it captures the essence of the man, the events that shaped him and who he was. While the literary side of the book is fun and an incredibly quick read, and not wanting to do a disservice to the hugely talented Rappaport, the real magic of Walt’s Imagination and the thing that’ll keep you glued to its pages for hours on end, is former Disney animator John Pomeroy’s immersive, and breathtakingly gorgeous art. A man of uncommon genius, his sumptuous and wonderfully detailed paintings draw you into the subject matter and make you feel almost as if you’re experiencing the events first hand, as if you’re there with Walt, feeling everything that he felt as he journeyed through life.  Each and every single one of Pomeroy’s pages and paintings is a masterclass in precision, emotion and raw, undiluted beauty.  You’ll come for the story, but you’ll stay for the pictures… Tim Cundle

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