Ward Kimball Ward Kimball
DisneyWard Kimball

Advance Praise for the Book That Disney Doesn’t Want You To Read

This week was supposed to be the release date of my biography about artist, animator and director Ward Kimball. However, my publisher, Chronicle Books, hasn’t even sent the book to the printer yet. To put it bluntly, the biography has been stonewalled by the Walt Disney Company for the past year.

I paid a heavy price for writing a book about Ward Kimball, the human being. It didn’t please the Disney Company, who has created their own version of Ward Kimball, a character straight out of Fantasyland which the company unloads onto unsuspecting Disney fans at events like D23. In the words of Michael Barrier, doyen of American animation critics, the Disney company has an “approved narrative”. My book simply isn’t a part of the history they’ve concocted.

In the name of protecting their brand’s integrity, the Disney company has also tried to claim ownership over Ward’s personal life. They have gone so far as to insist that I eliminate stories from Ward’s childhood because his experiences as an eleven-year-old weren’t “Disney” enough. Such attempts to edit the private and personal lives of their former employees are absurd and disturbing, to say the least.

There are people on my side, most notably the Kimball children themselves. They have not taken the Disney company’s disrespectful treatment of their father sitting down. They recently filed a complaint with Margaret Adamic, a contracts adminstrator at Disney Publishing whose department is responsible for granting permissions to use Disney artwork. The Kimballs expressed their dissatisfaction with the company’s “incomprehensibly slow process of Disney employees going through it word by word and image by image to cleanse the book of anything that might raise an eyebrow by any Disney representative.” They also wrote about how they were “disheartened by the treatment afforded Amid in this approval process.”

At this point, I don’t know when, or if, the Disney company will decide to do the right thing. [UPDATE: Disney’s lawyers succeeded in killing the book.] In the meantime, I wanted to share some of the positive blurbs the book has received from those who have read advance copies: Brad Bird, John Musker, Henry Selick, John Canemaker, Todd Oldham and Sergio Aragones.

Over the years I saw Kimball at various events and talked to him many times, but I can’t say I really got to know him the way I did several of the others . . .until now. Amid Amidi’s book digs deep into the contradictions that drove one of character animation’s most distinctive voices, an artist whose growth was both stunted and fueled under the paternal gaze of Walt Disney, animation’s most influential leader. Amidi’s meticulous research into Kimball’s life and work, aided tremendously by unprecedented access to Kimball’s journals (as well as page after page of fantastic Kimball artwork), gives a first-time glimpse into the life of one of the true kings of character animation, one of a small group of “golden age” artists upon whose sturdy shoulders all contemporary character animators stand.
– Excerpt from the book’s foreword by Brad Bird, director of Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, The Incredibles and Ratataouille

Amid Amidi has written a fascinating “Wards and all” biography of the brilliant and iconoclastic animator and designer, Ward Kimball. Amidi details Ward’s amazing ride as one of the men who made Disney “Disney,” but whose constant search for originality and authenticity resulted in tensions between himself and a studio system under Walt Disney, the ultimate producer and self-made man.
– John Musker, director of The Princess and the Frog, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid

I always considered Ward Kimball a genius, and I had the privilege of meeting him on many occasions. His daughter Kelly invited me out to his house for a wonderful, mind-blowing day where he fired up one of his locomotives, showed me his collection of small toys and planes, and displayed an amazing enthusiasm and curiosity for life that belied his age. After reading Amidi’s engrossing book on Ward’s life, I’m convinced that Ward may have been the most talented artist to ever work for Walt Disney.
– Henry Selick, director of Coraline and The Nightmare Before Christmas

Ward Kimball is a national treasure! Having shaped the imaginations of decades of children and adults, his place in design history is beautifully examined and celebrated in Amidi’s elegant love letter. A must read for design, animation and history fans!
– Todd Oldham, designer

Amid Amidi lassoes the electric, essential Ward Kimball in this profusely illustrated, extraordinarily candid biography. Writing with insight, passion and compassion about his mercurial subject, Amidi takes readers directly into the life and private thoughts of a uniquely modern Renaissance man whose contributions continue to resonate in American popular culture.
– John Canemaker, Oscar-winning animation filmmaker, New York University professor, and historian

I knew Ward and I know his work – he has been the creator of my favorite characters, from Jiminy Cricket to The Three Caballeros. I should say, I thought I knew his work until I read Amidi’s Full Steam Ahead! The book thoroughly explores Ward’s beginnings, his unpublished works, and all the behind-the-scenes details that reveal why Ward Kimball was called a genius. Thanks, Amid, for letting me really know Ward.
– Sergio Aragones, MAD cartoonist and creator of Groo the Wanderer

  • Charlie

    Now I really want that book! All the more reason!

  • C,mon Disney Publishing-get your act together!

  • Courtney

    Beyond frustrating that people who had nothing to do with building Disney’s legacy have such control over things like this. They seem absolutely obsessed with owning and controlling absolutely everything – I hope they realize that THIS is what gives them a bad reputation, not an honest biography of a brilliant past employee.

    (angrier post than usual but GAAAHHH I want this book!)

  • FREE WARD KIMBALL!! FREE WARD KIMBALL!! Just go ahead and release it without those photographs you need approval for and stick it to the Rat! Their loss.

  • Amid, the company declaring your book verboten is the best endorsement they could give – that it is actually a great book anyone interested in the medium should read.

    It’s high time to fire up a couple of W.K.’s old locomotives to plow through the studio gates and pull some hit-and-run stunts… stuffing Disney executives into toilets, spray-painting Ward’s trademark “BULLSHIT” on the walls, sending out his filthiest cartoons via company e-mail, hacking Disney Channel airwaves to play reruns of MOUSE FACTORY… Long live Ward Kimball!

  • Steve Menke

    Dear Disney: This book would be of primary interest to a highly specialized and primarily adult market, not the millions who would presumably be stunned by deviations from the Preferred Corporate Narrative. (If you’d ask a regular Disney Channel viewer about Ward Kimball, I doubt you’d get any sign of recognition, so relax and release this book.)

    • Funkybat

      I agree completely. It seems like whenever there is some kind of “unauthorized” bio of Walt Disney, the PR surrounding the Disney Company’s condemnation of such-and-such book brings more attention to it than it would have had if Disney had just ignored it.

      In the case of Ward Kimball, someone that 90% of Americans probably couldn’t even identify, the risk of a frank biography doing damage to the current image or business prospects of the Disney Company are negligible, and I mean like, winning-lottery-ticket-negligible. There is no reason to fight the book unless in contains out-and-out untruths, and even then, that should be a matter of concern for Ward’s heirs, not the Disney Company.

  • Mike Cagle

    Oh, shame on Disney for this. How petty. The book is on my wish list and I hope I get to read it!

  • Joel

    That’s just terrible. I’d love to read such a biography on Ward Kimball. I’m REALLY hoping the book gets published one way or another. XC

  • secret goldfish

    This sucks!

    They already own most of his creative output simply because he was an employee, now they want to own him in death as if he’s personally some sort of product.

    Hey Disney, people are not PRODUCTS (except of course the Kardashians, but then again, they’ve been nothing but products since their inception and likely have it stipulated as such in their contracts)

    The fact that his family and Amid have to even fight for this after his death is completely absurd.

    Rest assured Amid that many of us will buy your book and are interested in reading it even if it ends up being a word only book, which is just as absurd considering that your book is a celebration of a visual artist.

  • Sarah

    Crap! I wanted to read this badly.

  • Good for you Amid! Cant wait to read it. Can the public help in anyway?

    • Gavin – The biggest way to help is to simply keep spreading the word about the book. The book will be released one way or another, and could really use the support of all of Ward’s fans.

      • Taylor

        Print up a run of “Free Ward” shirts, sell them for $15 a piece, and use the proceeds to help fund the legal fight against the mouse.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Honestly, if we find out Ward Kimball was a less than savory private man, I’d rather not know about it. Really. And I’m sorry for even insinuating that, but what is it about the man that’s so bad that Disney wants it squashed?

    I don’t want to know.

    • Before your imagination runs too wild, let me say that there is nothing unsavory about Ward. He was a decent and well-balanced, if eccentric, individual.

      • Thanks for shutting that down so quickly, Amid. Sounds like there really is an audience for the “approved” (or is that “accepted”?) narrative after all.

    • I suspect it’s more a case of what it says about the Studio, Walt and deviations from the approved narrative. You know, it not being a happy, utopian environment for everybody, all the time.

    • Jonathan

      Rich “conservative” corporations like Disney have long forgotten and purposely neglected their roots.

  • Keep fighting, Amid!

  • Pull the stick out Disney, you’re rich enough to survive any so called backlash from this book.

  • Sounds like they want to turn a fascinating biography into a vacuous fairytale. Not good, Disney. Surely they are doing themselves more harm with this heavy-handed attitude than the book ever could.

    • I agree – c’mon, Disney. Making historical narrative into a fairytale can be OK for animated features, but not for your artist’s biographies!! People are not well-crafted and picturesque movies, they are imperfect and full of unexpected things, both good, bad or otherwise. As said above, the majority of your consumers don’t even know who Ward is. Lighten up and approve the book already!

  • I agree, just release the book without any images, there are plenty of Ward Kimball images around and the animation speaks for itself.

    • I respectfully disagree – to release a book about Ward without any examples of his art, when for Ward his art was such a huge part of his life, would be a misrepresentation of the man.

      If it came down to it, though, I would take a book without pictures over no book at all! But I hope it doesn’t come to that!

      • That’s true, but an example of a fine book with very few images is Starting Point: 1979-1996 by Hayao Miyazaki.

    • I would usually agree. There are reams of animation books with tons of pretty pictures with text written by people with no grasp of the written word, while the number of animation books with almost no pictures and substantial prose/history/commentary could be counted on two hands (maybe even one). I would take the latter book every time, but Amid’s book sounds like it will bridge that gap, so we’d get the best of both worlds for the story of Ward Kimball – and I can’t think of an individual more worthy of that treatment.

      • That’s true! Would Disney allow publication of the book to go forward if only their copyrighted images were removed, and only Ward’s personal artwork included? I’m sure that would cause a migraine in terms of book layout, but better than not getting published at all, right?

        No matter what Disney ends up allowing, I cannot see a solution where the company doesn’t get a lot of flack for how it’s treated Amid and this book thus far. Jerks.

  • Seriously, this is disturbing. How can the Disney company even have any say in what one writes about Ward’s childhood life? It’s absurd… absurd to the point that there should be laws against this sort of company interference. And honestly, if this is really done to “protect their brand’s integrity”, I’d say this is what proves that the Disney company’s current bosses have no integrity at all.

  • Sean Howe had a similar problem with Disney (now owners of Marvel) over his book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story. Disney wouldn’t grant permission to use illustrations unless they had approval over the book’s contents. Howe’s solution was to publish without pictures.

    As absurd as that is, it was a worthwhile solution. The book is a warts-and-all chronicle of Marvel’s history. In Kimball’s case, he produced a lot of non-Disney artwork. You could publish with just that and make it a point in the book’s foreword and publicity material that Disney would not allow their material to be printed. No doubt that book reviewers would publicize that fact.

    It seems that the only way to bring corporations to heel these days is to embarrass them. They’ve proven that they can pervert democracy and write their own laws (the latest U.S. copyright law has Disney’s fingerprints all over it). We now live in a world where history and culture are now privately owned and speech requires corporate approval. Disney is one of the worst offenders and Ward Kimball would be the first to mock them for it.

    • MnMears

      Yes, if the book is set for press, just cover the Disney-owned or controlled art with tint blocks and the words “art unavailable/withdrawn by the Walt Disney Co.” I imagine publication like that would be a major hit with readers and critics of the company — especially if you leave the caption information.

  • Andrew

    This may be a stupid question, but why does Disney get to review your book? Do you have to submit it to them for approval if you use their art or something?

    • MC

      Yeah I’m a little fuzzy on this too. But I don’t know the technicalities of these things as to what is required to use copyrighted images.

    • Christian

      I think it’s because before Disney allows certain of their copyrighted images to be used they want to go over the content of the book, even though they are not the publisher of the book.

  • Toonio

    Although there is pain in my chest I wish Disney the best with a f…. you!

  • Jasmine Rossetto

    OHHHHH I really really really really really want to read this book now too! Always tell the truth and then LET people decide how they feel about something. I think it’s wrong to try to control another person’s perspective in that way. Even so, this wouldn’t taint my views of the Disney studios, I saw the sweatbox and LOVED IT! Yes people may buy it for the fact that he was an artist at Disney, but I reckon most would buy it because they loved Ward Kimball, the artistic genius. May as well because I doubt the studio as big as it is could stop it from being leaked, at least if it was published people will be rightfully compensated for it.

  • Occams Breadknife

    Why’n the hell does Chronicle care what Disney says? Publish and be damned as they say. If their claims are spurious, as it seems on first glance, then Chronicle can have them pay or their own defense as well I’d hope.

  • Occams Breadknife

    Addendum :

    If it is about the images, either : publish with what you have, and forget the images. Once it is out, do an illustrated 2nd ed. down the road once Disney realizes they can’t stop it or – use whatever images Disney has the shakiest or no hold on.

    If yer lucky, maybe the Pixar contingent can lean on the old Disney dudes and make them back off.

    • Talita Fukumoto

      Don’t be ridiculous! If somebody from the Brain Trust read it they’ll demand a new writer to “direct” the biography!

  • Nathalie

    I’d been wondering what was up with the release date… and now I know. Shame on Disney. At least it’s building a sense of anticipation and I can’t wait for the book, whenever it does comes out!

  • This is disturbing. Disney, you can’t instill family values by enforcing them like a fascist.

    Spreading the word.

  • Charles M.

    Are you serious!?! Disney Corp. expects to edit someone else’s past just to protect their own interests? That’s pure garbage!

    A man’s past contains all types of secrets and misfortunes, lies and deceit, wisdom and knowledge. You can’t censor someone else’s life you have not live! I, myself, have lived in the dark most of my life but given the choice of having these guys make light of my hardships and triumphs, I’d bare my shame and still have swagger. Amid I hope everything comes out intact.

  • I wonder if Disney own their workers droppings too…..I really hope so cause some of those droppings are not that “Disney appropriate”. Maybe they have a little factory somewhere where they refine, color, and decorate them with two big black ears.

  • Amid, This uphill battle you are having with Disney is somewhat consistent with Kimball’s own battles. Like Henry Sellick, I had a day at his home and he told me many stories, like he had to fight Walt to get his Adventures in Music series made since Disney didn’t like the UPA inspired flat style (but was happy to accept the Oscar for Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom), and he was replaced as director of Babes in Toyland.

    So keep fighting the good fight, Ward Kimball was unique as his unedited story needs to get out there.

  • Mel

    The Great Corporate Rat has a long history of trying to control or buy off authors who dared to write Walt Disney biographies. This may be the first time such prejudicial moves have been set against a book on one of Walt’s Nine Old Men. John Canemaker did manage to get his book on all nine published fairly recently, however, and some of that material detailed corporate struggles that could be described as not all that sunny. By whitewashing Ward Kimball’s personal narrative, the Great Corporate Rat seems to be saying that anything other than company-approved sunshine is not permitted in the life story of a creative person who worked for them. The unpopular truth is that anyone worth their creative salt does not sit down to write or draw because they are happy and well-adjusted. Disney has long succumbed to swallowing its own big lies and this is just another of them.

  • When I worked at H-B, Tony Rivera, a terrific cartoonist and a very nice man, told me a story about the day that he met Ward. Neither of them had yet been hired by Disney, but they sat together in a room of people who were hoping to get hired. They were all given the same assigned: to each do a drawing, on the spot, that would convince Disney to hire them. Ward was the first person finished, and after he sauntered out of the room, everyone (including Tony) gathered around his desk to see what he had drawn. Tony told me that it was a picture of…Well, I don’t want to reveal anything that you might have included in your book, Amid, but if you haven’t heard this story, please let me know and I’d be happy to share it with you, privately or publicly, whichever you prefer.

    • Joel

      AAUGH, THE SUSPENSE! This book HAS to be published as soon as possible!

      • Well, since Amid hasn’t responded, I might as well reveal what Tony Rivera saw was Ward Kimball’s first drawing “for” Disney. It was a single cartoon illustration of Gulliver, laying prone, face up, sound asleep. Around him, the Lilliputions have pulled down his pants and are using a bird’s feather to tickle the underside of his penis. This action is causing Gulliver to have a huge erection. To take advantage of this, the Lilliputions have tied ropes around his stiffening dick, using the leverage to pull whole tree stumps out of the ground.

        (Hmmm, is this one of the details that Disney might object to?)

        But the drawing, as described by Tony, completely demonstrated that Ward already understood figure drawing, character design, costume design, composition, perspective and gag-writing. No wonder Ward Kimball was one of those Walt hired from the try-out group. (And so was Tony Rivera!)

        Manoman, do I wish I’d known this story when I was asked to present Ward Kimball with an Inkpot Award at one the the early San Diego Comic-Cons!

        • 110% Politically Incorrect fellow, this Ward Kimball – like MOST people in those days, God bless ’em… Izzat what is freakin’ Disney out?

  • Gary

    Disney can be doing themselves no good by foot dragging this book’s impending release. It’s ultimately a no win for them. Disney, please do fans everywhere a favor and let this much anticipated tome about one of the studios most beloved artists see the light of day. No matter what the incendiary content the release of this book will cause no more than a blip on the heartbeat of that corporate giant.

  • E. Nygma

    I understand as a giant corporate company Disney wants to sugarcoat their image and keep everything warm and fuzzy, but for the life of me I can’t figure out how the release of a book like this would really effect the company in a devastating way. It’s not like people would stop taking their children to Disney films or anything…not the majority anyway. It is unrealistic to think everybody that works for Disney had a positive experience 100% of the time.

  • Amid…We, the people who used to love Disney before the zombie invasion, NEED that book!!!!

  • Oliver

    I’ve had it pre-ordered on Amazon since the listing went up. I’m sure you must be extremely frustrated to have put in so much time and effort to accomplish something that you’re proud to share, only to have to deal this hassle. That really stinks and I’m sorry that you’re going through this, Amid! I hope it gets cleared soon and sent to print so that orders can start shipping out… I can’t wait to read it!!

  • Jim

    haha Disney owns Ward Kimball’s childhood memories, it’s like a surreal comedy.

  • Amid – this is just like the hold-up of my Jay Ward book THE MOOSE THAT ROARED – it was suppressed for six years when MCA-Universal “owned” the characters due to ongoing rights cases following the VHS release of the old cartoons by – yes – Disney! As for my current project – a book-length study of vintage voice artists – it too was affected by Ms Adamic, when I was suddenly stopped from making appointments at the Disney Archives because I was not “approved.” And yet, before that monumentally ludicrous rule, I was able to simply call the Archives and make a research appointment, as I did three times back in 1997-98. It’s the same old story – creative work being monitored by non-talented bureaucrats. As if the public gives a toss about ANY of the lawyers’ concerns. I will await the outcome, but I will be getting your book!

  • Good for you, Amid! If there’s this much of an uproar about your book it must be worth getting. Sign me up!

  • Josh

    Its a shame that we cant read your book. It is also a shame that you make it seem as though the actions of a few Disney publishing folks reflects the opinion of the entire Disney organization. If you feel so strongly about the Disney people who are holding your work back, please name them. Until then, please don’t clump myself into those Disney people who don’t want your book published the way you see fit. Thanks in advance!

  • David Nethery

    This is mind-bogglingly idiotic. They don’t “own” Kimball’s life.

    One can only imagine the kind of cartoons that Ward Kimball himself would draw to lampoon such moronic corporate behavior.

    This “approved narrative” stuff needs to be exposed for the BS it is.

  • Amid, I’ve been really looking forward to your new book on Ward Kimball. I was fortunate enough to talk with Ward on several occasions and spent the better part of a day a couple of times with him touring his fantastic property and collections with him. The thing that was fascinating about Ward was his non “Disney” quality. For that matter even Disney wasn’t very “Disney” in real life. Ward was a very interesting man with a down to earth attitude, very broad interests, and an acerbic whit. His life deserves a much more detailed look. I sincerely hope your book gets out there. All the best.

  • Magnus

    This is ridiculous! I can’t wait to read this book! Keep us posted and let us know if we can help any further than spreading the word.

  • This is another so called “INSTANT DISNEY CLASSIC”.

    I don’t understand why Disney is so afraid of humanizing their company. They should appreciate the authenticity of this book and support the true history of this creative genius that help put them on the map.

    Disney should be thankful to the so called “abnormal artist” of history (who, believe it or not help to influence the look of their films). Michael Angelo had a male lover ( ooh,be afraid). J.M.W. Turner, depression. Cezanne, anti social. Van Gogh, no need to explain. Picasso, paranoid misogynist. Jackson Pollack and Freddy Moore,( Freddy Moore the man who in my opinion solidified the art of Disney’s animation) self destructive alcoholics. Must I go on.

    I am not comparing Ward Kimball to theses other artists and their behaviors. From what I know about Kimball he was a loyal husband and father. If I was to find out differently it would not shatter my world, but instead let me know he was just a flawed human being like every one else I know.

    I wish Disney would get off their homogenized horse and let the few of us who love the great art of animation get an honest insight to these inspirational people. Share with us these people were vulnerable, and imperfect. Disney’s great empire would not come crashing down in light of that truth. Im sure the “real” story of Ward Kimball’s life would have little or no effect on Disney’s reputation or bottom line.

    Wayne Carlisi

  • octas

    I know it would be a waste of money, but just make that shit viral online. Stick it to the mouse!

  • MC

    As with most things I’ve witnessed at Disney, it’s probably less of a sinister corporate agenda than a bunch of needless bureaucrats seeking to 1) justify their existence and 2) cover their butts from preventing things from happening. It’s easier to say “no”, and if NOTHING happens, ever, then you can’t be held accountable if someone, somewhere should happen to get upset or offended about something. And it’s not like these managers/lawyers/execs care about Ward or any element of the Disney legacy; it’s all just a job to them, and they don’t care if any of the information gets out or not. So why should they go out of their way to facilitate anything happening? Again: it’s easier to just say “no.”

    Don’t chalk up to malice or an “agenda” what is actually the result of laziness, disinterest and ineptitude. These people make their own little fiefdoms and have to justify them somehow.

    While we’re at it, let’s talk about how Disney Editions doesn’t publish anything that has to do with “Disney” anymore…

  • Try Bamboo a forest a publishing. They aren’t afraid of the big, Bad, Mouse.

  • Chris P

    Call me naive, Amid, but suppose you release your book as a PDF online? Avoid the publisher all together?

  • Snugguns

    Politics :) It’s obviously a great book. And I’m guessing the reason Disney isn’t playing along is because it isn’t written by a Disney employee or affiliate. Stick to it Amid, the hardest part is over (writing the actual thing). I bet I’ll be reading this interesting book very soon.

  • That’s completely ridiculous, they shouldn’t be able to control their past employee’s life stories. And even if they are legally allowed to for some insane reason, they definitely shouldn’t. It’s totally unethical.

    The whole “whitewashing over negative parts of the company history,” while I don’t like it at all, is at least understandable from their own marketing perspective but there’s no way they should be trying to give that same Disneyland treatment to everybody who was ever associated with them. This isn’t a fictional character they created, this is a real human being we’re talking about.

  • Steven M.

    Disney, I am disappointed.

    This book needs to be shown to the world.

  • Uli Meyer

    Everyone talks about “the corporation’ but what boggles my mind is that this kind of thing starts with one person sitting in an office and deciding to put a stop to the book they just read. What kind of person is that? What makes these people tick? Do they go to lunch and brag to their colleagues that they just saved the good name of Disney? Do they really believe in their own reasoning? This is outrageous censorship and disrespectful to the memory of Ward Kimball.

    • I think it’s a case of the lowest common denominator. As in ‘what’s the least I can do and not get my butt in a sling, not look bad to my boss or be questioned by anyone?’ CYA at it’s finest just in case. When it’s your job to say no, you can find an awful lot of reasons to do so. Disney may have been started and built with risk, but the mega-engine it is today is based ENTIRELY on quantifiable results. There are DEFINITELY strings on thee.

  • I heard they thawed Walt out and he and Amid conspired to create buzz for this book. This is nothing but a big ol’ conspiracy. We’re on to ya Amidi! Give it up. And tell Walt hi.

    You’re t-shirts should read Word for Ward.

  • Brett

    I want to chime in my support for Amid and disgust with the Disney Company. I didn’t know working for Disney means they own the right to rewrite your life story… ridiculous. Any extra action we can take to back you on this Amid?

  • The Dude

    “Accidentally” release one version of the book through the internet; hell, you won’t make as much money off of this venture, but the real Ward Kimball will see the light of day.

  • Jen

    Kickstarter anyone? :P
    No. This book deserves the full publishing treatment it was intended for. It’s such a shame. I’ve read articles about how history books are essentially rewriting the “war of terror” and current history, trying to remove figures such as Thomas Jefferson from the curriculum, etc. But for such a niche audience to be denied it’s full, young, beautiful history…

    As an animation student and aspiring animation historian, this honestly sickens me. I thought at least in the animation community we could at least speak openly about the people who have propelled it, faults and all. I find contradictions in books about Disney all the time, but normally they’re just minor, and I can–to an extent–understand them wanting to sugar coat their brand, but to deny a full picture of a man who did so much for for not just a company, but an artform, is plain selfish.

    • Markus L

      Yep, i was also think Kickstarter.com. i think there would noticed by lot of animation fans, who would help. Mr Amidi, i think you should try via Kickstarter. :)

  • Michael Rianda

    Good luck! I want to read it!

  • Pedro Nakama

    I was told back in the 80’s by an old time Disney animator that every time Ward came on the lot there was a chain of phone calls warning that he was there.

  • MnMears

    I think Disney lawyers are being far too protective and it’s holding up a handful of good books. Some people, like former president Jack Lindquist, simply publish books with little or no art/photos.

    Books by artists such as Floyd Norman, Ward Kimball, Marty Sklar and others should not need to be scrubbed or scrapped by the Walt Disney Co., which allowed a sanctioned biography of Walt to be published despite its unflattering and just plain wrong portrait of Walt and Lillian Disney’s marriage.

    • mnmears

      Former DISNEYLAND president Lindquist …

  • Mark Sonntag

    And yet they allowed Neal Gabler’s book on Walt which had some odd stories in it to come out. At this point in time isn’t it a little late to worry about stories that happened so long ago, the Disney Company today only bears Walt’s name but has very little resemblance to the Disney company of that era, what are they afraid of?

  • Johnnn

    you could replace the name Disney with Touchstone in the book… that should solve the problem.

    • Erik

      Honestly wish that Touchstone label could be used for more…


    What a great way to get our mouths watering even more fot his book! COME ON DISNEY! We’re so ready for the real Ward Kimball!!!

    This though, really makes me wonder just what we’ll be getting along the lines of a real biopic of Walt with the film staring Tom Hanks. Man oh man they must be really having a field day over there with that one! Talk about Fantasy land!

    • Jeff Kurtti

      The Tom Hanks film is not a biopic or even about Walt. He is an incidental character in a film about P.L. Travers.

  • I found this amazing little film by Ward Kimball, “Escalation” on YouTube – NSFW as it has some nudity and a “nose-penis”… Very politically incorrect. Anti Johnson and anti Korean war.

  • All I can say is that if the book ever comes out, you can count on me to buy it.

  • Bo

    Kind of shitty of you to specificaly name an employee who is just doing her job.

  • Sven

    In the case that Disney will never let it pass and get printed, just release it online and on as many social platforms as you can think of. If you want to make money off of it, share part of the book for free and sell the whole book as a pdf. All online. This would be the way how to rebel against the big companies.

    I would love to read this book and can’t believe that in the day of free speech etc. one can’t release a book without problems. Oh right, sorry, I forgot, we don’t live in a free world anymore.

  • Professor Widebottom

    This kind of stuff usually comes from forces way up in the chain above the people who are presumed the sensors. You can imagine the paranoia and tight-assed corporate environment. The rattling of dead men’s bones. Imagine being that powerful and fearful. There’s no vision in that.

  • We need this book. Damn it!

  • Bill

    Isn’t this why the world has such a distorted view of Mary Blair?

  • bobrossbob

    Give it out Free or “donation based”. The controversy alone will send the dollars your way. Cut out the middle men. I’d be in.