Two New Books

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Two great new books, mentioned prevously on this site, have finally been published and both are a lot better than I imagined – and highly recommended.Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney Records, by Tim Hollis and Greg Ehrbar, fills in a missing piece of the Disney legacy. In the 1950s, the Disney company exploded – with TV production, Disneyland, Buena Vista Film distribution, and a music company, which begat Disneyland Records.This book chronicles the story of how Roy and Walt entered the recording and music publishing business. It’s a fascinating story – and a great tribute to the voices behind the mike and the talents behind the scenes. Paul Frees, Thurl Ravenscroft, Cliff Edwards, Sterling Holloway, Dal McKennon, Alan Young, Hal Smith, Billy Bletcher, The Sherman Brothers, Jimmy Dodd and Annette are all part of the story. It’s a great read and if you’re a fan of Disneyana, this is a must-have.davidlevybook2.jpgI’m not a big fan of “How to” books, but David Levy’s Your Career In Animation: How To Survive and Thrive is absolutely teriffic. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Levy has apparently spent his own successful career taking lots of notes – and his advice, from networking to getting a job, from pitching your own show to starting your own company, is absolutely spot on. I’ve lived through it all myself and his observations on navigating through the industry are completely accurate. I found myself nodding and agreeing with most everything Levy suggests. I don’t think there is a wasted page in this book – even the photos, illustrations and captions have relevance. Every section is loaded with do’s, don’ts and practical advice based on true experience. This isn’t a dry read either, Levy is an excellent writer, who uses humor, and ample anecdotes from his own career, to get his message accross. David, thank you for writing this book. It’s the one I’ll recommend to everyone who asks me how to break into the biz, and to anyone who doesn’t understand the effort required to make animated cartoons.