A new animation history book comes out tomorrow: A Mouse Divided: How Ub Iwerks Became Forgotten, and Walt Disney Became Uncle Walt from Post Hill Press.
The book is written by Jeff Ryan, author of Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America, and explores how Walt Disney’s colleague Ub Iwerks was never given the credit he deserved for his role in the creation of Disney’s earliest major success, Mickey Mouse.
Here’s the description via the publisher:
In 1928, two very different best friends invented Mickey Mouse. And the success tore them apart. Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks’s friendship is a story of betrayal, love, war, money, power, tragedy, intrigue, humor, despair, and hope. You’ll love them both—when you don’t want to drop anvils on their heads. Discover the men behind the mouse, and the mystery behind the magic.
A Mouse Divided is a stirring depiction of two underdogs. One invented Mickey Mouse—and one said he did. You’ll love Walt Disney more than you ever thought possible—until you don’t. And you’ll sympathize with Walt’s friend-turned-rival Ub Iwerks, always in Walt’s shadow.
This true story of how the Disney empire was made is a captivating page-turner, endlessly fascinating and revealing. And it’s never been fully told—until now.
It will be interesting to read how Ryan interprets the events between Disney and Iwerks, and what new insights he adds to the already well established story, most extensively told in The Hand Behind the Mouse, which itself has been criticized as a somewhat flawed book.
That earlier biography was a sanctioned product of the Walt Disney Company. Meanwhile Iwerks’ son Don is currently writing another book for the Walt Disney Co. that pays tribute to his father: Walt Disney’s Ultimate Inventor: The Genius of Ub Iwerks. While that book won’t be out until next year, one thing that’s certain is that fans of Iwerks won’t have any shortage of new reading material about the pioneering animation figure.