October 9, 2013 posted by

Animation Anecdotes Request For Help


I have asked Jerry to post this request today to try to catch the attention of those who read and enjoy the “Animation Anecdotes” column.

As some of you may know I have just recently released another book that is now available on Amazon: The Vault of Walt: Volume 2.

If you enjoyed the original The Revised Vault of Walt, this second volume is similar with seven stories about Walt Disney, seven about Disney films (including the battle between P.L. Travers and Walt Disney during the making of “Mary Poppins”), seven stories about the Disney theme parks and seven miscellaneous stories (including the battle between Friz Freleng and Walt Disney).

I have convinced the same publisher to consider printing a paperback edition of “Animation Anecdotes” that would include some of the ones included in these columns (with all the corrections and additions) mixed with ones from columns I wrote for a variety of magazines over the years and some brand new ones.

Since you are the primary audience for such a book, I am requesting your help.

How would you like to see the book formatted? Should it retain the random format I have always used for individual columns? Should I group anecdotes by year (eg. 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, etc.)? Should I group anecdotes by topic (eg. Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Bakshi, Saturday Morning, etc.)? Is there some other format that would be most appealing or useful? There will be an index in the book so no matter how it is arranged you should be able to find your Richard Williams quote or Yogi Bear story.

Is there a particular type of anecdote that you prefer seeing or a particular type that should be eliminated from reprinting?

There will be no illustrations in the book. The time and expense of getting clearances at this stage would prevent the book from being published next year.

I have two ideas for an eye-catching cover. I designed the covers for my previous books including “Cartoon Confidential” that I co-wrote with John Cawley. However, as long as I am asking for help, do you have any ideas of what might be effective at capturing not only the animation audience but a larger general demographic?

When the book is published, I will depend on all of you to spread the word. The hardest thing is not writing a book but letting people know it exists to be purchased.

Thanks for thinking about this and I will keep you in the loop about what is happening with the book.

Editor’s Note: Though Jim mentioned it above, an all-new second volume of his Vault of Walt (vol. 2) was news to me. I’ll be ordering it right away. As I said in my review of the initial edition, I love how Jim goes after the Disney stories no one else tells – and the studio would rather you didn’t hear.

You can order and scan the contents page here. Amongst the goodies within are:

• The Tale of the Seven Snow Whites
• Walt’s Bitter Battle over Mary Poppins
• The Birth of the Disneyland Jungle Cruise
• And over two dozen additional stories

Check out the Theme Park Press website for further information. This is good stuff! – Jerry Beck


  • I like the grouping by year choice best. Or grouping by decade, if that’s easier.

    You have given me the idea of collecting my “Funny Animals and More” columns into a book. Would there be enough demand to make such a book viable? Your “Animation Anecdotes” are about animation studios and notables that animation fans want to know about, whereas my columns, aside from those about the history of anime fandom, are mostly about my own opinions and my biography, which I can’t imagine lots of people paying for. It would probably also have to be unillustrated, since a book would require the licensing fees that a website doesn’t.

    I know what you mean about letting people know that your book exists. I am the editor of four anthologies of “Furry fiction” that I don’t think anyone outside of Furry fandom knows exist. If I may horn in on your comments to let Cartoon Research’s readers know about them, here are weblinks to them.

  • I, for one, look VERY forward to Fridays (and am always flabbergasted that that week took so SHORT to get to!) Yes, let’s (please) do it chronologically, per decade.

  • Definitely by year/decade.

  • It should divided into three major sections: Disney, Disney Brands and Aqusition Productions, and Non-Disney, all with a page containing simply the title of the section.

    For non-disney stuff it should have:

    Warner Bros.
    Silver Age Warner Bros.(the rennisance-era productions like Tiny Toons and Animaniacs)
    Paramount (everything from Fleischer to Famous studios to Paramount-sponsored George Pal Puppetoon)
    Charlie Brown & Peanuts
    Other Bill Melendez Productions
    Milscellanous Saturday Morning

    • Group by topic, and chronologically; Now then.

      “Silver Age Warner Bros.(the rennisance-era productions like Tiny Toons and Animaniacs)”

      Most of said show’s efforts were done in Japan by Telecom (TMS), if anything do a book about TMS’ western efforts, I have gather so much and regardless that Fred Patten is the anime expert here and Charles Brubaker is the same for Pre-80’s Anime here but for TMS theirs so much info that has not been digged up and TMS’ western efforts need a book and if you need help from them, thats ok, TMS’ Dic efforts and some of their other 80’s efforts is all that I’m missing in terms of content (there is a book in French but I’m hopeing that someone will translate the book into English or just release the book in English) but other then that Their needs to be a TMS book (matching up with lots of pictures rather then just text, but what ever way you what to do it is just fine).

      Some other things you guys can make book about.

      TopCraft (Before it was split between Ghibli, Gainax & Pacific Animation Corporation, PAC could also be a good Idea as everyone and their grandmothers have done Ghibli & Ghinax).
      Walt Disney Animation Japan (Since were on the subject of Disney here)
      KK C&D Asia (The French Dic book had some info, but not in English)
      Spectrum Animation (As info about them is rare, here is what I can find about them )

      Other then that, Thats all I can think of as of right now, if you guys like my Ideas, reply to me back.

  • I vote for grouping by decade, as there have been so many eras and so many players during those eras, that is the only way that I can seem to organize it in my own head… 😉

  • Speaking for myself, I’d prefer it to be grouped thematically. The chronological approach would feel too fragmented to me in the abstract.

  • Maltin’s and Beck’s “Of Mice & magic” compiled chapters by each studio. One chapter focused entirely on Disney, one on WB, etc. That’d be more convenient if I want to find stuff specific to one studio.

  • Group by topic, and chronologically. As in, you can read about Bob Clampett from his high school days to Warners to Beany & Cecil. Better than jumping around from topic to topic.

  • I would prefer chronologically. I think a timeline puts everything in relation to each other, and makes it easier to see how things develop over time.

  • I say put them chronological by topic as others said. I would find it way too confusing and jarring if the articles were put in alaphabetical order by topic instead.

  • Grouped/chaptered by decade, but presented all helter-skelter within the chapters.

  • I think it’s going to be most useful to readers if you group by topic. If you are a big Disney fan, you may prefer to read that chapter over and over. I don’t think that’s as useful if you have a chapter that is listed 1930s or 1940s. Listing chapters by topic, and then going chronologically within each chapter as mentioned above sounds like a good idea.

  • Since this is vault of Walt, how about complete list o Unmade disney cartoons
    along with stories like this one

    • But I forgot
      as others have said group it by topic and then chronologically

  • Can I vote for random order?

    Like you say, there will be an index to locate specific anecdotes and part of what makes these posts so fun to read is their random composition that makes them mentally stimulating!

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