I don’t think I reviewed MORE CUTE STORIES, VOLUME 1: DISNEYLAND on the blog yet, but I really should. So I’ll add it to the review of Volume 2 for this week. Volume 1 isn’t part of the 52 books in 52 weeks, though, so I can only count one of these two for my yearly total. (And I do hope that all of the things I mention in Volume 1 were a part of that disc, and not just from the in-person talk I attended…)
First of all, before I start either review, if you are a fan of Disney history in general, or the Tiki Room or it’s a small world in specific, you need to read IT’S KIND OF A CUTE STORY by Rolly Crump as told to Jeff Heimbuch. I have a review of that up here on the blog somewhere. If this topic interests you at all, or you are a fan of the Rolly’s art, get the book. You’ll enjoy it. It’s a really great look at the early days of Disneyland and what it was like to work with Walt.
More Cute Stories, Vol. 1: Disneyland History
(non-fiction, Disney history)
This volume of additional stories focuses mostly on Disneyland. There are some stories about Imagineers that could belong in Volume 2, but since they do have a connection to Disneyland they can belong here as well. Some of these stories were things that I heard Rolly talk about in person when I went to an event featuring him at the Walt Disney Family Museum. It was a lot of fun being there, and it’s made listening to the audiobooks even more enjoyable.
As a fan of Disneyland, I recognized a lot of the locations Rolly talks about. There are some places that are immediately obvious, of course, like the Enchanted Tiki Room or it’s a small world. But he also talks about a floral display from the entrance to Tomorrowland, which I remember. And there’s mention of the wooden fence posts in Frontierland. And lots of other little details which you may or may not have noticed if you were racing from attraction to attraction like so many of us do when we visit the park. But it’s those little details that make Disneyland so special, and it’s so great to hear someone talk about creating those details.
More Cute Stories, Vol. 2: Animators and Imagineers
(non-fiction, Disney history)
This second volume is about people. Sometimes stories include films that they worked on together, but usually it’s just about people. But that “just” really isn’t – these people include various Disney animators, Imagineers, and even some of Walt’s Nine Old Men. Hearing stories about Disney Legends directly from someone who worked with them (and is a Disney Legend in his own right) is a true pleasure.
My only real complaint about Volume 2 is that I don’t know enough of the names of Disney Legends and Imagineers and animators. (I am learning them, but slowly.) And so a lot of the people Rolly talks about are not instant “I know who that is” people for me. In some cases, he’ll start off the section about a person by explaining who they are, and that helps. But there are some people who aren’t given that initial explanation. And while the stories are still very cute and amusing, I have no context for those specific people. I do plan to listen to the book again, when I can pause it and look up each person who I don’t already know, but since most of my audiobook listening happens during my commute or while I’m at the gym, it’s usually very difficult for me to do research and listen to a book at the same time.
And as a disclaimer, Jeff Heimbuch is a personal friend of mine, but the only influence that had on my reviews is that I was aware of these books before a lot of people were. I was not given review copies, nor am I being compensated in any way. These reviews may seem to be glowing, but that’s because I love the cute stories they tell, and not because I benefit from my reviews at all.