52 Books 2014: Week 11

I meant to put this book review up last Friday, but then I took a nap when I got home from work, and then we went out and got pie for dessert (since it was pi day, naturally), and I forgot I hadn’t done the review yet. And then over the weekend I was needle felting (more on this later this week) and not doing a whole lot else – except cleaning the house when I felt guilty about playing all day – and so I didn’t get ANY of my intended blog posts written. So it’s late, but here’s the next installment of my 52 Books in 52 Weeks blog series for 2014.

More Cute Stories, Vol. 3: Museum of the Weird
Rolly Crump
(non-fiction, Disney history)

This is volume three of the MORE CUTE STORIES series of audiobooks, and if you have followed my reviews at all in the past few months, you will know that I have thoroughly enjoyed the first two volumes. This third one is no exception.

If you have read IT’S KIND OF A CUTE STORY, you will know about the Museum of the Weird. If you are a fan of the Haunted Mansion and its history, you have probably heard about the Museum at least in passing. And if you have been following Marvel’s latest new comics, you have probably seen the “reboot” of the Museum, if you will. Whether you know lots about the Museum, or know nothing about it, I think you will enjoy hearing Rolly tell you some of his stories about it.

The Museum of the Weird, for those who haven’t heard of it at all before, started as some ideas to make the Haunted Mansion more scary and less corny. These ideas didn’t end up making it into the Mansion (for reasons that I will let Rolly tell you), but instead were going to be a walk-through show after the Mansion itself. Those familiar with classic Disneyland will recognize this idea in the post-show area of The Carousel Of Progress. There are some stories here about the ideas themselves, and those are fascinating. There are also stories about the people behind the Museum and the Mansion, which are fun too. It’s probably a little hard to listen to this without having read the chapter in Rolly’s book which focuses on the Museum, but there are definitely some parts which require no additional background knowledge about it.

I have said in past reviews that I know Jeff Heimbuch (co-author of Rolly’s IT’S KIND OF A CUTE STORY, and he does the producing and introduction on these audiobooks). As before, though, I have received NO compensation for these reviews. If anything, I have purchased more copies than I would have if I didn’t know Jeff. Because they’re that good, and that important to have. I wish more of the Disney legends had gotten their stories about their days at WDI/WED on paper or tape. This is an important part of Disney history, and I think this knowledge is priceless for any Disney fan to have.

As a side note, there have been complaints about these (and other similar) stories because the imagineers – and even Walt himself – portrayed within are not “perfect” people. I don’t see what the problem is. These stories are not a smear campaign against anyone. They are portraying people AS PEOPLE, and I think that’s as important as having the stories told in the first place. For instance, seeing Walt AS A PERSON, having opinions that weren’t always what was expected, and having favorites among his staff, does not make him any less of an amazing person. IT MAKES HIM A PERSON. These people were all human, and it’s time we stopped trying to turn them into flawless copies of themselves.

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