52 Books 2014: Week 43

Poster Art of the Disney Parks
by Daniel Handke & Vanessa Hunt
(non-fiction, art, Disney)

Most of the text in this book is an explanation of one or more of the posters, or goes into more detail than I personally am interested in with regards to creating the posters, so I will admit that I read some and skimmed some. However, I find that is usually the case for me with an art book (even when I took an Art History class in college). Part of the experience is what you take away from the art itself, and not what the book’s author has to say about it. Also, I read this book a while ago but forgot to review it then, so some of my recollection on the book’s details is a bit fuzzy.

So, with that disclosure out of the way, I will say that I did fully enjoy this book. The posters themselves are the star of the book, of course, and for a fan of Disney parks they really shine. I love seeing the different variations of the posters as the attractions get updated. (The Monorail is probably my favorite of these. More than the rest of the Tomorrowland attraction posters, the Monorail posters really showcase the difference the land has gone through since its early days.)

I also really enjoyed seeing the different posters for the same attractions in different parks. In some cases the only difference was the park logo or the name of the land. (Such as New Orleans Square in Disneyland vs. Liberty Square in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.) In other cases, though, the posters were completely different, and it was fun to compare them.

The text complements the art. That’s really about all I can say about it. I enjoyed reading it. I remember that much. But I don’t remember reading anything earth shattering. (Like I said, this was a little while ago now.) It’s really more of a reference material than anything else anyway, so it did exactly what I expected it to do.

Now the important part: who should buy this book? I think that fans of Disney art should own this one, that’s a given. Also geeks fans of the parks and their history. But not the casual Disney fan. For the casual fan, this might be something to look at while waiting for your group to finish shopping. (Several of the park stores – the book-oriented ones – carry it at the moment.) This could be something for the casual fan to get out of the library (if your library has it) to get excited about an upcoming Disneyland (or WDW) trip. But the only people who should add it to their library are those who HAVE a Disney books library. It does make a lovely addition to Disney libraries, though. I’m glad it’s in ours.

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