A coffee table book celebrating the creators of the Disney theme parks.
Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real was released in 1996 and was, truly, one of the first books to take us inside the hallowed halls of Imagineering. It's not a tell-all, behind-the-scenes book; it is more like a this is what Imagineers do and have done book. Clocking in at 192 pages, it is another must have for every Disney park fan.
So, how would you approach the idea of writing a book about Imagineering? The Book Team (Bruce Gordon, David Mumford, Kevin Rafferty and Randy Webster) sums it up as follows:
"Rather than a chronological history, the book would try and capture the spirit of Imagineering--what it's like to be here, to walk sown our hallways, and most importantly, to be an Imagineer. The story could be told through quotes and anecdotes, as if the reader was really here, looking over our shoulders while we work."
The book comes pretty close to that.
The 192 pages are divided into five major chapters that purport to cover every aspect of Imagineering (although, there was not a section on politics or backstabbing). As expected, the Imagineers make fantastic use of the Imagineering and Company archives to share concept artwork, paintings, drawings, sketches and some jaw-dropping art, in general. Not to slight the text in any fashion, but people will be drawn more to the lavish images. The narrative (really, it isn't too technical) runs along the same lines as other titles by Bruce Gordon and David Mumford; you will not be disappointed and will learn a lot about the process of Imagineering.