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Brian Bennett

Reviews of Other Disney-Related Stuff

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Brian's Archive - Contents

A Little More Disney Information:

Reviews of Other Disney-Related Stuff books and CDs!

A Brief History of the Disney Parks just an overview, but worth reading!

A Tribute to Walter Elias Disney the text of Eric Severeid's eulogy of Mr. Disney, December 15, 1966

The Boycott and the Bible the reasons behind the anti-Disney boycott(s), and my own Bible research on what I should do about it

Plush Revenge - A Shopping Story about how I bought over $353.00 worth of Disney stuff for $18.56.

About the WebMaster:

Brian and His Family some background on my own family

Michael's Story a bit more information on how we adopted our littlest boy

Growing Families International a great organization for parents

Christian Family Services a link to my favorite adoption agency

Email Brian if for some odd reason you want to contact me...

Las Vegas, September 2002 Trip Report a report on a personal trip that didn't include a visit to any Disney places whatsoever!

Click to buy CD from Amazon.com!

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Click to buy TAPE from Amazon.com!

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"Fascinating Walt Disney" ****

My scale scale is poor (*) to excellent (*****)

By: Stephen Schochet

"Fascinating Walt Disney," authored, produced and narrated by Stephen Schochet, is an entertaining audiobook that tells the story of Walter Elias Disney's life.  From his early childhood growing up in Chicago and Marcelline, Missouri, Walt was a dreamer and a hard worker.  His hard work and his "pick myself up by the boot straps" attitude are a good example for all of us today.

Schochet weaves many familiar, and some not-so-familiar, stories about this complicated man into a fun-to-listen-to narrative.  The chronology of the dialog is hard to track with sometimes, but Schochet's point is to tell the story in an entertaining way (even if that muddles the timeline somewhat).  Regardless, the music, sound effects, and dialog all work together to make this a fun, educational, and entertaining production.

Some of the interesting tidbits that you'll hear about include:

  • The story of the creation of Mickey Mouse
  • Why Walt was so fascinated with the idea of building Disneyland
  • How the Disney Studios fared during World War II
  • All about the labor unrest among the Walt's animators
  • The stories behind "Snow White," "Fantasia," "Dumbo" and many of the other classic animated films produced by Walt Disney.

If you're into Walt Disney, the history of his life, or the Disney movies and parks -- then you'll thoroughly enjoy listening to this production.

(You may want to check out Stephen Schochet's web site to see some of his other tape/CD productions.) 

Click to buy from Amazon.com!

"Walt Disney's Railroad Story" *****

My scale scale is poor (*) to excellent (*****)

By Michael Broggie

This book was written by the son of former Disney model maker, Roger Broggie.  The elder Broggie was instrumental in helping Walt as he produced (with quite a bit of help from the shop-hands at the studios) his Carolwood Pacific miniature steam train layout at his home in the Holmby Hills above Los Angeles.  I have no doubt that boyhood stories told to Michael Broggie by his father started him on a lifetime of curiosity about Walt Disney.

This is an excellent book.  As one that is fascinated by well-told history and the legends surrounding Walt Disney, this book had me captivated from cover to cover.  Disney's love for railroads and other forms of transportation are evident as you stroll through any of the parks that now bear his name.

Happily, The Walt Disney Company has continued the wonderful traditional love of the railroad as it has proliferated the iron ribbons around and through each of it's several "magic kingdom" parks (Disneyland, The Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris) as well as Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  Each of these applications of steam-driven is given the full treatment in descriptions and photographs.

Rarely has a book captured my interest as strongly as this one.  It truly is a remarkable work and well worth the cost of buying it.  It is a book that you'll read over and over again.

Rod Miller: Ragtime - CD
Click to buy from MouseShoppe!

 

Four Hand Piano ~ Miller & Thompson - CD
Click to buy from MouseShoppe!

Ragtime at the Magic Kingdoms ~ Chris Calabrese - CD
Click to buy from Amazon.com!

Main Street Music *****

My scale scale is poor (*) to excellent (*****)

I've had a love for ragtime music since I was in elementary school.  Our local library had a five album (that's vinyl disks played with a mechanical needle, for those of you that are too young to know that sound used to be recorded that way) set of Scott Joplin rags.  I must have checked out those records a dozen times.  Later I purchased a book with all of Joplin's rags, and I learned some of the music myself.  So, to walk under the train station and down Main Street only to hear the familiar sounds of ragtime being played at the hub corner is a treat that I enjoy every trip to Disneyland and Walt Disney World.  The performance of the pianists at the parks is always a special one.

Rod Miller has been playing at Disneyland since 1969.  In the last few years, Alan Thompson has joined Rod at the piano.  Weekday evenings at the park are special indeed with these two magicians performing their magic on the ivories.  I've spent several (none too many) hours listening and watching these two guys.

Chris Calabrese has put out a wonderful CD, too.  The thing I really like about Calabrese's CD is the Disney music that he's arranged into the rag style.  "Golden Dream," the music from the American Adventure at Epcot (and now used in the presentation of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at Disneyland, too) is a particular favorite.  The haunting melody comes though clearly, while the lilting syncopation lends a very unusual, airy mood to the music.  The CD also includes a small booklet with information, some of it provided by the original composers of the re-arranged tunes, about each track.

If you click on any of the links to Amazon.com, you can view lists of all of the tracks on the CDs, as well as other information about the artists.

 

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