I bought the soundtrack for Studio Ghibli’s latest film, When Marnie Was There, in anticipation of its western release next month, and I have to say that it’s absolutely stunning. Muramatsu’s score is heartwarming, nostalgic, emotionally affecting, and lushly orchestrated; it’s the most beautiful listening experience I’ve had in some time. Studio Ghibli films always have lovely scores, but this one is so particularly soulful and enchanting that I feel compelled to share a bit of it with Tumblr. If you like what you hear, please buy this score! It’s available on the iTunes store and it’s an ethereal listening experience.
“The recent trend Disney has been doing with surprise twist villains has seriously made me miss the epic villain songs, which they usually skip out on nowadays. Though we did get Shiny, I don’t really think of the word ‘epic’ when I hear “it’s time to kick your heiney”.”“
60 Second Book Review: Bill Peet: An Autobiography
You know that old expression, “If it looks like a fish and swims like a fish, it probably is a fish”? Bill Peet: An Autobiography blows this ol’ axiom all to hell. Here’s how:
It’s written like a children’s book. It’s illustrated like a children’s book. The first ¼ of the book detailing Peet’s poor, provincial childhood would easily appeal to a child reader.
But the rest of the book?
The final ¾ of the book that chronicle Peet’s employment at the Walt Disney Studios?
The chapter charting Peet’s near-nervous breakdown after drawing page after page of Donald Duck in-betweens? (“NO MORE DUCKS!!! NO MORE LOUSY DUCKS!”)
The huge chunk in the middle where Peet pulls away the curtain on working with Walt Disney, giving an illuminating, evenhanded, warts-and-all report on the boss’ affable genius and casual cruelty?
The final portion of the book where Peet breaks down what it was like to write 101 Dalmatians and The Sword and the Stone (a dream come true!) at the same time Walt was losing interest in the animated features (wait, what?!)?
That stuff will bore the average kid to tears.
But the nerdy, cartoon-crazy kids?
They’ll LOVE it.
Their Disney-phile parents?
They’ll savor every doodle and detail.
Animation aficionados who happen to pick it up on a lucky lark whilst browsing the kids’ section of their local bookstore, hopelessly hunting for the ‘perfect present’ for a niece yet to be born?
It will BLOW THEIR MINDS. It will provide them with dozens of new anecdotes about the golden age of the greatest American animation studio – written and illustrated by someone who was actually there!
Over the years, I’ve read A LOT of books about Disney. I have multiple bookshelves stacked double-deep with the good ones. I’ve thrown away, donated, and re-sold countless more. Bill Peet: An Autobiography is easily one of the most uniquely presented (it’s a kids’ book!) and fascinatingly detailed (it’s NOT a kids’ book!) Disney tomes I’ve ever read.
If you’re interested in Disney films, Disney history or animation as an artform and/or career, you really ought to add Bill Peet: An Autobiography to your must-read pile.