Documenting the Golden Age of Animation

I’ve been a Disney fan for most of my life, and if anyone asks about what interests me most about Disneyana, I say “information.” I’m always looking for books and magazines with that theme.

That’s why I was intrigued to find the book Wild Minds: The Artists and Rivalries that Inspired the Golden Age of Animation by Reid Mitenbuler at this year’s Dayton Disneyana event at the Hope Hotel, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio in June 10-12 (

Almost all of my book purchases are Disney-centric, so it’s interesting to get another perspective. Author Mitenbuler provides that perspective, starting with Winsor McCay in 1911. He recounts the stories behind characters like Betty Boop and Popeye and the establishment of Warner Brothers animation. But the thread that holds the narrative together is the rivalry between Walt Disney and Max Fleischer; the last chapter describes their deaths.

I did find two mistakes in the Disney narrative, but the book is well documented with a bibliography, extensive notes and an index. It makes for a fun read for anyone interested in the history of animation.

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