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The Disney Bros.: The Fabulous Story of Walt and Roy (NBM Comics Biographies)

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After the bankruptcy of his first two companies, the young Walt Disney decides to call on his older brother Roy to start a new business: the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios. The combination of their opposing talents, one artistic, the other managerial, will give birth to an entertainment giant despite the difficult nature of Walt. Little by little, Walt will push his broth After the bankruptcy of his first two companies, the young Walt Disney decides to call on his older brother Roy to start a new business: the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios. The combination of their opposing talents, one artistic, the other managerial, will give birth to an entertainment giant despite the difficult nature of Walt. Little by little, Walt will push his brother into the shadows and sink into chronic depression and excessive consumption of alcohol ...but all this will not prevent him from producing the greatest masterpieces of animation.


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After the bankruptcy of his first two companies, the young Walt Disney decides to call on his older brother Roy to start a new business: the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios. The combination of their opposing talents, one artistic, the other managerial, will give birth to an entertainment giant despite the difficult nature of Walt. Little by little, Walt will push his broth After the bankruptcy of his first two companies, the young Walt Disney decides to call on his older brother Roy to start a new business: the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios. The combination of their opposing talents, one artistic, the other managerial, will give birth to an entertainment giant despite the difficult nature of Walt. Little by little, Walt will push his brother into the shadows and sink into chronic depression and excessive consumption of alcohol ...but all this will not prevent him from producing the greatest masterpieces of animation.

30 review for The Disney Bros.: The Fabulous Story of Walt and Roy (NBM Comics Biographies)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    A biography comic about Walt and Roy Disney that focuses on their business. It mainly focuses on the dark side of their business where they pinched pennies, especially with their animators and wouldn't let them even tell people they had created any of their creations. They did this even though Universal did the same thing to them when they first started out with Oswald the Rabbit. It does get into some of how and why they got into distribution and other areas of the business where they were bein A biography comic about Walt and Roy Disney that focuses on their business. It mainly focuses on the dark side of their business where they pinched pennies, especially with their animators and wouldn't let them even tell people they had created any of their creations. They did this even though Universal did the same thing to them when they first started out with Oswald the Rabbit. It does get into some of how and why they got into distribution and other areas of the business where they were being squeezed for money. It's certainly an interesting look at two complex men. Received a review copy from NBM Publishing and Edelweiss.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Online Eccentric Librarian

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ This is a strange book in that it is a brief tour of the Disney Brothers life looking to be intended for middle graders but focusing mostly on the business side of the Disney Company and Walt's demands. It is not a glorification or iconifying look at Walt or Roy (which is good) and instead does bring up the darker sides of Disney life: abuse at home, connection with Nazis, and giving up coworkers to the McCarthy commu More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ This is a strange book in that it is a brief tour of the Disney Brothers life looking to be intended for middle graders but focusing mostly on the business side of the Disney Company and Walt's demands. It is not a glorification or iconifying look at Walt or Roy (which is good) and instead does bring up the darker sides of Disney life: abuse at home, connection with Nazis, and giving up coworkers to the McCarthy communist witch trials. For those not versed in Disney history, I feel it might be a bit confusing since it jumps around and shows a lot of little vignettes/moments (I would have liked it to be more focused on just a few key aspects of Walt's life: e.g., how Peter Pan came about with the live action stuff or the challenges in creating Disneyland). And there is a clear agenda of Walt being a dictator and spending most of his career taking credit for the works of others. The illustration work is clean but I admit I had a hard time differentiating characters (granted, there was a very narrow set of styles for men at the time, which didn't help). I soon looked for the lightning bolt moustache to identify Walt and the receding hairline for Roy. There is a long list of characters that go through the Disney Brothers' lives but I couldn't really distinguish any of them clearly. Only famous celebrities stood out. Ub Iwerks gets several mentions but other characters like Walt's/Roy's wife and children are fairly non existent. The interesting thing for me is that the animators had a LOT of personalities but we don't see much there, other than a passing mention to one being a womanizer. Other figures like Mary Blair are completely absent, which was surprising. But then again, the focus is on the animation studio business and Walt taking credit for others contributions to the Walt Disney Company. There's not much about the Worlds Fair Walt contributed to or the innovations that created so many unusual rides at the parks. Similarly, the utopian aspects of Walt's futurism were non existent - especially things like the original EPCOT cities Walt wanted to design. It always seems to come back to the poor artists and how Walt leveraged his power and wealth to get what he wanted. Because the focus is oddly on the business of animation, we get vignettes of Ub getting frustrated with Walt and leaving to start his own company - then having to come back contritely when it failed. Another scene of Max Fleischer's son being stolen to direct a Walt Disney Film (despite Fleischer junior having little experience). This little scenes paint a picture of Walt being a power monger - and a petty one at that. As a biography, the focus is on the hurdles more than the results. Admittedly, most of the book felt like Walt storming around blowing his top and being authoritarian while a patient Roy just stands back and makes things happen. If you tried to know Walt Disney from this biography, you probably wouldn't have liked him. He's more genius savant than visionary. Roy, on the other hand, came off more as a milquetoast - there to be Walt's secretary. The most puzzling and anticlimactic aspect of this graphic novel is an afterward that spends most of text talking about how Walt wasn't an animator/artist, never draw anything, and that he took credit for his artists' contributions and forced them into anonymity through the Walt Disney Company umbrella. Similarly, throughout the book, most of the vignettes felt like they were there support a clear agenda to decry Walt's lack of appreciation for artists (though oddly sound artists, colorists, and other contributors were completely ignored) and as a hot headed authoritarian whose only purpose was to make the Walt Disney Company free of anyone who could tell Walt what to do. Because this might be confusing for kids and because there is such a clear agenda of Walt being authoritarian and selfishly claiming others works as his own (you'll see it throughout the book in addition to the afterwards), I can't really rate this higher. Well, that and because I had a good laugh at the depiction of Griffith Park as looking like a flat park in the middle of a Spanish-mission styled city (rather than as a mountainside park secluded from a sprawling Los Angeles that did NOT have every building looking like a miniature Santa Barbara mission building). Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

  3. 4 out of 5

    JY

    This was a unique graphic novel. It presents itself as something any comic-loving person would want to read. Wow, a book about the world-renowned Walt Disney Company! "Where Dreams Come True!" However, this format is tasked with describing a rather complicated subject: the birth of Walt Disney Studios from behind-the-scenes. I knew what I was getting into but, wow. Now, as one of those comic-loving people, I did not expect things to get so technical. Like most, I admire and appreciate Disney for This was a unique graphic novel. It presents itself as something any comic-loving person would want to read. Wow, a book about the world-renowned Walt Disney Company! "Where Dreams Come True!" However, this format is tasked with describing a rather complicated subject: the birth of Walt Disney Studios from behind-the-scenes. I knew what I was getting into but, wow. Now, as one of those comic-loving people, I did not expect things to get so technical. Like most, I admire and appreciate Disney for what it has to offer. Like some, I was curious as to how this conglomerate came to be. But, as someone who spends more time enjoying Disney rather than studying it, I found it very text heavy. It seems to lean more on the educational side. With the amount of information presented, I really had to pace myself. Take breaks. I couldn't read it in one sitting like I usually do with graphic novels. Perhaps I was so lost in the name "Disney" that I forgot that this was actually about the "Disney Bros" and not the "Walt Disney Company." But wait... it is. This book describes the birth of the "Walt Disney Company" by showing us what Walt and Roy Disney went through, from the business side of things. Sometimes, we get hints of their personal lives. Of course, the company continues its legacy today, so the only way for this book to end was to end it with *spoiler alert* Walt's unexpected death. When major accomplishments were made (things fans will recognize such as film releases, opening of theme parks) we saw how the Disney Bros reacted to them, which is a rare perspective to see, but an underwhelming one at that. In this book, they were not as excited as their audiences. On top of that, since this book solely follows the Disney bros, there are rarely instances that show how audiences reacted. We only know based on what the Disney bros observed. If I was able to see that, maybe I'd be more convinced. But no, I couldn't tell you exactly when Disney's popularity soared in this book, because from Walt and Roy's perspective, things were business as usual. They were the ones fueling the engine, so I suppose it's a given that they were not on the fun side of things. The art took some getting used to. The cartoonish style could attract younger audiences, but the subject is information heavy and more like a condensed history book. Sometimes the art would keep me from taking the story seriously. The colours were especially noticeable: bright, retro hues that reflected the Disney style and the time period at its birth. I only wish that the pacing was more clear. There were a lot of time skips, and inconsistencies in the panels made it difficult to read in some areas. Overall, I learned a lot from this book. More than I thought I'd ever need to as a fan. The Walt Disney Company is the embodiment of Walt Disney's hard work, tough decisions, and entrepreneurial spirit that kept him going. The journey was not perfect, and we got a very stark picture of what it took to make it so far. I enjoyed learning about Roy Disney as well, as the very resourceful older brother who supported his brother, believed in him, and more. It was also fun to recognize big names who were involved with the company. I can't say this was an easy read, but it's a good place to start if you're interested in how this company was built. Further reading is cited as well.

  4. 5 out of 5

    47Time

    This rather soulless story does a good job of going through some important moments from Walt Disney's life. Roy has a very secondary role, so it might as well have been called 'The fabulous story of Walt'. And the way the story is presented is far from fabulous. It does little justice to the one who almost single-handedly created a media empire that can afford to buy countries. It does manage to present Walt's character properly, as I understood he was from articles I've read. He was a shrewd bus This rather soulless story does a good job of going through some important moments from Walt Disney's life. Roy has a very secondary role, so it might as well have been called 'The fabulous story of Walt'. And the way the story is presented is far from fabulous. It does little justice to the one who almost single-handedly created a media empire that can afford to buy countries. It does manage to present Walt's character properly, as I understood he was from articles I've read. He was a shrewd businessman with a good ear for what sells. I didn't know he was so demanding, even inconsiderate, of his workers. He dealt with Nazis, the Congress, television companies, his friends and employees with the same cold, calculated manner. He demanded perfection and insisted on using the latest technologies to create the highest quality products, no matter how much they cost. He was an admirable creator, but a difficult person to keep close. After a series of flops, the Disney brothers are looking at backruptcy. Walt imagines Mickey Mouse and bets his last dollar on it. His partner Ub has followed Walt to failure before and isn't strong enough to refuse now. It turns out he doesn't have to. Mickey Mouse is a huge hit. It's followed by feature-length cartoons and many innovations that push the boundaries of cinema. (view spoiler)[While trying to distribute his work in Europe, Walt deals with the Nazis who aim to use his cartoons as propaganda. The popularity of the Disney company is on the rise, but both the employees and their owner are feeling the strain - Walt is pushing workers, himself and his limited budget over the limit. The workers demand better pay and to be part of a union, while Walt is always on edge, always working even on days off, has a drinking problem and is alienating even the ones closest to him. The idea of Disneyland comes to Walt during WW2 when money is tight, so Roy outright refuses to even consider it. After the war business picks up again and starting the construction of Disneyland is finally possible, especially since the Disney company branches out into television. Walt doesn't get to see it because he dies of cancer, but as we all know, it's a smashing success and an important part of Walt's legacy.(view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    The Disney Bros.: The Fabulous Story of Walt and Roy is a biographical graphic novel written by Alex Nikolavitch, illustrated by Félix Ruiz, and translated by Montana Kane. It is a behind-the-scenes look at the Disney brothers' rise to success. Walter Elias Disney was an American entrepreneur, animator, writer, voice actor and film producer. Roy Oliver Disney was an American businessman and co-founder of The Walt Disney Company with his younger brother. This graphic biography begins in 1928 Hollyw The Disney Bros.: The Fabulous Story of Walt and Roy is a biographical graphic novel written by Alex Nikolavitch, illustrated by Félix Ruiz, and translated by Montana Kane. It is a behind-the-scenes look at the Disney brothers' rise to success. Walter Elias Disney was an American entrepreneur, animator, writer, voice actor and film producer. Roy Oliver Disney was an American businessman and co-founder of The Walt Disney Company with his younger brother. This graphic biography begins in 1928 Hollywood, when Walt Disney makes the bold decision that his fledgling studio will deal with distributors directly and retain ownership rights to their creations. While Walt continues to take creative risks and strive for the highest quality, his brother and business partner, Roy, manages the studio finances. Progressive chapters reveal the brothers' troubled childhoods on a farm in Missouri with an abusive father. Brief, rapid-fire vignettes relate Walt's subsequent successes and innovations as well as professional and personal struggles, including protests by unionized workers and the tragic death of his mother. The Disney Bros.: The Fabulous Story of Walt and Roy is written and constructed moderately well. Nikolavitch frames Walt's drive and imagination as twinned reaction and homage to his unhappy Missouri childhood, an artificial Americana vision of which was mined for his posthumous Florida theme park. While Ruiz's quirky lines, raised eyebrows, and jaunty colors echo the style of what the Disney brothers put on-screen, the engine of the story is more business than art. All in all, The Disney Bros.: The Fabulous Story of Walt and Roy is an uneven ride through Disney history.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    Well, it's certainly not a sympathetic take on Walt's biography, and I've read more unsympathetic ones. I would call it mostly even-keeled, though there is a definite tendency to downplay Walt's actual contributions to the artistic life of Disney studios. There are a lot of gaps and jumps in the narrative, and I think having a general knowledge of the Disney company before Walt's death will make it easier to understand. For example, there are several pages setting up the trip to South America, w Well, it's certainly not a sympathetic take on Walt's biography, and I've read more unsympathetic ones. I would call it mostly even-keeled, though there is a definite tendency to downplay Walt's actual contributions to the artistic life of Disney studios. There are a lot of gaps and jumps in the narrative, and I think having a general knowledge of the Disney company before Walt's death will make it easier to understand. For example, there are several pages setting up the trip to South America, without ever showing the trip or even mentioning the films that were inspired by that trip (Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros, for the record). From the title, I was expecting this to be just as much about Roy as Walt, and I was excited about that. But it's really almost entirely about Walt, with Roy taking a spotlight only in the couple of pages after Walt's death. If you're interested in the business side of Disney before Walt's death, this is probably worth a read, as long as you can fill in the gaps in the narrative and don't expect too much Roy, or anybody other than Walt.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    3.5 stars & rounding up. This graphic novel biography hits the highlights of Walt's life and accomplishments, but certainly doesn't sugar-coat his rough inter-personal & communication skills (well before his friendly "Uncle Walt" persona for TV). It does, however, highlight the significant contributions of those around him, especially his brother Roy who handled the financial side of the business, and also animators such as Ub Iwerks and Art Babbit. If there's a fine line between genius and madn 3.5 stars & rounding up. This graphic novel biography hits the highlights of Walt's life and accomplishments, but certainly doesn't sugar-coat his rough inter-personal & communication skills (well before his friendly "Uncle Walt" persona for TV). It does, however, highlight the significant contributions of those around him, especially his brother Roy who handled the financial side of the business, and also animators such as Ub Iwerks and Art Babbit. If there's a fine line between genius and madness, then Walt's considerable creative imagination -- which led him to dream up the first ever sound cartoons, the first ever feature length animated film, and the first true theme park for all ages -- was counter-balanced by his often gruff demeanor. Those amazing accomplishments also could have never been realized if not for the brilliant and hard working men and women Disney had working for him. Feliz Ruiz's illustrations are sure to appeal to anyone interested in reading a graphic novel biography of one of the biggest contributors to American entertainment.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jaime Guzman

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A biographical graphic novel of Walt Disney that doesn't paint him in a good light. Disney was definitely a genius and so much so that he did everything to control what he envisioned as and animation studio and as an amusement park. It was this control that caused him to have an unsteady relationship with his head animator in the early days, Ub Iwerks, and his brother and business partner, Roy Disney. The Disney company's own published books on Walt are very diluted and with all the negatives absen A biographical graphic novel of Walt Disney that doesn't paint him in a good light. Disney was definitely a genius and so much so that he did everything to control what he envisioned as and animation studio and as an amusement park. It was this control that caused him to have an unsteady relationship with his head animator in the early days, Ub Iwerks, and his brother and business partner, Roy Disney. The Disney company's own published books on Walt are very diluted and with all the negatives absent. With the inclusion of this graphic novel and other unauthorized biographies you have a fully painted picture of the true man that was Walt Disney. A man who not only was a genius but was also obsessed with controlling his vision to the detriment of his employees and his own family members.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Maria Rowe

    I was surprised at first that the art wasn’t done in the Disney style, but the 1940s style comic art is really a nice touch since the majority of the book takes place around then. The writing is well done and I learned a few things about the brothers!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Julie Torres Nava

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. jcJsbmqv

  12. 4 out of 5

    C.Michelle Jones-Harrison

    This is truly a must read

  13. 5 out of 5

    Monica Emerson

    I always thought Walt was a much better person that portrayed in this novel. Made me sad I read this.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Donovan

    Just started

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    Surprisingly informative for a graphic novel format. This is NOT a feel-good documentary about Disney. It includes a lot of controversial and negative material--Disney's testimony before HUAC, his anti-union and anti-FDR stance, and conflicts with business partners and Hollywood, plus a pre-war trip to Germany and meetings with Nazi officials, and associations with pro-Nazi/pro-Fascist American groups. Surprisingly informative for a graphic novel format. This is NOT a feel-good documentary about Disney. It includes a lot of controversial and negative material--Disney's testimony before HUAC, his anti-union and anti-FDR stance, and conflicts with business partners and Hollywood, plus a pre-war trip to Germany and meetings with Nazi officials, and associations with pro-Nazi/pro-Fascist American groups.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ville

  18. 4 out of 5

    Red Marquis

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tara Hill

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Bertelsen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Swartz

  25. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

  26. 5 out of 5

    Roarda12

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stian Andreassen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Battaglia

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

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