For many years animation art was looked at as "low brow", something far beneath the notice of serious art collectors. While we Disney fans obviously felt otherwise, it wasn't until relatively recently that this art form has become popularly accepted. Each of these books includes samples from the creative process that has brought the films to life - story sketches, background paintings and of course, the actual animation art. It's too bad that books like this weren't created for each of Disney's films!

This list was last updated 08/31/2021.

Dinosaur : The Evolution of an Animated Feature
by Jeff Kurtti

Jeff has this down to a science. Once again he thoroughly documents the creation of an animated film - this one being animated on the computer instead of the drawing board. The film was a commercial disappointment, but the book is a good addition to your library.

art_mulan.gif (12476 bytes) Art of Mulan, The
by Jeff Kurtti

Another fine effort by Jeff Kurtti, one that I can easily recommend. In fact, I liked the book better than the film itself.


Art of Walt Disney, The: From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms
by Christopher Finch, Charles S. Finch. Hardcover, 1995 version.

One of the best books ever on Disney, with a particular emphasis on animation and the theme parks. I remember spotting the first version for sale back in 1973 and buying it on the spot, despite not having a budget to do so. Up to that point in time, relatively little had been published on the Disney empire. While that certainly has changed today, the updated version of this book remains a "must have" for Disney fans.

Bug's Life, A: The Art and Making of an Epic of Miniature Proportions
by Jeff Kurtti

This book has a wonderful 3-D cover - and it gets better inside. Jeff Kurtti has written several of these art books by now and has it down to a science. Another great job! My only complaint is that the book is so wide it's tough to fit on a bookshelf. Now only available used through Amazon.

Click here for other titles based on A Bug's Life.

animated_characters.gif (6730 bytes) Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters, The
by John Grant

A truly encompassing work that describes all of the animated characters to be found in Disney's cartoons and animated classics. I'm not just saying that because I contributed to the TV section! This book is so good that the first edition was going for a fortune at auctions before this updated edition came out.   Happily, this new version contains everything from the first version and more. A "must have" for Disney collectors.

mickey_mouse.gif (8245 bytes) Mickey Mouse
by Pierre Lambert

One of the best books on Disney animation - ever.  Lambert has done an unbelievable job in documenting the most famous Disney character of all time. Besides the rare artwork found in the Disney Archives, he has literally scoured the Earth for pieces held in private collections. An expensive book, but one that has to be seen to be believed.

Mickey Mouse: The Evolution, The Legend, The Phenomenon!
by Robert Heide, John Gilman, Monique Peterson, Patrick White, 2001

How has Mickey changed over the years? Plenty! This is a look back at how the world's most famous mouse has evolved with the times. Lots of photos of rare merchandise, animation art and more.

pinocchio.gif (16471 bytes) Pinocchio
by Pierre Lambert

Everything I said about Lambert's Mickey Mouse book above is also true about this wonderful book. There's artwork in here I haven't seen elsewhere during my 25+ years of Disneyana addiction. Well worth saving up for. I can't wait to see what Lambert comes up with next.


Walt Disney's Nine Old Men & The Art of Animation
by John Canemaker

An outstanding look at the cream of the crop in animation - the animators behind some of the studio's most well-known creations. Each of the veteran animators is seen through interviews and examples of their work. A must-have book!

snow_white_making.gif (8369 bytes) Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: An Art in Its Making
by Martin Krause, Linda Witkowski, Stephen H. Ison, Linda Witkowski

Over the years collector Stephen Ison assembled one of, if not the best, collections of original art from Snow White. That collection is the core of this book, which also includes a look at pieces from the Disney Archives and other private collections. Just be warned - reading this will make you stay up at night trying to invent a time machine, just so you could go back and snatch up some of the beautiful pieces before prices went through the roof. Now only available used through Amazon.


Disney's Winnie the Pooh: A Celebration of the Silly Old Bear
by Christopher Robin Finch

This look at the silly old bear follows him from his creation by A.A. Milne through his "make-over" by Disney. It includes a description of the four theatrical featurettes, the characters and more. Now only available used through Amazon.

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