WALT DISNEY'S CIRCUS
Walt Disney Productions ~ Simon and Schuster, 1944
OK, technically this is only kind-of a licensed book but seeing as I found it for way more than I would have liked to pay but way less than it should have been, I figured it was OK to post on it. And since it is such an old school title, the only Disney characters it features are some of the Fantasia animals like the Ostrich, Hippo and Crocodile, and Donald Duck who doesn't even really look like Donald Duck yet. Though it has only been in our possession a few days, the boy is insane for Walt Disney's Circus, and I happen to love the way it looks and feels. The colors have a glorious mat finish, and I love how the artists chose to leave the sketch pencil lines just beneath those colors making it seem as if the animals are dancing in place. My boy also loves books with flocking. Anytime he can pet something, it makes it 10 times better. Reading it aloud in my best ringmaster voice is a blast!
"Attention, everyone!" shouts the Ringmaster.
"Here we have one of the greatest spectacles of our time. We have penetrated the wildest jungles to capture and bring to you the one and only Sacred White Elephant!" What's this? The clowns have washed all the white paint off the Sacred Elephant with their squirt guns while the Ringmaster was talking? "Those villains will be the death of me yet!" he cries, and tears his hair with rage.
Basically, the book is a big top drama, and though today we know that most circus animals probably live in a private hell, it is still fun to suspend disbelief for a page or two and imagine them all smiling and laughing. The 40s were a great era for Disney, and this artwork represents the best of its best..