Cover image for Paper dreams : the art & artists of Disney storyboards
Paper dreams : the art & artists of Disney storyboards
Canemaker, John.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiv, 272 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 27 x 32 cm
Corporate Subject:
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1999.W27 C36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Invented at the Walt Disney Studios in the early 1930s, the storyboard quickly became an essential in the planning of all forms of movies. Directors from Walt Disney to Hitchcock, from Fellini to Tim Burton, Orson Wells to Scorcese all made use of them. This gloriously illustrated work explores the art and craft of storyboarding as it was - and still is - performed by master artists at the Disney Studios offering an exciting, behind-the-scenes look at a crucial and intricate part of the animation process. Full colour art throughout.

Author Notes

John Canemaker is a tenured professor and director of the film animation program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. In 2006, his film The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation won the Academy Award for best animated short. He has written numerous books on animation, including The Art and Flair of Mary Blair, Paper Dreams: The Art and Artists of Disney Storyboards, Before the Animation Begins: The Art and Lives of Disney Inspirational Sketch Artists, and Walt Disney's Nine Old men and the Art of Animation.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Two out of three new Disney books come from Disney subsidiary Hyperion, and the bigger of the two, Paper Dreams, is the star of the trio. It is Canemaker's celebration of Disney's greatest contribution to filmmaking, the storyboard. Developed as a way of visually communicating a script, the storyboard has become a commonplace of filmmaking--and not just for animated films. Canemaker examines the creative processes of the Disney studio and profiles such individual talents as Bill Peet, Ted Sears, and--surprise!--Walt Disney, whom he presents as an artist rather than as an impresario. A veteran observer of animation and a gainfully employed academic, Canemaker delivers measured accolades that are far more impressive than the usual Disney corporate rah-rah. Canemaker even gives Disney's main Duck man, Carl Barks, rare extended notice for his storyboard work, which preceded his reign as the "King of the Comics" (books, that is). The illustrations Canemaker has chosen are superb and numerous; obviously, company backing really counts. The sequel to Mouse Tales (1994) is another behind-the-scenes look at Disneyland, full of much declared love for the Disney ethos. Little boxed features contain "tales of tourists gone on mental vacations" --an abundant source of humor--and affection permeates much of the rest, whether Koenig is recounting funny situations involving the ungainly costumes park performers wear or the tragedy of the "first person killed at Disneyland while just standing in line," which Koenig links to more profit-hungry than quality-minded park management. Contending that "Disneyland is held to a higher standard," Koenig suggests the need to rebuild staff morale, "remember that Disneyland is a show not a shop," and "return guests to their rightful place as Priority One." The slighter Hyperion offering is Smith and Clark's maximally illustrated, nostalgic romp through the company's first century. It seems calculated to regenerate devotion to the higher, wiser power that is Uncle Walt in adults and to confirm it in kids. The text notes the milestones in Disney's output (e.g., the release of Steamboat Willie) and less celebrated fare, such as the Oswald Rabbit series, too. --Mike Tribby

Library Journal Review

Canemaker's second volume on Disney animation (his first was Before the Animation Begins, LJ 11/15/96) covers new territory. Focusing on the birth and progression of the storyboard method, the noted animator/historian explores both the history and the personalities of the Disney storyboard department. He takes readers from the early Disney days (when Walt created the storyboard to add depth and substance to the animated shorts the early studio produced) to today (when ever-changing teams of story specialists gather material and prepare sequence drawings before artists flesh out those Disney masterpieces). Along the way, Canemaker reveals the human effort required to bring an animated film to life and throws in juicy tidbits garnered from his interviews with animation pioneers. Lavish illustrations accompany the text. Recommended for larger public libraries and essential for collections in film and animation history.√ĄKelli N. Perkins, Herrick P.L., Holland, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
1 Tell Us a Storyp. 1
2 Birth of the Boardp. 5
3 Walt as Storymanp. 27
4 Ted and the Boys: Animation's First Story Departmentp. 63
5 Gagsters Galore: Short Boardsp. 87
6 Worlds to Conquer: Feature Boardsp. 127
7 Bill Peet: Master Storytellerp. 167
8 Musical Boardsp. 187
9 The Animator as Story Artistp. 211
10 New Boardersp. 231
Notesp. 262
Indexp. 267
Acknowledgmentsp. 271
About the Authorp. 272