How to Be Like Walt / Pat Williams : 3 of 5
Even though I've read so many books about Disney animation, history, and theme park details, I've never actually tackled a biography of Walt Disney. This is mainly because I've already absorbed most of the details of his life by all of the books and DVDs I've already been exposed to, and also because I'm sure it's hard to find an honest biography that isn't too harsh or too forgiving. How to Be Like Walt is much more of a biography than I expected, but it also tries to combine elements of Walt's life with self-help style lessons. The author Pat Williams (who is the president of the Orlando Magic basketball team) is a serious Walt Disney fan, and his writing makes it completely obvious that Walt is his hero (which I can certainly understand!). As I expected, there weren't many Walt facts here that I didn't already know, but there were some great anecdotes that I enjoyed reading. My favorite stories are about Walt digging through the animation department trash cans at night to recover discarded gag ideas that he thought would work, and I love Walt's technique of going to Disneyland, buying a hot dog, wandering around until he was finished, and then making sure a trash can was put on that spot! The chapter on Walt's last year was especially poignant, and reading about Chuck Jones' visiting Walt in the hospital was interesting. Each chapter sums up a particular character trait that we can learn from, such as Walt's constant love of learning or his persistence, but even though it's all good advice, the writing style was a little too motivational for my taste. My only other complaint is that this book could use a little more editing. I know that the author interviewed hundreds of people, and his love for Walt made him want to make sure everything was in the book, but there are definitely long portions that seem to ramble a little. But overall, it was fun to read a nice long timeline of Walt's life and achievements. There's no doubt he had a huge impact on this world (and certainly me) that will never die, and taking a closer look at Walt is always inspiring!