In The Queens of Animation, bestselling author Nathalia Holt tells the story of the women of Walt Disney Studios, for the first time, showing how these women infiltrated the boys' club of Disney's story and animation departments and used early technologies to create the rich artwork and unforgettable narratives that have become part of the American canon.
...a bolt of pure reading delight that outdoes even Holt’s utterly winning earlier book Rise of the Rocket Girls. ... It concentrates on five...women: Grace Huntington, Bianca Majolie, Retta Scott, Sylvia Holland, and especially Mary Blair, and through their stories, invaluably researched and assembled here, our author gives readers a look at the women who gave shape to so many of their childhood memories ... In a beautifully sculpted narrative of hurtlingly fast pace, Holt tells the stories of these women and their female colleagues ... In a very real sense, many of the struggles of the Queens of Animation were also Disney’s struggles, and Holt draws readers deep into the fascinating specifics of those struggles ... The fight goes on...but in The Queens of Animation, Nathalia Holt has told the story of indispensable trailblazers. It’s gripping, galvanizing reading.
In a sprightly new book...Nathalia Holt, a science journalist and a popular historian, introduces us to a handful of women who worked on some of the classic Disney Studios films, spins them around, sprinkles some pixie dust, and has them take a bow. She’s a little like a fairy godmother, wanting us to think nothing but the best of her charges, perhaps wishing that she could send them back out into the world with a bluebird or two twittering at their shoulders. I wasn’t always convinced that the five women she focusses on were as influential as she suggests, but I enjoyed reading about them in the workplace they shared.
The Queens of Animation covers the women's particular, personal challenges...and their shared trials, especially their male co-workers' resentment and predatory ways. Among the sketches reproduced in Holt's exhaustively researched book is a shattering one by scriptwriting and storyboarding ace Grace Huntington: it shows an outsize Mickey Mouse-like figure preying on a female worker ... The Queens of Animation does double duty as the story of Disney's animation studio, which was in debt for years and continually seeking financial relief through new technologies. Holt, foremost a science writer, is awfully good at describing how innovations like Technicolor, the optical printer and xerography work ... Of course, the irony is that in the studio's financially unstable golden era, when its male employees thought it beneath them to draw fairies, it was movies about women--a princess here, a Poppins there--that reliably saved Piglet's bacon