Interview for Stars of Walt Disney Productions by Mark Arnold
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: My name is Mark Arnold and I am a Pop Culture Historian with over 15 books under my belt. I also host my own weekly podcast called Fun Ideas Podcast, that covers much of the same subjects as my books do, and more.
Q: This is your second book on Walt Disney Productions. How does it differ from your first?
A: My first Disney book, Frozen in Ice: The Story of Walt Disney Productions 1966-1985, covered the period after Walt Disney and before Michael Eisner because most Disney historians ignore that time period and dismiss it as not being very good. This new book, Stars of Walt Disney Productions, covers the entire period of the company called Walt Disney Productions from 1923-1985, and its stars.
Q: Why is a book like this needed?
A: As a fan of Disney films, especially those of the 1950s to 1970s, I noticed the same people over and over and over appearing in bit parts and starring roles. I wanted to know who these people were and also compile a list of them for easy reference. As a kid in the 1970s, I just figured they were older people hired for these roles, not knowing that many of them had highly successful careers back in the 1930s and 40s. Many were working for Disney during their twilight years. I wanted to know more about these people and that’s what’s covered in the book.
Q: Couldn’t someone just get this information off the Internet?
A: Certainly. If they want to put the same time and energy to research such things. It took me well over two years to research all of this. I delve in so deep, I cover people that don’t even get screen credit. Stars of Walt Disney Productions places everything into one single resource for easy access of Disney stars with only their Disney appearances promoted.
Q: What will people find in this book?
My book is set up in various parts. Part one is the obvious, true STARS of Walt Disney Productions. Many of them appear on the book’s front cover. People like Dean Jones, Kurt Russell, and Hayley Mills fit this description. They were hired by Walt Disney Productions with multi-picture contracts to star in many Disney features and they get a page or two biography of who they were and how they fit in to the Disney studios.
Q: What about the more obscure stars?
A: Those stars get a separate section. These are actors who appeared in multiple Disney pictures, but are not necessarily household names, and are usually in secondary or co-starring roles. Disney may have been the only movie studio they ever worked for.
Q: Any other sections?
A: There are two more. One is the “one hit wonders” sections featuring stars that only appeared in ONE Disney picture, but made such an impression with that single appearance, that they became Disney stars. Then, the final section is called “They appeared in a Disney picture?” These people may or may not even be actors. They could be political figures or sports stars or movie stars that don’t typically fit the Disney image, but they’re listed in the book just for fun.
Q: Anything else we should know about the book?
A: It’s over 400 pages and very thorough, so if you’re thinking of some really obscure actor and what they did for Walt Disney Productions, it’s in here.
Q: Who is the audience for this book?
A: Anyone who is a Disney fan should get this book, even if you’re just a fan of their animation and not their live-action work, as I cover the various people who did animation voices, including Walt Disney himself!
Q: Why should you buy this book?
A: Again, if you are a Disney fan, you should buy this book. If you’re not, but you are a fan of my other books, it’s worth having a look as I put the same quality and care into this book as I have with my other books about Underdog, The Pink Panther, The Monkees, and Pac-Man.