“Marc Davis in His Own Words: Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks” to Release September 3rd, 2019

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The story of one of Disney’s most prolific animators and Imagineers will be shared in a brand-new book this September… with the help of another prolific animator and an Imagineer.

Marc Davis in His Own Words: Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks,” written by Pete Docter and Christopher Merritt, will chronicle Davis’ time at WED Enterprises, where he worked on such iconic attractions as Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, Country Bear Jamboree, and more. Docter and Merritt gave a talk about Marc Davis at Industrial Light and Magic last year in advance of the book’s release.

The official description reads:

On February 16, 1962, senior animator Marc Davis officially transitioned from Walt Disney Feature Animation to a new division of the company: WED Enterprises, the group assembled to design Walt’s new theme park. The move would be a significant one. After thirty-plus years animating classic Disney features, Marc would become one of the most renowned of Walt Disney’s new breed of employee-Imagineers.

During Marc’s time with WED (later Walt Disney Imagineering), he would become a driving force behind the designs of many of the most iconic attractions at the Disney theme parks. Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, it’s a small world, Jungle Cruise, Country Bear Jamboree, and many others feature environments and storylines that were heavily influenced by his conceptual artwork.

Featuring work from the sixties through the eighties, this two-volume set includes more than 1,500 pieces from the Imagineering archives, the vast majority of which have never been published. In addition, for the first time Marc’s design theories as well as many of his stories of working with Walt are featured in his own words as recorded during hours upon hours of interviews by author Chris Merritt. Marc Davis-In His Own Words is a treasure trove for artists, students, and Disney collectors around the world.

About the Authors:

Pete Docter is an American film director, animator, and screenwriter from Bloomington, Minnesota. He is best known for directing Inside Out, Monsters, Inc., and Up and as a key figure and collaborator in Pixar Animation Studios. The A.V. Club has called him “almost universally successful.” He has been nominated for six Oscars (two wins thus far for Up and Inside Out-Best Animated Feature), three Annie Awards (two wins), a BAFTA Children’s Film Award (which he won), and a Hochi Film Award (which he won). He has described himself as a “geeky kid from Minnesota who likes to draw cartoons.”

Southern California native Christopher Merritt has more than twenty years of attraction and show design experience creating theme park attractions and environments around the world as an art director and production designer at theme parks located in California, Florida, Tokyo, Singapore, and Shanghai. Chris is the author of a Knott’s Berry Farm pictorial history, Knott’s Preserved (2010) and Pacific Ocean Park: The Rise and Fall of Los Angeles’ Space Age Nautical Pleasure Pier (2014). Chris spent countless hours with Marc Davis (and Alice Davis)-both learning from the masters and documenting history. Chris is currently at work at Walt Disney Imagineering as lead show designer for the Tokyo DisneySea version of the Frozen attraction.

The book, from Disney Editions, is 384 pages and retails for $150.00, and is availbe for pre-sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble for $110.20, as of the writing of this article.

Which Marc Davis attraction is your favorite? Which Imagineer would you like to read a book about? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the author

Matthew Soberman

Matthew has been a writer for WDWNT since June 2018. He probably should have realized he was a Disney Parks fan when he tried to make a model of the Horizons building in middle school shop class. (It didn't go well.) He is also a huge Muppet fan, and can also be found on ToughPigs.com. You can email Matthew at [email protected]