Friday, January 30, 2015

A Review of It's Kind of a Cute Story Book Review....

Article Written By Jeff C. 

It's Kind of a Cute Story- by Rolly Crump as told to Jeff Heimbuch
Bamboo Forest Publishing, 192 pages

It's Kind of a Cute Story
It's Kind of a Cute Story [Rolly Crump, Jeff Heimbuch] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Imagineers, those men and women who helped Walt Di...
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Link to the biography's website:
It's Kind Of A Cute Story…
Bamboo Forest Publishing is proud to announce the release of Disney Legend Rolly Crump’s More Cute Stories, Volume 3: Museum of the Weird.
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Link to author's website:
Rolly Crump
  Disney Legend Rolly Crump’s Autobiography NOW AVAILABLE! It’s Kind of a Cute Story by Rolly Crump and
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In the interest of disclosure, the co-author, Jeff Heimbuch, has corresponded with this reviewer in conjunction with his podcast, Communicore Weekly, which he co-hosts with George Taylor.

Communicore Weekly
We’ve got an extra copy of The Art of the Disney Princess to give away! There are several ways to enter this contest, including leaving a comment over at Mice Chat ...
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The co-author and subject of the biography 

Do people know Rolly Crump?  Perhaps not the person but you may have seen his work.  Before becoming a Disney Legend for Imagineering, he served as a creative force behind the initial concept of the Haunted Mansion, the Enchanted Tiki Room, Disneyland's installation of It's a Small World, Epcot's Land Pavilion and dozens of other projects.  But, it was an on-again/off-again relationship over the decades and this is detailed in his memoirs.

Often, I use the term "self-exemplary" in conjunction with works associated with Imagineering.  Rolly Crump's storytelling fits the self-exemplary description well.  Chapters are aligned mostly chronologically as biographies tend to be, but he also layers them along thematic lines.  The thematic lines focus on particular projects in depth and strike the difficult-to-achieve balance between interesting detail and tedious detail.
For the Disney fan, there is plenty to enjoy.  However, the non-Disney portions provide enjoyment as well.  

Walt Disney played favorites and favorites like Rolly Crump suffered backlash when the founder died.  This contributed to his periodic breaks from the company.  Rolly Crump shows himself as a creative, temperamental and sometimes naughty artist.  Readers will be surprised with some of the things he got away with including giving Walt a rock with the recipient's favorite cuss word painted it on it, driving his car through Disneyland during closures and riding a motorcycle through the office to drop off a secretary at her desk.

Additionally, a refreshing level of honesty permeates the tales especially with projects that did not work to his satisfaction and with his heated, but respectful disagreements with another Disney Legend, John Hench.

Concept Art of the Tower of the Four Winds (which did not render well once built)

Concept Art for the Cousteau Ocean Center (which was scrapped)

Keep in mind that the subject is foremost an artist and his biography would not be self-exemplary without numerous samples of his artwork.
The Mistress of Evil (early unused Haunted Mansion concept)

One of the artist's many fake advertisement placards

The trashcan near It's a Small World

The book is packed with images like this along with personal photos, newspaper clippings and letters.  If one were to purchase it solely for the source material in the pictures, it would easily suit that requirement.  But, the words are what link all of them together and the stories are more than just cute.  They lend insight into the creative process as a whole.

Rolly Crump's window on Main Street