In the five years that have elapsed since the initial publication of this mean-spirited biography, Leonard Mosley has corrected some - but by no means all - of its myriad errors. The misspelled names have been fixed and some of the more glaring misstatements have been excised (animator Fred Moore no longer is listed as having worked on "Robin Hood," which was made 21 years after his death).
But there is still enough misinformation to keep the Disney Archives issuing corrections for a long, long time: for example, Grim Natwick, not Bill Tytla, was the principal animator of Snow White - Tytla worked on the Dwarfs, especially Grumpy; Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are not "animated nowadays on computer."In virtually every chapter, Mosley shows his ignorance of the history, aesthetics and techniques of animation and an apparent inability (or unwillingness) to grasp Disney's enormous contributions to the art form and to American popular culture. Sloppily researched, inadequately documented and poorly written, "Disney's World" is a waste of paper and the reader's time.MAKING SENSE; by Ellen Goodman; Penguin; $9.95.
Pulitzer Prize-winner Ellen Goodman struggles to make sense of the follies and fads of contemporary American culture in this collection of her syndicated columns. She reflects on the confusion over gender roles, the shifting definition of what constitutes a good life and the ever-changing crazes in food and nutrition.
Goodman writes with intelligence and exceptional clarity, but with a strong liberal bias. She makes no bones about her loathing of the "pro-life" rhetoric of anti-abortionists, especially when they place the "rights" of the fetus before those of the mother, and lampoons the incongruity of the federal government simultaneously subsidizing the price of tobacco and declaring war on drugs.
The weakness in these pungent essays is a sometimes strident feminism that causes Goodman to describe every woman (except Mayflower Madam Sydney Biddle Barrows) as a victim, rather than a perpetrator of criminal or stupid behavior. Hedda Nussbaum, Jessica Hahn and Fawn Hall hardly seem to qualify as victims.