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Friz Freleng

Book Review: 'Walt Before Mickey' by Timothy S. Susanin

Book Review: 'Walt Before Mickey' by Timothy S. Susanin

When the extraordinary success of "Steamboat Willie" made Walt Disney an overnight sensation in 1928, he'd already spent nearly a decade working in animation. During those years, he'd had successes and failures, as Timothy S. Susanin recounts in great detail in his new book "Walt Before Mickey."

In 1919, while Disney and his friend Ub Iwerks were working as commercial artists in Kansas City, they taught themselves animation. Disney began exploring the medium with the "Newman Laugh-O-Grams," a series of one-minute topical cartoons for local theater owner Frank Newman. He quit his job and started a studio with money borrowed from friends and relatives....