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The Queens of Animation

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The Queens of Animation

The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History

Bookseller Recommendation

If you enjoyed The Radium Girls, then you’ll love The Queens of Animation.

“One one hand, I absolutely adored this book. Holt did such a great job of bringing together the accounts of these wonderfully talented women and moved us through Disney history in an intriguing manner. On the other hand, my heart hurts at the terribleness of this history: all the credit not given, the pay that did not match the men, the corporation over humans mindset, the blatant sexism and racism on screen and behind the scenes, and how it was all so recent (Holt brings us all the way to Frozen). Since I was laid off last year, the ups and downs of women at the Walt Disney hit me particularly hard. People who work in artistic ventures often bring a lot of passion to their job. Reading it over 350-some pages just made me realize why we need to keep our work and home life separate.... why is there always this mindset of corporation over humans? Why must humans suffer in order to save a corporation? Still processing my own feelings about this but whoa.... It was artistically inspiring, fire-in-your-heart stoking, and makes you burn for all the wrong women have had to deal with in the art world.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys


From the bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls, the untold, "richly detailed" story of the women of Walt Disney Studios, who shaped the iconic films that have enthralled generations (Margot Lee Shetterly, New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Figures).

From Snow White to Moana, from Pinocchio to Frozen, the animated films of Walt Disney Studios have moved and entertained millions. But few fans know that behind these groundbreaking features was an incredibly influential group of women who fought for respect in an often ruthless male-dominated industry and who have slipped under the radar for decades. 

In The Queens of Animation, bestselling author Nathalia Holt tells their dramatic stories for the first time, showing how these women infiltrated the boys' club of Disney's story and animation departments and used early technologies to create the rich artwork and unforgettable narratives that have become part of the American canon. As the influence of Walt Disney Studios grew -- and while battling sexism, domestic abuse, and workplace intimidation -- these women also fought to transform the way female characters are depicted to young audiences.

With gripping storytelling, and based on extensive interviews and exclusive access to archival and personal documents, The Queens of Animation reveals the vital contributions these women made to Disney's Golden Age and their continued impact on animated filmmaking, culminating in the record-shattering Frozen, Disney's first female-directed full-length feature film.

A Best Book of 2019: Library Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and Financial Times

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