Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When Did Walt Disney Write A Christmas Carol?

Disney's A Christmas Carol

Walt Disney has gotten a bad rap.

We now know that “The Great Homogenizer,” who, as master of The House that Mouse Built, rose to fame by smoothing out the difficult and potentially offensive edges to any story he came into contact with lest anyone's sensibilities be injured, led a double life.

Recent advances in forensic bibliography, as reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Dubious Literary Scholarship, have definitively proven that Walt Disney was an honest-to-gosh litterateur.

Walt Disney's Mary Poppins

Long thought to be a mere animator (though he, in reality, didn’t do much, if any, of the animation in his films) and mouse wrangler, it turns out that Disney was, in fact, the author of many classic works of fiction.

The beloved novelist combats writer's block
When not riding his home choo-choo train, he wrote, under the pseudonyms “Charles Dickens,” “P.L. Travers,” "Jules Verne,” “Carlo Collodi,” and "Hans Christian Andersen," the cherished literary standards, A Christmas Carol, Mary Poppins, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Pinocchio, and The Little Mermaid.

Walt Disney's Pinocchio

Who knew?

As the author of the JODLS article, John Beresford Tiptin-Leaf, explains, many copies of each of these books in their first editions have been found (through spectrograpic analysis and candling) to possess very faint line-drawings of mouse ears in the margins. It is thought that Disney frantically doodled his identity in these copies in a desperate effort to confess his secret scribblings to future scholars without tipping-off the contemporary general public.

Walt Disney, real name of the author of The Little Mermaid

Tiptin-Leaf, after completing his internal examination of the books, asserts, based upon his close examination of their fore-edges, that Disney had a peculiar habit, born, evidently, of his interest in animation, to thumb-flip the leaves of his books in an effort to make the words on the page come alive. Surely, if all novelists performed this simple trick to infuse life into their prose the incidence of literary narcolepsy would dramatically decline.

Walt Disney's classic adventure 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

It is only now, long after his death, that he is finally being given credit under his own name for his novels.


It takes a lot of nerve and huge ego to appropriate another writer's work as one's own. It is fitting, then, that the next potential project from the studio should be based upon one of the man's as yet unadapted-to-animation novels, Walt Disney's Moby Dick.

Now in development: Walt Disney's On the Origin of Species.

For 2012: Walt Disney's Finnegan's Wake.

Upcoming: Walt Disney's Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure.

Coming soon to a theater near you: Walt Disney's The Bible.


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