We stumbled upon this new version of Alice in Wonderland while at the library last week. Though I love Lewis Carroll's original Alice, it's nice to have a short version that can be read before bed. (And even nicer when the abridgement is done by Jon Scieszka.)
The real star of this book is the artwork of Mary Blair. When Disney decided to make a movie based on Carroll's book, Mrs. Blair was asked to do the concept illustrations for the film. (She also worked on the movies for Peter Pan and Cinderella, and created the characters in It's a Small World before leaving Disney to work as a graphic designer.)
After hearing about the lack of women at Walt Disney in 1938, I wonder what is was like for Mary to work in such a "boys club". She joined the company in 1940, and her husband worked in the animation department already, which must have helped.
Apparently Walt grew to be a big fan of Mrs. Blair, specifically her use of color. It's such a treat to see these original concept drawings and compare them to the final film. You can see how clearly the animators followed her lead.
I guess I can just cross my fingers and hope that Disney will consider releasing more of Mary Blair's work. (Can I put in a request for Peter Pan next? Pretty please?)
Note: Looks like they already have released a version of Mary Blair's Cinderella!